ma_kodesh_trackAdvanced Topics in Bible REL 399

Major topics covered in the course are: selected theological, philosophical & legal themes from the five Books of the Pentateuch along with relevant commentaries, sources and works of Jewish philosophy. Topics may vary.

Advanced Topics in Prophets: Judges REL 399

Major topics covered in the course are: relationship between the sins of the Jewish people, the nations who subjugated them and the judges who redeemed them; the major Biblical personalities and events in the book and their symbolic significance for religion and history.

Biblical Exegesis REL 455

Major topics covered in the course are analysis of exegetical approaches to parallel passages in the Bible, exegetical approaches to identifying Biblical commandments, and classical Biblical translations and their exegetical implications. Text selection may vary.

Feminism and Jewish Perspectives of Women REL 478

Major topics covered in this course are contemporary feminism, the social position of women in the Bible, historical perspectives, modesty, love, differences between the sexes, marriage, purity, motherhood and career, sexuality, divorce and widowhood, and women and ritual law.

Issues in Contemporary Halachic Literature REL 299

Major topics covered in the course are: general principles of inter-relationships between the sexes, synagogue worship, morality in financial dealings, and ritual purity.

Jewish Holidays in Biblical and Talmudic Literature REL 480

Detailed analysis of the Biblical sources for the Jewish holidays and their impact on the formation and development of the Jewish people. Topics covered include: The Concept of Moadim; Elul; Rosh Hashana and Judgment; The Shofar; The Rosh Hashana Prayers; Yom Kippur and the Golden Calf; Repentance; The Spiritual Gains of Yom Kippur; The Gift of Shabbat; The Holiness of Shabbat; Non-Jews and Shabbat; Shabbat and the People of Israel; Shabbat and Faith; Remembering Shabbat Throughout the Week; Chanuka; Simon the Righteous; Torah Worldview vs. Natural Worldview; The Miracle of the Oil; A Base for Blessing; The Three Festivals; Forefathers and Festivals; Purim; The Feast in Shushan; Divine Providence in the Purim Story; The Emergence of Haman; Hallel and the Megilla; G-d’s Name in the Megilla; Passover: Gratitude and Faith; Tefillin as a Reminder; The Plagues as an Avenue to Faith; Faith in Adversity.

Midrashic and Aggadic Literature REL 338

Major topics covered in the course are attitudes toward midrashic and aggadic literature, literary forms in aggadic literature, rabbinic theology as reflected in the Midrash, esotericism and exotericism in aggadic literature, and a survey of major works of literature.

Studies in Jewish Law: Blessings REL 232

Major topics covered in the course are: general principles of blessings, formal structures of blessings, biblical and talmudic sources of blessings, sequence of blessings, diverse types of blessings, and blessings for life cycle events.

Studies in Jewish Law: Dietary Law REL 231

Major topics covered in the course are: the classical laws of kashrut with particular emphasis on the modern technological impact on kashrut observance.

Studies in Jewish Law: Economics and Business REL 337

Major topics covered in the course are Judaic business ethics, mediation and arbitration, the courts, advertising and promotional activity, usury prohibitions and their contemporary applications, employer-employee relations, and copyright. Topics may vary.

Studies in Jewish Law: Interpersonal Communication REL 377

Major topics covered in the course are: biblical and rabbinic sources on verbal abuse and laws of slander, gossip, and the private and public exchange of information in Jewish Law.

Studies in Jewish Law: Interpersonal Relationships REL 319

Major topics covered in the course are: respect in family relationships; adoption; love for fellow humans; care for the ill; and labor relations.

Studies in Jewish Law: Prayer REL 379

Major topics covered in the course are the prayer obligation, specific laws of prayer, the timing and setting of daily prayers and preparation for prayers.

Studies in Jewish Law: Laws of the Shabbat I REL 308

Major topics covered in the course are: a selection of the 39 categories of melakhah, their definition and contemporary applications.

Studies in Jewish Law: Laws of the Shabbat II REL 315

Major topics covered in the course are: the laws of Muktzeh, a selection of the 39 categories of melakhah, their sources, definition and contemporary application, candle lighting, kiddush and havdalah.

Studies in Megillot II: Songs, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations REL 357

Major topics covered in the course are: Song of Songs — issues of authorship, literary issues (allegorical interpretation, structure and style); Ecclesiastes — authorship, canonic issues, wisdom, wisdom literature, pessimism, and optimism; Lamentations — historical context; the role of Jerusalem; and Theodicy.

Studies in Mussar REL 385

Major topics covered in the course are purpose of creation, judgment, gratitude, anger and tolerance, suffering, faith, Torah learning, character traits, and moral lessons of the festivals.

Studies in the Book of Daniel REL 3024

In-depth examination of the Book of Daniel in the original Hebrew and Aramaic with the classic commentaries. Major topics discussed are cycles of destruction and redemption, forbidden foods, the Aramaic language in Jewish sources, kingship, the prophetic dreams of Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel, the Fiery Furnace, desecration and sanctification of G-d’s Name; the Lions’ Den, the power and role of joy; the unique power of Ishmael, and the Messianic era. Topics may vary.

Studies in the Book of Deuteronomy REL 263

Major topics covered in the course are: Introduction to the Book of Deuteronomy and major philosophical, theological, historical and legal themes in the Book of Deuteronomy.

Studies in the Book of Ecclesiastes REL 357

Major topics covered in the course include wisdom, optimism and pessimism, justice and injustice, effort and the pursuit of wealth, joy and tragedy, youth and old age, Divine intervention, the suffering of the righteous and the flourishing of the wicked, and the purpose of life.

Studies in the Book of Exodus REL 264

Major topics covered in the course are enslavement and the redemption, Revelation, the Tabernacle, and laws of the Festivals.

Studies in the Book of Genesis REL 233

Major topics covered in the course are the Tree of Knowledge and the fall of man; Cain and Abel; the Tower of Babel; Sarah and Hagar; Sodom; Jacob and Esau: the birth of the twins, the sale of the birthright, Isaac’s blessings, and Jacob’s encounter with the angel; and Joseph and his Brothers.

Studies in the Book of Esther REL 375

Major topics covered in the course include: a close reading of the Book of Esther with focus on its homiletic interpretation and theological implications.

Studies in the Book of Ezra REL 299

Major topics covered in the course: Overview of the Book of Ezra; Cycles of Exile and Redemption; Causes of Destruction; The Sabbatical Year; Cyrus Permits Reconstruction; The Exodus from Egypt and the Return with Ezra; For Lack of Repentance; Remaining in the Diaspora; Reconstruction of the Altar; Sanctity of the Temple Mount; The First and Second Temples; The Commandment to Build the Temple; The Samaritans in Judea; Non-Jewish Participation in the Construction of the Temple; Hebrew and Assyrian Script; Significance of the Temple; Prophecy and Idol Worship; The Divine Presence Dwells Among Man; Dedication of the Second Temple; The Hebrew Months; Ten Tribes and Twelve Tribes; The Jewish People as One; Ezra the Scribe; The Men of the Great Assembly; Lineage; Intermarriage and Jewish Education

Studies in the Book of Jeremiah REL 247

Major topics covered in the course: historical and geopolitical context, Jeremiah’s biography, false prophecy, prophecies required for subsequent generations, symbolic prophecy, rebuke and repentance, exile and redemption, and consolation.

Studies in the Book of Jonah REL 376

Major topics covered in the course are the historical Jonah, literary structure, the prophet’s mission, and universalism.

Studies in the Book of Joshua REL 101

Major topics covered in the course are conquest of the Land of Israel, division of land, tribal boundaries, the charge to Joshua and a review of the laws governing cities of refuge.

Studies in the Book of Judges REL 108

Major topics covered in the course are the role of the judge and the king, the judgeship and Song of Deborah, Gideon’s test of G-d, Jephtha’s vow, the personality of Samson and the Nazarite laws, and the idol of Micha.

Studies in the Book of Kings I and II REL 239

Major topics covered in the course are biographies of the kings of Judah and Israel, the split in the kingdoms, the personalities of Elijah and Elisha, the exile of ten tribes, and the building and destruction of the first Temple.

Studies in the Book of Leviticus REL 358

Major topics covered in the course are the division of the Book of Vayikra into the themes of sacrifices and ritual purity and impurity; laws and procedures of sacrifices; inauguration of the Tabernacle; concept of ritual purity and impurity; the childbearing woman and the leper; laws of nega’im; the Yom Kippur service; forbidden conjugal relationships; sanctity and principles of everyday Jewish life; interpersonal relationships; laws reflecting on sanctity of priests and sacrifices; sanctity of time; the blasphemer; the Sabbatical Year and the Jubilee Year.

Studies in the Book of Numbers – Texts REL 359

Major topics covered in the course: overview of the Book of Numbers; camp and flags of Israel in the desert; Nazirite vow; Priestly blessing; complaint of Israel in the desert and joy in the service of G-d; the manna; Korach; the red Heifer; waters of dispute; Balak and Balaam: prophecy; the daughters of Tzelafchad; commandment to settle the Land of Israel.

Studies in the Book of Numbers – Topics REL 399

Major topics covered in the course: Camp and flags of Israel in the desert; Nazirite vow; Priestly blessing; complaint of Israel in the desert and joy in the service of G-d; the manna; Korach; the red Heifer; waters of dispute; Balak and Balaam: prophecy; the daughters of Tzelafchad; commandment to settle the Land of Israel. Topics may vary.

Studies in the Book of Proverbs REL 349

Major topics covered in the course: Mockery and Rebuke; Love and Hate; The Righteous and the Wicked; Worry and Coping; Acquiring Wisdom; Friendship and Brotherhood; Silence; Desire; Superficiality; Integrity and Evasion; Generosity and a “Good Eye”; Faith; Involving G-d in Every Aspect of Man’s Life; G-d’s Rest and Man’s Rest; Excessive Confidence. Topic and verse selection may vary.

Studies in the Book of Psalms REL 440

Major topics covered in the course are introductory phrases, structural analysis of the various Psalms, themes and explications of selected Psalms in light of classical commentaries and rabbinic sources. Psalms may vary.

Studies in the Book of Ruth REL 374

Major topics covered in the course are historic referents, laws of conversion, laws of Levirate marriage, and the contemporary relevance of the themes in Ruth to Jewish belief.

Studies in the Book of Samuel I REL 141

Major topics covered in the course: Elkana’s pilgrimages to Shiloh; Chana and Penina; prayer; the birth of Samuel; Eli and his sons; Samuel as a prophet and leader; monarchy in Israel; Saul; mercy and cruelty: Agag and Nob; the relationship between David and Saul; David and Jonathan; major events in David’s early career; Saul and the medium; and Saul’s death.

Studies in the Book of Samuel II REL 207

Major topics covered in the course are: an overview of Samuel I and an in-depth study of the narrative of Samuel II; the personalities of Samuel, Saul, and David, and other biblical figures; and moral and religious teachings implicit in the biblical text.

Studies in the Writings of Rav Dessler REL 399

Major topics covered in the course include: Free will; Effects of Faith on worldly pursuits; Analysis of natural and supernatural phenomena; Influence of surroundings on morality; Ethics of individual, gratitude; depth and superficiality of man.

Survey of Biblical Themes REL 244

Major topics covered in the course are selected ethical, moral and theological themes from the Books of Genesis and Exodus. Topics may vary.

Topics from the Haftarot REL 299

Major topics covered in the course are selected theological, philosophical & legal themes from the Books of the Prophets along with relevant commentaries, sources and works of Jewish philosophy. Topics may vary.

Topics in Mishna Brura I REL 382

The course examines selected halachic texts, primarily from the Shulchan Aruch and the Mishna Berura. Emphasis on deriving practical conclusions from the text and understanding halachic methodology. Topics may vary.

Topics in Mishna Brura II REL 386

The course examines selected halachic texts, primarily from the Shulchan Aruch and the Mishna Berura. Emphasis on deriving practical conclusions from the text and understanding halachic methodology. Topics may vary.

Women in the Bible I REL 299

Major topics covered in the course are selected women in the Bible, based on proverbs 31 and the moral, practical and religious/philosophical implications of their lives and careers through study of the Scriptural, Talmudic and Midrasic sources. Topics may vary.

Women in the Bible II REL 299

Major topics covered in the course are selected women in the Bible, based on proverbs 31 and the moral, practical and religious/philosophical implications of their lives and careers through study of the Scriptural, Talmudic and Midrasic sources. Topics may vary.

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