Dangerous Ideas: Censorship Through a Jewish Lens

Dangerous Ideas: Censorship Through a Jewish Lens

By The Jewish Theological Seminary | Public Event video

Throughout Jewish history, certain texts and ideas have been deemed too dangerous to circulate—whether by outsiders who banned Jewish writings, or Jewish leaders who suppressed ideas considered heretical or beyond the pale. In this series, JTS scholars will examine efforts to control knowledge from ancient to contemporary times, exploring the ways in which censorship both reflects and shapes broader ideological struggles. They will discuss the varying motivations for controlling or revising narratives, and consider whether and under what circumstances it might make sense to suppress certain ideas. These discussions will illuminate past struggles and help us understand the battles over censorship and free expression playing out today. 

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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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(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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Telling Difficult Stories

Telling Difficult Stories

Jun 27, 2022 By David C. Kraemer

If stories express and transmit values and identities, contested values or identities will find expression in complex, challenging stories. This is certainly true of Philip Roth’s Operation Shylock, which gives expression to discomforts in Diaspora identities vis-à-vis Israel during the first intifada—and beyond. Join David Kraemer in exploring Roth’s recounting of the conflicts of this time, as Jews asked questions that are as pertinent today as they were then. 

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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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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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What Six Short Stories in the Babylonian Talmud Tell Us About Jewish Law and Life

What Six Short Stories in the Babylonian Talmud Tell Us About Jewish Law and Life

Aug 1, 2022 By Judith Hauptman

By reading six very short stories in the Babylonian Talmud, we discover that not just rabbinic pronouncements established Jewish law, but so did reports of rabbinic performance of the law. We will see Rabbis complying with, and sometime rebelling against, earlier stated rules. As we read these texts, we will tease out details of everyday life and relations between the sexes. Whether these anecdotes actually took place or not makes no difference. They are an invaluable source for understanding how the Rabbis viewed and modified transmitted traditions.

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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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