In the wake of the destruction of the Second Temple, the Rabbis engineered a “new Judaism,” with new methods for perceiving God’s will and new “religious technologies” for Jewish meaning-making. What can we deduce about their understanding of God from this new system they created, which might inform our own understandings of God? What can we learn about discerning God’s will from understanding how they discerned God’s will ? How did they reconcile a fixed sacred text with an evolving sense of right and wrong? What gave them the authority to “change the rules” and reinterpret “God’s word”? How did they understand the sacredness of the biblical text? What role did it play in their “new Judaism”? Were they trying to attach themselves to it or separate themselves from it? How might we reconcile our sense of right and wrong with the biblical text when they seem to conflict? And how might we, too, experience Talmud study as a spiritual practice?
This course is taught weekly, year-round, in Chicago.
Supported by the Nathan Cummings Foundation