A 5-session class with Rabbi Natan Margalit/Organic Torah.org
The basic building blocks of the Rabbinic way of thinking – and the Torah’s way of writing – was to juxtapose one text with another, to create new ideas and perspectives by taking old material and recombining it in new ways. In this class we will look at a variety of texts from the Tanakh to see how the Torah itself builds on subtle cross references and hints to its own texts, and we examine how the rabbis who wrote in the midrash and Talmud picked up on this and expanded it in their own way. What emerges is an organic, living torah, as alive and joyous as when it was given on Mount Sinai.We will look at sections from around the Tanakh, Midrash and Talmud. What did ancient romance look like? Why did they always meet at a well? What were the ecological ideas in the Bible? As background reading we will look at excerpts from these books: Daniel Boyarn, Intertextuality and the Reading of Midrash, Robert Alter, The Art of Biblical Narrative,, Ellen Davis, Scripture, Culture and Agriculture, Ilana Pardes, Countertraditions in the Bible,and some shorter articles.
Approaches to Jewish Texts:
The study of Jewish texts has been enriched in the past 20 years by insights from the fields of literature and anthropology. Many of the most puzzling and difficult parts of the Torah and Rabbinic writings become more understandable under the lens of these disciplines. Sacrifices, dietary laws, purity, all the things that look so foreign are the bread and butter of anthropology. Literary approaches allow us to see beyond the surface of legal rabbinic texts to see underlying patterns and new insights. We will read original texts as well as articles from Mary Douglas, Robert Alter, Howard Eilberg-Schwartz and others.
$150/KS members; $225/non-members
Event Location: Kerem Shalom
659 Elm St, Concord, 01742
659 Elm St
Concord, MA 01742