Fall 2014 Rabbinical School Courses

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discipline:


Bible
Cantorial
Education

Hebrew (on campus)

Interdisciplinary

Jewish Thought
Literature
Liturgy

Practical Rabbinics

Rabbinics





BIBLE
         

COURSE TITLE

COURSE NO.

INSTRUCTOR

TIME

CREDITS

Genres and Themes of Biblical Literature I
Syllabus

CG BIBLE 502A

Adelman

M, 11:30 am-1 pm

3

This course will focus on Biblical narrative and legal discourse. The course will cover the arc of biblical history and historiography, examining prose selections from the Torah, as well as the historical books: Joshua, Judges, Samuel I and II and Kings I and II. Several sessions will also focus on legal, prescriptive and proscriptive material, including ritual and civil law. Particular attention is paid to the understanding of the Hebrew text and to the linguistic and literary characteristics of the different genres. First part of a two-semester sequence. Prerequisite: Hebrew IV, Level Mekorot 

Torah Core 1: Bereshit
Syllabus

RB BIBLE 100

Adelman

W, F; 11:30 am-1 pm

3

In this course, we will engage in close readings of selected passages in Genesis (Bereshit), with special attention granted to the dynamics between the matriarchs and patriarchs. We will hone our Hebrew text reading skills, with occasional forays into parallel Ancient Mesopotamian source. Students will be introduced to the basics of Medieval commentary (Parashanut), with a special focus on Rashi and his midrashic sources, in order to familiarize themselves with classic questions of rabbinic exegesis (parashanut). Level: Year 1

Torah Core 2: Shemot
Syllabus

RB BIBLE 200 Rhodes Tu, F; 11:30 am-1 pm

3

The Book of Exodus will be studied as the national saga of the Jewish people. Students will read selections from both Mekhilta and Shemot Rabbah, showing the uses of the biblical text in the halakhic and aggadic development of Judaism, as well as medieval commentaries and modern perspectives, including the importance of the Exodus and Sinai motifs in Jewish theology and the uses made of the Exodus paradigm beyond the bounds of Judaism. Level: Year 2

Torah Core 4: Bamidbar
Syllabus
RB BIBLE 400 Frankel
(by Skype from Israel)
Th, 9:30-11:15 am

3

This course examines the Book of Numbers (BeMidbar), drawing on historical-critical approaches, as well as classical Jewish parshanut. We will address themes such as: the role of census, tribal encampment, trials in the Wilderness, challenges to leadership and prophecy. Students will engage in a wide-range of reading strategies – from Tannaitic Midrash (Sifre) to Jacob Milgrom. Level: Year 3 and 4

Torah Core 5: Devarim
Syllabus

RB BIBLE 500 Kates W, 11:30 am-1 pm 3

This course examines the book of Deuteronomy as a source of Jewish religious teachings and values, including readings from midrashic, medieval, and modern interpretive sources. It also discusses the place of Devarim in the emergence of rabbinic Judaism, including halakhic, ethical and devotional dimensions. Level: Year 5

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CANTORIAL
         

COURSE TITLE

 COURSE NO.

INSTRUCTOR

TIME

CREDITS

Basic Cantillation
Syllabus

CG CANTR 519

Treitman

F, 9-11:15 am

3

This class is an introduction to the basic concepts of Torah cantillation. Emphasis will be placed on acquiring the skills needed to chant Torah on weekdays, Sabbaths and festivals using a common Ashkenazi trope. Discussions will also include the rituals surrounding the Torah service, the history of cantillation/trope, and the underlying syntactic structure of the system of cantillation. Cannot count for graduate credit for students in the Cantorial Ordination programs. Level: Mekorot

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EDUCATION
         

COURSE TITLE

COURSE NO.

INSTRUCTOR

TIME

CREDITS

Models of Teaching
Syllabus

CG EDUC 601 C1

Rodenstein

F, 9-11 am

3

In this course, students will analyze a wide repertoire of teaching models in Jewish education, influenced by content, students and institutional contexts, which represent techniques, philosophical approaches and values of teachers. The course will examine rationales for choosing or adapting different models and students will practice alternative approaches. Features of lesson planning and how to structure lessons and courses for Jewish educational settings will also be considered. In addition, students will reflect on their own teaching experiences and collaboratively assess alternative ways to address the range of educational issues they encounter. Level: Years 3-5 (elective)

Graduate Research Seminar in Jewish Education
Syllabus  

CG EDUC 707 Skolnick-Einhorn & Shire W, 6:30-8:00 pm
(This is a yearlong course) 
3

This research seminar is, in many ways, the culmination of a student’s years of study at Hebrew College and provides students with the opportunity to integrate their learning of Judaic texts with educational theories and practice. The final project allows students to further investigate a topic that intrigues them and relates to their work. Throughout the year-long project, students will be guided by the seminar instructors, a faculty advisor of their choosing, and by the seminar community itself. The project is then submitted as a bound written paper and presented orally at an end-of-year day of celebration. Level: Year 5

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HEBREW (ON CAMPUS)
         

All classes require purchase of a standard Hebrew-English dictionary. 

COURSE TITLE

 COURSE NO.

INSTRUCTOR

TIME

CREDITS

Hebrew V
Syllabus

CG HEBRW 205

Davis

M, Tu, Th; 2:30-4 pm

4

Building on Hebrew III and IV, the two-semester sequence of Hebrew V and VI focuses on more advanced modern Hebrew language structures and prose writings. Students will deepen their understanding of the Hebrew language, with emphasis on skill acquisition and development through the extensive use of classical and modern texts. This course gives a systematic presentation of grammatical and syntactic principles of biblical and rabbinic Hebrew (including vocabulary). Texts of different styles, such as narrative, poetry, prophecy and wisdom literature, are examined with an emphasis on literary analysis. Level: Mekorot

Hebrew VII
Syllabus

CG HEBRW 207

Bock

Tu, Th; 2:30-4 pm

3

For students who want to work with classical Jewish texts in depth, including students in the rabbinic and cantorial programs, this course will focus on the phonology, morphology and syntax of Biblical Hebrew. Solid prior knowledge of Hebrew, including mastery of the Hebrew verb system, is a prerequisite, as this course will assume such knowledge. It addresses aspects of Hebrew grammar that are distinctive of Biblical Hebrew, including the Tiberian vocalization (niqqud) and accentuation system, Biblical Hebrew's larger inventory of verb forms, and various syntactic features of Biblical Hebrew. Level: Year 1

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INTERDISCIPLINARY

 

 




COURSE NAME

COURSE NO.

INSTRUCTOR

TIME

CREDITS

Bet Midrash: Mekorot

RB INTD 050

Staff

M-F, 9-11:15 am

0

Bet Midrash: Year 1

RB INTD 100

Staff

M-F, 9-11:15 am

0

Bet Midrash: Year 2

RB INTD 200

Staff

M-F, 9-11:15 am

0

Bet Midrash: Year 3

RB INTD 300

Staff

M-F, 9-11:15 am

0

Bet Midrash: Year 4

RB INTD 400

Staff

M-F, 9-11:15 am

0

Bet Midrash: Year 5

RB INTD 500

Staff

M-F, 9-11:15 am

0

Regular Bet Midrash participation is a required part of the Rabbinical School program. Complementing formal classroom study, students will be paired in "hevrutot" for intensive study of Jewish texts. This takes place during daily Bet Midrash hours within a supervised study-hall setting, where tutors are available to help students work with the original sources and to discuss ideas and issues that emerge from the text study.

Jewish Life and Practice 1
Syllabus

RB INTD 015

Klein

F, 11:30 am-1 pm

3

Students will be introduced to the patterns and essential terminology of the cycle of Jewish religious life and other basic Jewish practices.

Havurot

RB INTD 175 Staff W, 2:15-3:15 pm 0

Required for all Rabbinical students; optional for cantorial ordination students. Level: All

Capstone Seminar, Jewish Studies

RB INTD 900

Kanarek

Th, 2:30-4 pm

3

This course is required of all graduating rabbinical students receiving the MAJS degree. Course is year-long with 2-4 sessions per semester. Level: Year 5

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JEWISH THOUGHT        

 

 




COURSE NAME

COURSE NO.

INSTRUCTOR

TIME

CREDITS

Classical Jewish Thought 
Syllabus 

RB JTHT 318

Green

Th, 11:30 am- 1 pm

3

This course will consider concepts and articulations of the nature of God, Creation and Revelation as they developed from biblical through medieval times, including consideration of rabbinic, philosophic and kabbalistic sources. Level: Year 2

Theology of Jewish Prayer
Syllabus

RB JTHT 100

Leader

M, 11:30 am-1 pm

3

This course will address the historical, phenomenological, and theological perspectives on tefillah and the siddur. Students will gain as complete a familiarity as possible with the varied worlds of Jewish prayer, including the prayer books of traditional and contemporary communities, the styles of prayer, the inner life of prayer as taught by various masters, and the theologies that underlie prayer and proceed from it. Prerequisite: Hebrew 7, Level: Year 1

Theology of the Jewish Year Cycle
Syllabus

RB JTHT 230

Rose

Th, 2:30-4 pm

3

An exploration of the Jewish sacred calendar both in its historical origins and in the fullest context of later interpretation, from early midrashic sources to reflections in contemporary theology. Prerequisite: Hebrew 8, Level: Year 2

Rational Ideal and its Opponents: Four Medieval Jewish Philosophers
Syllabus

CG JTHT 519

Mesch

Tu, 11:30 am-1 pm

3

This course will focus on the writings of four of the most influential writers and leaders of the Jewish middle ages: Saadya Gaon, Yehuda Halevi, Moses Maimonides (Rambam), and Nachmanides (Ramban). Saadya and Rambam were rationalists who believed in the ultimate importance of reason and its relevance to religion and to Judaism. Halevi, the poet and thinker, taught that while reason is important and useful, it is not essential for achieving the ultimate goal and purpose of religion. The Ramban, a great Jewish thinker, was a mystic, rationalist, leader, poet and defender of Judaism. He tried to take a middle course. The course will address how these individuals functioned as leaders and how their overall understanding of Judaism affected their approach to community and leadership. Level: Years 3

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LITERATURE        

 

COURSE NAME

COURSE NO. INSTRUCTOR TIME CREDITS
Introduction to Readings in Biblical Literature
Syllabus
RB LITR 500 Bock W, 11:30 am-1 pm 3

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to, and to build their skills in, the reading of texts in the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible. The focus will be on learning to make use of the Masoretic apparatus of vowel signs and cantillation to read with precision; familiarization with the distinctive features of Biblical Hebrew morphology and syntax; making use of a Biblical Hebrew lexicon and concordance; and developing strategies for understanding the literal meaning of Biblical Hebrew texts.Level: Mekorot

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LITURGY        
         

COURSE NAME

COURSE NO. INSTRUCTOR TIME CREDITS

Liturgy and Poetry of Yamim Noraim
Syllabus  

RB LITGY 225 Lehmann M, 2:30-4 pm 3

Students will study the classic liturgy for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, including the history of the mahzor and close reading of piyyutim (liturgical poetry). Texts will be taught in Hebrew.

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PRACTICAL RABBINICS        

 

 




COURSE NAME

COURSE NO.

INSTRUCTOR

TIME

CREDITS

Rabbinical Internship and Group Supervision

RB PRAC 550

Judson

TBD

3

Fifth year rabbinic students will be placed in internships and student pulpits at synagogues and other Jewish institutions in the greater Boston area. Level: Year 5
 

Rabbinical Internship and Group Supervision

RB PRAC 400 Judson TBD 3

Students will be placed in internships at synagogues and other Jewish institutions in Greater Boston. Students will have on-site supervision and will also meet for group supervision on campus. Internships are designed to enable students to understand the relationship between their theoretical education and their practical learning. Level: Years 3, 4

Senior Seminar
Syllabus

RB PRAC 515

Lehmann

Th, 11:30 am-1 pm

3

The Senior Seminar provides an opportunity for students approaching graduation to investigate a number of current topics that face rabbis in their practice. Most of these topics involve issues of personal status and Jewish identity such as intermarriage, Jewish identity by birth, the role of non-Jews in Jewish families and communities, and conversion. Contemporary readings from a range of Jewish sources are integrated with primary text study. Students are encouraged to bring their personal experience to class discussions. Level: Year 5

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RABBINICS        

 

 




COURSE NAME

COURSE NO.

INSTRUCTOR

TIME

CREDITS

Introduction to Mishnah
Syllabus

CG RAB 513

Leader

Tu, Th; 11:30 am-1 pm

4

This course is an intensive introduction to the form and content of the Mishnah, the first code of rabbinic law. Students will gain familiarity with classical rabbinic syntax, key concepts and frequent forms of rabbinic teachings, building a foundation for further study of rabbinic literature. Prerequisite: Hebrew 4, Level: Mekorot

Jewish Living Core 1: Berakhot
Syllabus

RB RAB 100

Rosenberg

Tu,Th; 11:30 am-1 pm

3

Through intensive, guided study of one full chapter of the tractate Berakhot, this first semester inducts first-year rabbinical students into the discipline of traditional rabbinic learning. Course work covers essential themes in the field of liturgy while building skills that are necessary for reading, understanding, appreciating, analyzing and participating in Talmudic discourse and for accessing the full range of classical rabbinic sources. Level: Year 1

Jewish Living Core 2A: Mo'ed
Syllabus 

RB RAB 200A

Kanarek

M, W; 11:30 am-1 pm

3

This course centers on intensive study of the third chapter of Tractate Mo’ed Kata, a section that focuses on death and mourning, a central area of rabbinic practice and pastoral care. As we explore ancient conceptions of death and mourning, we will solidify textual skills built during the first year of study. Additionally this course will introduce the use of Rashi as an aid in Talmud study, as well as a few select Rishonim. Level: Years 2, 3, 4

Jewish Living Core 2C: Mo'ed
Syllabus 

RB RAB 200C Rosenberg M,W; 11:30 am-1 pm
3

In this course, we will focus on methods for analyzing a sugya closely, making an argument about a sugya, and deriving religious meaning from our analysis and argument. We will spend the first portion of the semester studying the first half of the eighth chapter of Yoma, and the second portion of the semester reading and analyzing articles written about various sugyot from throughout Seder Moed. Level: Years 2, 3, 4

Hilkhot Shabbat
Syllabus 

RB RAB 215A

Leader

Tu, 2:30-4 pm

3

The course deals with the laws and traditions of the Sabbath and will use Hilkhot Shabbat as an example of how to read and research the halakhic codes, especially those of Maimonides and Caro. Level: Years 2, 3, 4

Hilkhot Shabbat
Syllabus 

RB RAB 215B Kanarek Tu, 2:30-4 pm 3

This course is an in-depth examination of some of the central concepts of hilkhot shabbat with a particular focus on the laws of bishul. Emphasizing the development of these laws from the Talmud through contemporary halakhic handbooks, we will also ask how these laws seek to transform the physical place of cooking from every day to holy. Students in this class should have prior experience in studying Tur, Beit Yosef, and Shulhan Arukh. Level: Years 2, 3, 4

Kashrut
Syllabus

RB RAB 426 Rosenberg Tu, 2:30-4 pm 3

The study of a variety of laws relating to what contemporary Jews commonly refer to as “kashrut” (even as we complicate the idea that these laws are all part of one set of concerns), considering laws relating to the mixing of milk and meat, mixtures of permitted and forbidden foods, kashering utensils, and the kashrut of various kinds of cheese. Our primary focus will be acquisition of relevant data points and translating those data points into language that makes sense for various communities. A secondary focus will be on skill-building with regard to study of Shulhan Arukh. For students desiring further enrichment, the study of other halakhic texts such as Tur, Beit Yosef, and the various commentaries on the Shulhan Arukh will be provided. Level: Year 5

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