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
Session 5: The Akeidahs of Yishmael, Music, Art and Drama Session 6: Was Avraham Right? Rav Kook and the 20th Century

The Genius of the Rashbam

Rashbam’s Torah Commentary: Creativity, Literalism and Peshat

JLE October – December 2012

Session 1: Introduction and BeReishit

Session 2: Rashbam and Peshat

Session 3: When Rashi opts for Derash

Session 4: Yishmael, Yitzchak and Akeidah

Session 5: Chevron and Yitzchak

Session 6: Adventures in Parashat Toldot

Session 7: The Avot and Mitzvot

The Genius of the 19th Century

Torah Commentators’ Response to Modernity

JLE Oct - Dec 2011

Part 1: Introduction, BeReishit & Noach

Part 2: Netziv's Introduction and Lech Lecha

Part 3: Introduction to Ketav VeHaKabbalah and VaYera

Part 4: Chayey Sarah and Toldot

Part 5: Introduction to Malbim and VaYetzey Part 6: Introduction to HaKetav VeHaKabbalah (2) and VaYishlach

Part 7: Introduction to Malbim (2) and VaYeshev