Ruby Namdar

Joseph and His Master's Wife: A Tale of Love, Obsession, Temptation and Piety

Few characters in the Bible are as complex and ambiguous as the one of Joseph. What adds to the allure of his character are the many Biblical, Talmudic and Midrashic references to his exceptional physical beauty. In this class we will savor this beauty, as well as the beauty of the many tales that are told about the handsome Hebrew slave who has become the grand prince of Egypt, thus irreversibly changing the course of his people's history. We will also ask the question that lurks between the lines of this epic love tale: what really went on in the bedchamber of the wife of Potiphar the Egyptian?

Rabbi Mishael Zion on Young Moses: Hero or Villain?

Rabbi Mishael Zion is Co-Director and Director of Education at the Bronfman Fellowships, a community of over 1,000 young Jewish leaders grounded in Jewish learning and pluralism. Mishael ordained by Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and served on the faculty of the Hartman Institute. Mishael blogs regularly atText and the City and is the co-author of “A...
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Rabbi David Silber on Samson

Rabbi David Silber is the Founder and Dean of the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education. He received ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. He received the Covenant Award in 2000. He is the author of A Passover Haggadah: Go Forth and Learn (JPS, 2011).

Tali Adler, Rabbi Meir Tannenbaum & Marni Rein

Satan: Judaism’s Most Vile Villain, or Helpful Hero?

We are probably familiar with Satan from popular culture (red skin, horns, tail) and other religious traditions (God’s nemesis, pure evil, ruler of Hell), but he is none of those things in the Hebrew Bible. In this class, we’ll examine Satan’s role in the Bible and in Jewish interpretation, and may find that he has helped shaped Judaism in more ways than we could imagine.

Ruth Weiss Bergman & Rabbi Morey Schwartz: Amalek

Rabbi Morey Schwartz currently serves as Director of Education for the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He is a graduate of Yeshiva University, with a Master’s from the Bernard Revel Graduate School, and ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. He served as a congregational rabbi...
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Rabbi Zvi Hirschfield on Jethro: A Non-Jewish Hero of the Jewish People

Brought to you by The Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee Rabbi Zvi Hirschfield teaches Talmud, Halakha and Jewish Thought at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. Rabbi Hirschfield holds a B.A. in History from Columbia University and did graduate work at Harvard University in Medieval and Modern Jewish Thought. He studied...
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Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz: Why Study Biblical Characters?

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz is a teacher, philosopher, social critic and prolific author who has been hailed by Time magazine as a “once-in-a-millennium scholar.” His lifelong work in Jewish education earned him the Israel Prize, his country’s highest honor.  Born in Jerusalem in 1937 to secular parents, Rabbi Steinsaltz studied physics and chemistry at the Hebrew University. He established...
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