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The “Truth” About Torah
February 7 , 7:30 pm
Jews have traditionally believed that the written Torah is of divine status and conveys eternal truth borne of God’s revelation at Mount Sinai. Yet the history of that traditional belief in the divinity of the Torah is complex and illuminating, both within Judaism and in the context of Jewish interaction with the outside world. When and why did some ancient Jews begin to think of the Torah as conveying a single divine “truth,” and when and why did other ancient Jews resist this new way of thinking? What was at stake in the truth wars of Jewish antiquity, and what lessons can be drawn for the truth wars of our own time?
This year’s Lucy S. Dawidowicz Lecture will feature Christine Hayes, PhD, Robert F. & Patricia Ross Weis Professor of Religious Studies in Classical Judaica at Yale University. Professor Hayes, a first-rate scholar of ancient Judaism who specializes in Talmudic and midrashic studies, will trace the evolution of scriptural and legal authority in Jewish intellectual history. She will show that the Talmudic rabbis construed divine law in ways that would forever distinguish classical Judaism from Hellenistic and Christian conceptions, in an ancient debate that continues to shape and inform the foundations of Western thought.
Don’t miss what will surely be a fascinating and stimulating lecture by a preeminent Jewish studies professor, given in honor of Lucy Dawidowicz, z”l, world-renowned Jewish historian and beloved former Or Zarua member.