Biblical Commentary and the Quest for Meaning

Date: Jan 31, 2019

Time: 7:00 p.m. - 9:15 p.m.

Location: JTS

Category: Community Courses

Biblical Commentary and the Quest for Meaning

Dr. Walter Herzberg, Assistant Professor of Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages and Professional Pastoral Skills

Thursdays, 7:00–9:15 p.m.
January 31; February 7, 14, 21, 28; March 7

Generations of readers have struggled to find meaning in the often enigmatic Torah text.  Over centuries a rich tradition of commentary, closely attuned to the nuances of individual words and passages, emerged to guide and inspire. With Rashi, the medieval French commentator, as our starting point, this course will introduce you to the fascinating world of traditional Jewish commentary.  We will explore how commentators wrestled with the biblical text and consider the methods of interpretation they developed to rediscover its meaning and relevance. Drawing on modern literary approaches to the study of the Hebrew Bible, rather than a historical framework, our discussions will encourage you to develop and refine your own interpretive skills. The course will feature the option to participate in online discussion boards and hevruta study (paired learning) outside of class. Knowledge of Hebrew is not required.

Tuition: $185/six sessions


About Professor Herzberg
Walter Herzberg teaches introductory and advanced courses in Bible and traditional biblical commentary in The Rabbinical School, the H. L. Miller Cantorial School, and the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education of JTS.

This course is designed for graduates of JTS’s Context and Me’ah courses and those familiar with an academic approach to studying the Hebrew Bible. If you are uncertain whether this course is a good fit for you or for more information, contact:

Lynn Feinman
(212) 678-8821