Faculty: Howard Markose
This course is designed to bring the advanced student to a greater understanding and appreciation for the books of the Pentateuch (Humash), Bamidbar (Numbers) and Dvarim (Deuteronomy). Students will gain insight into the nature of the books, including their stories and legal sections as well as their many characters, always taking into consideration the books’ literary, historical, archeological and linguistic nuances. Medieval commentaries will be studied along with modern parshanim, and relevant ancient Near Eastern literature will also be introduced.
Students should be capable of reading the text with some level of fluency, and be able to translate in a manner which reflects a basic understanding of Biblical Hebrew grammar. No previous background in Bamidbar or Dvarim is required, although it can certainly work to the student’s advantage to already have studied these books of the Torah.
Students are to bring to class both Bamidbar Torat Hayim (Rav Kook Publishers) and a Hebrew/English Tanach (New JPS or The Jerusalem Bible are the preferred editions, but others are certainly acceptable). When we complete our study of Bamidbar, students will be asked to bring Dvarim Torat Hayim to class. Students will learn how to navigate the BDB (Brown, Driver and Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament) and the Concordance to the Tanakh (either Mandelkern or the preferred Even Shoshan).