The Stories that Objects Tell

The Stories that Objects Tell

Aug 22, 2022 By Barbara Mann | Public Event video

Download sourcesBibliography | The Object of Jewish Literature Book Information Part of the series, “Stories and Storytelling” With Dr. Barbara Mann, Chana Kekst Professor of Jewish Literature This session is generously sponsored by Yale Asbell, JTS Trustee ABOUT THE SERIES Join JTS scholars to explore a selection of stories drawn from across ancient, rabbinic, medieval, and modern […]

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Alexander, Was He Great? <br>Rabbinic Criticism of Rome through Alexander Narratives

Alexander, Was He Great?
Rabbinic Criticism of Rome through Alexander Narratives

Aug 15, 2022 By The Jewish Theological Seminary | Public Event video

The rabbis of late antiquity did not write books of theology or political treatises. Rather, they composed stories that would draw the heart and guide the mind to communicate those ideas and practices they deemed essential to Jewish continuity and growth after the destruction of the Second Temple. To accomplish this the sages often redesigned existing literature from the surrounding culture. In “Alexander, was he great?” Ben Levy explores the ways that the rabbis of late antiquity lampooned stories of Alexander appearing in the popular Greek Alexander Romance to criticize Roman imperialism and creatively resist their rule.

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The Protest Literature of Mizrahi Writers

The Protest Literature of Mizrahi Writers

Aug 8, 2022 By Beverly Bailis | Public Event video

Download Sources With Dr. Beverly Bailis, Adjunct Associate Professor of Jewish Literature   Dr. Bailis discusses protest literature written by different generations of Mizrahi writers and examine how these literary works give voice to these writers’ experience in Israeli society, from the Great Immigration in the 1950s to today. In particular, considering how the stories these writers […]

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A Jewish Doctor in Medieval Spain and His Demon: <br>The Book of Delight by Joseph Ibn Zabara

A Jewish Doctor in Medieval Spain and His Demon:
The Book of Delight by Joseph Ibn Zabara

Jul 25, 2022 By Raymond Scheindlin | Public Event video

Joseph, the protagonist of this proto-novel, at the urging of a mysterious companion, undertakes a journey that takes him to the land of the demons. We will read and discuss some of the stories that the travelers tell each other along the way and will attempt to unravel who the mysterious companion actually is. 

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Passion and Violence:<br>The Sacrifice of Isaac as a Philosophical Story

Passion and Violence:
The Sacrifice of Isaac as a Philosophical Story

Jul 18, 2022 By Dr. Miriam Feldmann Kaye | Public Event video

Download Sources The Sacrifice of Isaac is a paradigmatic episode in Jewish philosophy, ethics, and interpretation. But new ideas in modern and postmodern philosophy call us to re-read this narrative, and change the ways we have often read the story. We will re-tell this story according to an “old-new” method, amalgamating historical and emblematic ways […]

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How Jewish Storytelling Shapes the Religious Imagination

How Jewish Storytelling Shapes the Religious Imagination

Jul 11, 2022 By Mychal Springer | Public Event video

When we tell the story of coming out of Egypt, it is not a story of then and there; it is a story of here and now. We ourselves came out of Egypt. The eternal immediacy of the telling invites us to understand our lives inside the timelessness of Jewish experience. We will explore the drama of living in this story enriched by narrative theory that helps us understand the redemptive role that sacred stories can play in our lives.

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(FAR FROM) ALL ABOUT EVE

(FAR FROM) ALL ABOUT EVE

Jun 20, 2022 By Alan Cooper | Public Event video

the diverse ways that readers fill those gaps engender remarkably divergent interpretations. What do we learn about biblical storytelling when we confront a text that can be interpreted in diametrically opposite ways? And what do we learn about ourselves from the interpretive decisions that we make? 

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Jewish Theology in America, Today and Tomorrow

Jewish Theology in America, Today and Tomorrow

May 23, 2022 By Arnold M. Eisen | Public Event video

Professor Eisen explores recent developments in Jewish thought about God and what God requires of us as Jews and human beings against the background of past Jewish thought, recent work by non-Jewish thinkers, and Professor Eisen’s own theological reflections in the age of COVID.

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Watering the Soul in Times of Faith and Doubt

Watering the Soul in Times of Faith and Doubt

May 16, 2022 By Mychal Springer | Public Event video

together—is central to a life of faith and often plunges people into doubt. We will make space for the “watering of the soul,” both metaphorically and through exploration of the connection between resurrection and water—in the form of rain and dew. 

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Expanding the Canon: Transforming Judaism in the 21st Century

Expanding the Canon: Transforming Judaism in the 21st Century

May 15, 2022

Jewish learning has long focused on texts by an elite group of ancient rabbis. What would it mean to radically expand our canon, incorporating the voices of women, Jews of Color, people with disabilities, and other historically marginalized groups? JTS scholars will introduce new voices and also offer new lenses through which to read ancient texts. Together we will explore how diversifying our canonical texts can help us create a more inclusive Jewish community. 

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Reaching for the Heavens: <br>The Music of Composer Gerald Cohen

Reaching for the Heavens:
The Music of Composer Gerald Cohen

May 10, 2022 By Gerald Cohen | Public Event video

Download Program Amid the Alien Corn Text Reaching for the Heavens featured the vibrant and compelling music of Gerald Cohen, a leading composer of concert and Jewish music, and a faculty member of the H. L. Miller Cantorial School for nearly 30 years, as well as the Cassatt String Quartet and other renowned performers. The […]

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Does Faith Matter? The Ancient Jewish Debate About Faith and Mitzvot

Does Faith Matter? The Ancient Jewish Debate About Faith and Mitzvot

May 9, 2022 By David C. Kraemer | Public Event video

One often hears it said that “Judaism cares what one does, not what one believes.” But this is a distortion, an oversimplification. When one looks at sources from the period of the birth of Rabbinic Judaism (including early “Christian” writings), one finds that there was an active debate about this matter. In this session, we will begin by considering the arguments of those ancient Jews—Paul and James—who raised the important question of faith vs. mitzvot. We will then examine echoes of the same debate in early rabbinic sources.

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The Gender of God in Ancient Israel

The Gender of God in Ancient Israel

May 2, 2022 By Benjamin D. Sommer | Public Event video

How did the biblical authors, and other Israelites, view the gender of God? Did they perceive God to be male? Did any of them perceive God as female? To answer this question, we examine both several biblical texts as well as archaeological evidence.

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Between the Lines: Hélène Jawhara Piñer on the History of Sephardi Cuisine

Between the Lines: Hélène Jawhara Piñer on the History of Sephardi Cuisine

Apr 27, 2022 By Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary | Public Event video

Scholar and author Hélène Jawhara Piñer discusses her unique books about Sephardi cuisine and demonstrates how to make a delicious muleta

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Because You Hear the Prayers of Your People Israel in Mercy

Because You Hear the Prayers of Your People Israel in Mercy

Apr 25, 2022 By Rachel Rosenthal | Public Event video

We often think of God’s choice to respond to our prayers as an act of mercy, but the rabbis in the Babylonian Talmud believed that God was powerless to ignore certain prayers. We look at five models of people whose prayers God answers and consider how they act as messengers on behalf of their communities.

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Writing Jewish: A Discussion with Nicole Krauss and Joshua Cohen

Writing Jewish: A Discussion with Nicole Krauss and Joshua Cohen

Apr 25, 2022 By Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary | Public Event video

Part of JTS’s Opening Season Jews have always been writers of books—from books for Jews with self-consciously Jewish content to books with no obvious Jewish consciousness directed toward the general reading public. But there are also authors who create worlds filled with Jews (and others) who embody human experiences with a Jewish twist for readers […]

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The Still, Small Voice: A Journalist and Her Rabbi on Regaining Intimate, Authentic Conversation

The Still, Small Voice: A Journalist and Her Rabbi on Regaining Intimate, Authentic Conversation

Apr 6, 2022 By The Jewish Theological Seminary | Public Event video

Two years ago, when the pandemic first hit, good friends Dahlia Lithwick and Rabbi Jan Uhrbach decided it was time to begin the weekly Jewish study session they’d been talking about for a while.

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Mandatory Fun: The Commandment of Joy

Mandatory Fun: The Commandment of Joy

Apr 4, 2022 By Sarah Wolf | Public Event video

Usually we think of the mitzvot, the commandments of Jewish law, as involving specific actions. Yet the Torah also commands us to feel certain emotions, including love for God and joy on the festivals. Dr. Sarah Wolf to explores rabbinic texts that grapple with questions about what fulfillment of such a commandment should look like.

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Hate on Trial: The Charlottesville Case

Hate on Trial: The Charlottesville Case

Mar 30, 2022

In August 2017, white nationalists orchestrated a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia—with torch-carrying marchers chanting, “Jews will not replace us.“ The result was intimidation, violence, and death. In November 2021, at a landmark trial in Charlottesville, a jury found the rally organizers liable and awarded more than $25 million in damages.

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Divine Rage

Divine Rage

Mar 28, 2022 By Amy Kalmanofsky | Public Event video

God’s anger has been a problem for generations of theologians. Dr. Amy Kalmanofsky explores the power and purpose of divine rage and the different ways the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel use God’s anger.   

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