Religious Studies | Introduction to Judaism
R245 | 12793 | Wasserman


The above section carries Culture Studies (A) and Arts and
Humanities distribution.

A rabbinic story imagines a man who approaches the leading Jewish
sages of the day, searching for the essence of Jewish teaching. He
comes first to Shammai, and tells him: “Teach me all the Torah while
I stand on one foot.”  Shammai pushes him away with the builder’s
measure he happens to have in his hand. Then the man comes before
Hillel, putting the challenge to him: “Teach me all the Torah while
I stand on one foot.” Hillel answers him: “What is hateful to you,
do not do to your fellow. All the rest is commentary—Go and study!”

( after Babylonian Talmud Shabbat 31A)

In this course, we will study the commentary that Hillel speaks of,
examining the texts and traditions of Judaism in search of Jewish
answers to the following questions: How can people know God? What
does God ask of people? Why is there suffering in the world?

We will investigate the diversity of Jewish experience, attending to
both differences and continuities in Jewish practice and Jewish
thought across time and space. We’ll give special consideration to
recent changes in Jewish life in response to secular and feminist
critiques, the Holocaust, and the emergence of the State of Israel.

NOTE: Jewish Studies majors can enroll in section 12794 check
Schedule of Classes, ONESTART or your Advisor