From Proof to Passion

Changing Interpretations of the Akeidah

LSJS Nov - Dec 2016


From LSJS Website

This course will explore one of the most well-known and widely interpreted biblical episodes – the Binding (Akedah) of Isaac. Using classical Jewish sources, revisionist Hasidic ideas, Islamic and Christian texts, song lyrics and more, we will build a broader picture of this beloved but deeply troubling story.


Session 1: The Akeidah Story as Read by the Sages
Session 2: A Mediaeval Shift - It's all About Potential
Session 3: Later Interpreters and Early Chassidic Approaches Session 4: Kierkegaard and 19th-Century Chassidic Revisionism

Shabbat Shuvah 5777

As the Gates Close: The Timing and Purpose of Ne'ilah

To be delivered at GGS after Minchah, Shabbat Shuvah 5777

Primary Sources:

Ta'anit 26a
Yerushalmi Brachot 4:1
Yoma 87b with Rashi, Rosh, Ran, Ba'al HaMa'or and Me'iri ad loc.
Selections from Yad Hilchot Tefillah U'Nesi'at Kapayim Chapters 1, 3 & 14
Tur OC Siman 623 with Bet Yosef and Bach ad loc.
Shulchan Aruch OC Siman 623:2 with Magen Avraham and Taz ad loc.

Shabbat HaGadol Derashah 5776

A Song in Two Parts: Hallel at the Seder

To be delivered at GGS after Minchah, Shabbat HaGadol 5776

Primary Sources:

Selections from Mishnah Pesachim: 9:2; 10-5-7
Selections from Bavli Pesachim: 85b; 109a; 117a; 118a (with commentary of Ran)
Tosefta Pesachim 10:9
Tosefot Yom Tov to Pesach 10:6
Yerushalmi Megillah 2:1
Teshuvot HaGaonim Sha'arey Teshuvah 120
Yad Hilchot Chanukah 3:6 with notes of Ra'avad and Magid Mishneh
Chiddushey Griz HaLevi ad loc.
Tosefot Rid Pesachim 116b

The Patchwork Bible

Responding to Bible Criticism in an Age of Reason

October - December 2015

From the LSJS Website

In this course, Rabbi Belovski will explore some of the thorniest challenges to traditional Judaism of the past 200 years since the rise of Biblical Criticism. Issues considered will include: Divine authorship of the Torah. The Documentary Hypothesis (Higher Bible Criticism) as well as Lower Bible Criticism and Textual Integrity. This course will involve the study of Maimonides, Ibn Ezra and other commentators to understand responses to these challenges.

Session 1: Introduction

Session 2: Alternative Approaches to the Rambam Session 3: Selected Bases for the Documentary Hypothesis
Session 4: Responses from Classical Sources
Session 5: Responses from Later Sources (1): Cassuto and Hertz
Session 6: Responses from Later Sources (2): Breuer and Bazak
Session 7: Responses from Later Sources (3): Weiss Halivni, Berman, Sarna and Katz