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.
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.
It’s often said that Judaism is interested in action rather than
form, but is that really true? What do Jewish sources really have to say
about beauty, visual and physical pleasure and the wonders of art? In this innovative course, Rabbi Belovski will explore classic texts and contemporary Jewish writings on aesthetics and form. As well as major themes, we will look specifically at Jewish approaches to art, music, poetry, language, food, aroma, and, of course, the pleasures of wine and sex.
Session 1: Pleasure and Aesthetics in Traditional Jewish Sources