Teacher: Meir Schweiger
The goal of this course is to give students the ability to analyze a section of Humash with the classic medieval commentaries. For this class, students are expected to have a working knowledge of Hebrew and some formal training in the study of Biblical texts.
The focus of the class will be two-fold:
1) To develop the student’s skills in reading and analyzing the classic commentaries. Students will be expected to become familiarized with the different approaches of the various commentators by carefully reading each one and comparing/contrasting their styles and content. Students will be encouraged to read the Biblical text carefully, to see the “gaps” and difficulties, which generate a variety of responses by the different commentators.
2) To deal with the issues and concepts raised by both the Biblical text and commentaries. Although the class will be grounded in the development of skills, it will encourage students to pursue the depth of the text and commentaries, to explore concepts and themes that impact on one’s life. Discussion of themes will be the culmination of a rigorous analysis of the text rather than a substitute for it.
Texts – We will study Chapters 1-20 of Shmot, focusing on:
1) The enslavement of the Jewish people,
2) The Ten Plagues
3) The First Seder and the Exodus
4) The Miracle of the Reed Sea
5) The Desert Experience
6) The revelation at Sinai
7) The personal and public life of Moshe, and how it interfaces with the fate of the nation
All students will be expected to purchase and bring to class the following books:
1) Shemot Mikraot G’dolot (preferably Mossad HaRav Kook edition- Torat Chayim)
2) Hebrew-English TaNAkh – JPS or Keter
3) Hebrew-English Dictionary (preferably Alkalay)