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Course Descriptions Fall 2017
Beit Midrash TLV -
Tanach (Sefer Bamidbar/ The Book of Numbers) - Daniel Reifman
Monday & Wednesday, 13:00 - 15:00, October 18, 2017- January 3, 2018
Often overshadowed by the towering narrative masterpieces of Genesis and Exodus, the Book of Numbers is the secret gem of the Torah – the darkest and strangest volumes of its five books. This course will explore Sefer Bamidbar’s narrative, themes, and theology. This class will focus primarily on the Torah text, but will also use classic commentaries when helpful.
Rabbi Dr. Daniel Reifman received ordination and an MA in Bible from Yeshiva University and has taught both in the Drisha Scholars Circle and at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. He received his doctorate at Bar Ilan University and teaches at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem.
Comfort with reading Hebrew text is preferred for this course. Course price: 2400 NIS
Talmud (Seder Moed) - Amit Gvaryahu
October 17, 2017- January 2,
This course will be a text-based Talmud class. We will learn from Seder Moed of the Babylonian Talmud, with special focus given to Masechet Yoma. This course will train students to decipher how the texts-on-the-page transform into broader theological or philosophical discussions within the Talmudic discourse of the last thousand years.
Amit Gvaryahu is a PhD candidate at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His interests are the rabbinic legal system, midrashic hermeneutic, the temple and the sacrificial system in rabbinic texts, and redaction criticism. He was the scholar in residence at Paideia, the European Institute for Jewish Studies in Stockholm for 2010. He also teaches at the Drisha Institute and Yeshivat Hadar.
Familiarity with reading Hebrew/Aramaic is encouraged, but not required. Course price: 2750 NIS
Jewish Identity in Israeli Literature - Rachel Korazim
Monday, 19:30 - 21:00, November 13, 2017 - January 8, 2018
This series is dedicated to the question “What is a Jew” – a topic which has been (and still is!) debated endlessly. We will focus on Israeli literature that explores different aspects of Jewish identity in Israel over time. Texts include short stories and poetry, with a particular focus on Haim Nahman Bialik and Shaul Tchernichovsky.
Rachel Korazim is a freelance Jewish education consultant in curriculum development for Israel and Holocaust education. Until 2008, she served as Academic Director of Distance learning programs at The JAFI Department of Education. She is a graduate of Haifa University with a PhD in Jewish education. Rachel teaches at Israel’s well known learning centers such as Pardes and the Shalom Hartman Institutes as well as numerous world Jewish communities.
Texts will be provided in Hebrew and in English. All backgrounds welcome. Course price: 1000 NIS
Theological Challenges for Modern Judaism - David Kasher
Wednesday, 19:30-21:00, October 18, 2017 - December 6, 2017
We live in an increasingly secular age, when many of the assumptions that held religious communities together for centuries have been called into question by modern science, ethics, and politics. This is perhaps especially true for Judaism, whose vengeful, male-gendered, "Old Testament" God has become for many the paradigmatic representation of an outmoded and problematic worldview.
Yet, for all the difficulties that ancient Judaism might present, contemporary Jews and non-Jews alike continue to seek a way into this complex tradition, in search of identity, spirituality, and community. What are the major ideological challenges they face as they attempt to make Judaism relevant to modern life? How are they adapting Judaism to meet their needs, and what do their attempts tell us about the future of religion in our world? We will spend each session of this class tackling one major theological challenge, examining both the classical sources that form the problem and modern writings in response to it. Our class discussions will serve as a live experiment in the attempt to reconcile an ancient faith with the modern world.
Rabbi Dr. David Kasher is a Rabbinic Educator for Kevah, a pluralistic Torah learning organization in Berkeley, CA. Kasher was ordained at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in 2007, and completed a doctoral degree at Berkeley Law School in 2016. He produces a weekly ParshaNut blog and podcast exploring the weird and wonderful riches of the genre. Check it out at
All backgrounds welcome. Course price: 1000 NIS