Two New Courses: Jewish Political Thought & Tanakh Characters of the Yamim Noraim

I’ve been teaching two exciting new courses at The Bronfman Center since the start of semester – both designed to be relevant to this point in the Jewish and secular calendar as well as stimulating and rigorous Torah.

The first is Jewish Political Though focusing on the range of views about the relationship between religion and state developed by the rabbis of Middle Ages. An important topic at any time,but also one which gives us ways to think about the relationship between Judaism and the State of Israel, as well as the nature of politics from the perspective of the great sages of our tradition during this election cycle.

The second is a series called Tanakh Characters of the Yamim Noraim . My claim is that although not focused around a single historical event, an appreciation for the richness of these festivals is greatly enhanced by paying close attention to the Biblical stories that make up the Torah readings and tefillot of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur,  allowing us to uncover the humanity, range and depth of the critical ideas at the heart of these festivals.

Here are the recordings and source sheets for the first two classes in each course. More to follow as the courses unfold.

Jewish Political Thought

  1. Monarchy in The Bible: The Mitzvah To Appoint A King (or is it?)
  2. The Rambam’s Political Philosophy: Religion Serves The State, The State Serves Religion

Tanakh Characters of the Yamim Nora’im

  1. Rosh HaShanah Mussaf and Noah as Everyman 
  2. The 13 Attributes of Hashem’s Mercy: Mosheh vs. Yechezkel
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