Spring/Summer Course Guide

Near Eastern Studies

Hebrew and Jewish Cultural Studies (HJCS) (Division 389)




Spring Half-Term, 1998 (May 5-June 23, 1998)

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270/Judaic Studies 270. Introduction to Rabbinic Literature. (3). (HU).

For about 2,000 years, up to the eighteenth century in Europe and to the twentieth in Africa and Asia, the vast majority of Jews lived according to religious law (halacha). This is still the way of life of many Jews. It is based on the "oral law," which is an elaboration and interpretation of the Mosaic law. The course surveys the character and development of the oral law, beginning with the activities of Anshei Knesset Hagdolah (Men of the Great Assembly), the Sanhedrin and the Hillel Patriachate. We examine the literary forms, composition and redaction of the Mishna, Tosefta, Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmud, and the Midrashei Halacha and Aggada. The course will go beyond the "classical" rabbinic period and examine the rabbinic schools (yeshivot) and major rabbinic authorities in their geographical and historical settings. Cost:1 (Steinfeld)
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291. Topics in Hebrew and Judaic Cultural Studies. (3). (Excl).
Section 101 Developing Conversational and Oral Skills in Hebrew.
This course will concentrate on development of conversational skills and vocabulary. There will be discussions on current topics of interest. Students will be expected to do short oral presentations on a weekly basis on a final project. (Sacerdoti)
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296/Judaic Studies 296/Rel. 296. Perspectives on the Holocaust. (3). (HU).

As "an event at the limits," the Holocaust has signified the bankruptcy of Western values held since the Enlightenment and has forced us to reconsider comfortable assumptions about ethics, aesthetics, human progress, modernity, and the positive power of language. In this course, we will explore questions concerning the perpetrators' motivations, the victims' responses, and the forms and functions of post-Holocaust remembrances. Our overarching questions will be: How to understand? How to live after? And how best to remember? The course consists of two parts: "history" and "memory." The first half is devoted to antecedents and the war years, focusing especially on (in)human behavior during the Holocaust; in the second half of the course, we will discuss its aftermath, in particular issues of testimony, representation and memorialization. We will rely on a variety of sources in our exploration history, fiction, poetry, music, film, art, survivors' testimonies. Requirements: class participation, frequent short response papers, take-home midterm, final. Cost:3
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Summer Half-Term, 1998 (June 29-August 18, 1998)

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Spring/Summer Term, 1998 (May 5-August 18, 1998)

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