JTS Shabbat Scholar-in-Residence with Professor Robert Harris

Date: May 24, 2019 - May 25, 2019

Sponsor: JTS Learning in Your Community

Location: New York State

Category: JTS in Your Community Scholar in Residence

JTS Scholar-in-Residence Shabbat with Professor Robert Harris

May 24-25, 2019

Orangetown Jewish Center
8 Independence Avenue
Orangeburg, NY
(845) 359-5920

Join Robert Harris, Associate Professor of Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages, for a Shabbat weekend of learning at Orangetown Jewish Center. He’ll discuss the reinvention of reading during the 12th-century Renaissance.

“I Pshat the Torah”: Between the late 11th century and early 13th century, two groups of scholars in northern France, one rabbinic and one Christian, essentially changed the idea of it what it meant to “read” a text; in this case, the Bible. Moving away from the ancient authority of the beit midrash and early church, these medieval scholars promoted not only midrash and allegory, respectively, but what they considered to be the best method to unlock the primary meaning of Scripture: peshat for the Rabbis, and sensus litteralus (“the literal sense”) for certain Christian schools. While eventually Christian authorities destroyed and exiled the Jewish community of northwest Europe, they also established the first European universities on the basis, it may be said, of the scholarship of those 12th-century rabbis and churchmen.

Friday, May 24
7:00 p.m. service, followed by dinner and learning. 

Saturday, May 25
Shabbat morning D’var Torah and shiur/study after Kiddush lunch.