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Jewish Theological Seminary
3080 Broadway New York, NY 10027


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Jul 22 2024


5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Formats (virtual, in person, hybrid)


Beit Midrash Summer Series

Three Sessions
Thursday, July 11; Monday, July 22; and Tuesday, July 30, 2024

5:00–6:30 p.m. ET  
In Person at JTS
3080 Broadway, Beit Midrash (at 122nd Street)
New York City  



Session I

Shira Billet for website 2002

Rabbinic Philosophies of Forgiveness

With Dr. Shira Billet, Professor of Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages, JTS

Thursday, July 11, 2024

We will explore the concept of forgiveness and its philosophical underpinnings in rabbinic literature through different uses and meanings of the Hebrew term mehilla (מחילה)— from the restoration of a relationship through forgiveness after an interpersonal slight or offense, to forgiveness of debts, and “forgiveness” of honor (a kind of humility).

Session II

benjamin kamine

Interpreting Heretics: Strategies for Reading Rabbinic Literature in Context

With Benjamin Kamine, PhD Candidate and Adjunct Instructor in Rabbinic Literatures and Cultures, JTS

Monday, July 22, 2024

The texts on heretics and heresy in early Rabbinic literature give us only a few tantalizing clues about who and what the rabbis are objecting to. In this class, we will take a look at a wealth of parallel material from other sources in the ancient Jewish world to see if we can figure out, “What’s really bothering Rabbi Akiva?”

Session III

marjorie lehman 1

Challenges to the Requirement of Reproduction in Talmudic Law: How the Talmud Makes Its Case

With Dr. Marjorie Lehman, Associate Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics, JTS

Tuesday, July 30, 2024

In this class we will examine how the rabbis transform the divine blessing “be fruitful and multiply” in Genesis 1:28. Through the study of a Talmudic passage in Tractate Yevamot, we will discuss the complicated relationship between procreation and Jewish identity and analyze the rabbinic struggle with their own legal interventions into an area over which they had little control.