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Jewish Life and Literature

SB JS 201 3 Credits*

Course Instructor and Meeting Times:

InstructorElazar Brandt M.Div.
This course commences on March 1st, 2022 and will finish at the end of May 2022 and is planned to consist of three live sessions and 12 online lectures – each being two academic hours long. These lectures will be posted weekly to be viewed at the student’s leisure during that week. The three live online sessions are intended to summarize, allow for discussion with questions and answers, according to the schedule below.

Session # Date Time
1 Tuesday, March 8th, 2022 1700 – 1800 Israel Time
2 Tuesday, April 19th, 2022 1700 – 1800 Israel Time
3 Tuesday, May 24th, 2022 1700 – 1800 Israel Time

Overview Syllabus – Jewish Life and Literature

Short Course Description:
Jewish Life and Literature engages broadly across traditional Jewish literature – from the Torah to the modern period, emphasizing how the Jewish classics have shaped Jewish life, traditions and customs down to the present day. We will trace the historical roots of various Jewish life practices from their origins in the Torah and their journey through the centuries and diverse periods of Jewish literature.

Learning Outcomes:
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
• Understand the structure of Jewish daily life, what Jewish people do, and why.
• Research the history of various Jewish beliefs and practices, to understand why laws and customs are practiced in their present forms.
• Navigate the wide range of classic Jewish literary works.
• Understand their relationship to one another, and to us.
• Recognize and describe the various types of literature, including Biblical interpretation (parshanut), law (halakhah), folklore (aggadah), Rabbinical handling of Scripture texts (midrash), mysticism, philosophy, and story.
• Be informed about how Jewish life is based upon Tanakh law and traditions and consider if or how this may relate to Jews and Christians today.

*Jerusalem Seminary (JS) courses are engagingly academic and taught by experts in their field living in Israel. While JS’ courses are not externally accredited, they can be taken for internal JS credit. Any internal JS credit will accrue and at a later time would hopefully, through articulation agreements and accreditation bodies, receive official accreditation; a process that JS is beginning.

Course Content

Expand All
Introduction: Jewish Literature as a Window into Jewish Life
The Biblical Texts and Jewish Life
Early Rabbinic Life: Oral Torah and Rabbinic Literature
Medieval Jewish Life through Commentary and Philosophy
Jewish Prayer and Application: Torah in the Modern World
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