Jewish Studies | Understanding the Rabbinic Mind
J303 | 11058 | Imhoff, S


Understanding the Rabbinic Mind (3 cr.)
S.Imhoff
JSTU-J 303 Arts and Humanities Topics in Jewish Studies #11058 / REL-
A 300 Studies in African, European, and West Asian Religions #28624
W 4:00-6:15


When we read Jewish texts from the early common era, we might easily
think: What were these rabbis thinking? This class will provide an
introduction to rabbinic literature, in general, and, in particular,
seek to understand how the rabbis interpreted the Bible, created
laws, and told stories. How do the rabbis create seemingly bizarre
interpretations of what look like straightforward biblical verses?
Why do the rabbis put together two biblical verses that seem
unrelated and then tell a story that connects those verses? Did the
rabbis really believe the stories they told? We will also consider
contemporary questions about rabbinic literature. Why have modern
literary scholars begun to look at rabbinic literature? Can rabbinic
literature speak to modern concerns about language and its ability
to communicate fully?

Fulfills: Jewish Studies Religion & Thought course; A&H. If not used
for JS major or certificate, may be used as one of two 300 level
courses required for minor in (Biblical) Hebrew when student will be
taking two semesters of Biblical Hebrew.

Fulfills: CASE A&H, Jewish Studies Religion & Thought course

Note: JSTU-J 203, JSTU-J 204, JSTU-J 303 and JSTU-J 304 can each be
repeated with different topics for a maximum of 9 credit hours.