The Other in Jewish Text and Tradition

By :  The Jewish Theological Seminary Posted On Feb 8, 2021 | Philosophy

We live in a time of such polarization—political, racial, economic, religious—that the gaps between us sometimes feel insurmountable. But this is not a new condition for Jews, either within or outside of the Jewish community. This webinar series will explore those gaps between “us” and “the other”: Israelites and other ancient peoples; men and women in the Bible and Talmud; Jews by birth and Jews by choice; the founders of Hasidim and their opponents; Israelis and Palestinians; and more. 

From the ancient Near East to the American civil rights movement; from medieval philosophers to contemporary Jewish educators: how have Jews related to those we define as “other,” and how have we marginalized sub-groups within the Jewish community? What is our obligation to those we perceive as different? How have Jews challenged communal norms from within? JTS scholars guide us in an intellectual journey through Jewish history and text to understand how these gaps have been understood and, at times, bridged.

Recordings of the sessions can be found below. 

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The Challenge of Accepting the ‘Other’:
Jewish Attitudes Toward Converts

with Dr. David Kraemer

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Some Unexpected Stories About Women in the Talmud
with Dr. Judith Hauptman

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Other Gods: What the Bible Thinks
about Other Nations’ Deities
with Dr. Benjamin Sommer

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Different But Equal? The Paradox of Chosenness
with Dr. Alan Cooper

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Reading the Resisting Woman as “Other”
with Dr. Shira Epstein

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Facing the Other:
Moral Dilemmas in Israeli Literature
with Dr. Barbara Mann

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The Self, the Other, and God in
20th Century Jewish Philosophy:
Cohen, Buber, and Levinas
with Dr. Yonatan Brafman

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When Jews Made Fellow Jews ‘Other’:
Hasidism and its Opponents
with Dr. David Fishman

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Freedom for Whom?
with Rabbi Eliezer Diamond

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Looking Back at Jews and the Civil Rights Movement
with Dr. Jason Schulman

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Learning Torah from the Talmud’s Greatest Gentiles
with Dr. Rachel Rosenthal

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Nonhuman Others: The Jerusalem
Talmud on Animal Ethics
with Dr. Alexander Weisberg

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Like It—Or Not? The Existential
Tension of Similarity and Difference
with Rabbi Jan Uhrbach

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Entering Our Mother’s House:
The Book of Ruth as a Model for Welcoming the Other
with Dr. Amy Kalmanofsky

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From the Outside In:
How a History of Marginalization Affects Jewish Responses to Marginal Populations Today
with Rabbi Daniel Nevins

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Please note that we are unable to post a recording of “Lucy S. Dawidowicz: A Forgotten New York Jewish Intellectual,” with Dr. Nancy Sinkoff due to copyright constraints.