Between Suns: Twilight in Rabbinic Sources

Date: May 15, 2023

Time: 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Sponsor: Online Learning | Public Lectures and Events

Location: Online

Category: Online Learning Public Lectures & Events

Between Suns: Twilight in Rabbinic Sources  

Part of our spring learning series, The Space In Between: Thresholds and Borders in Jewish Life and Thought 

Monday, May 15, 2023
1:00–2:30 p.m. ET

With Dr. Sarit Kattan Gribetz, JTS fellow and Assistant Professor of Classical Judaism, Fordham University 

Rabbinic sources imagine the period of twilight between the six days of creation and the Sabbath to be a mystically productive time. It was then, they explain, that God created the rainbow and the manna, letters and writing, Abraham’s ram and Moses’s staff. But when is twilight and how long does it last? Does it belong to the day that is ending, the day that is beginning, or to both days at once? These questions are not merely theoretical—their answers determine important matters of Jewish practice, such as when Shabbat ought to begin or which day to circumcise a child. In rabbinic narratives, the time of twilight can serve as a powerful setting for studying mysterious aspects of the created world. In this session, we’ll explore the concept and history of twilight in rabbinic literature, and the role that this liminal time—literally called “between the suns” (bein hashmashot)—plays in rabbinic theory, law, and narrative. 

If you have registered for a session in this series, your registration admits you to all sessions, and you may attend as many as you’d like. 

Note: The Zoom link for this session will be in the confirmation email that you will receive after you register. 


The Space In Between: Thresholds and Borders in Jewish Life and Thought  

We are living in an undefined time: our daily existence is no longer dominated by the pandemic, yet neither have we settled into a new normal. This sense of being in transition—neither here nor there—  can feel destabilizing; but is the time in between really temporary, or are we always living in between moments, identities, and phases of life?  

In this series, JTS scholars will delve into the idea of liminality—the time or space in between—which we encounter often in Jewish ritual, identity, law, and life. Join us to consider what these many manifestations of “in-between-ness” can teach us about ourselves and about Judaism, and to explore how we might find strength and meaning in an orientation not of “either/or” but of “both/and.”