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Before Sinai: Jewish Values and Jewish Laws
Teacher Title Abstract Course
Rav Dr. Judah Goldberg Shiur #1: Introduction Our rabbis often use case studies to introduce certain ideas and challenges. In that spirit, let us open with a few character descriptions to illustrate the range of problems this series will address. Before Sinai: Jewish Values and Jewish Law (2)
Rav Dr. Judah Goldberg Shiur #02: Is There an Ethic Beyond Formal Jewish Law? In the first shiur, we outlined a perceived void with regard to a contemporary statement of Jewish values, and we elaborated the methodological assumptions that will guide this project. Before proceeding further, however, it is worth pausing to assess alternative approaches to both the supposed problem and its possible solution. Before Sinai: Jewish Values and Jewish Law (2)
Rav Dr. Judah Goldberg Shiur #03: Components of Berit Avot Our thesis, introduced in earlier shiurim, is that a comprehensive devotion to Judaism entails observance of two different covenants. Before Sinai: Jewish Values and Jewish Law (2)
Rav Dr. Judah Goldberg Shiur #04: Avot and Sinai: Two Different Types of Beritot The previous shiur ended with a question: If berit Avot is a bilateral covenant that imposes responsibilities on both the descendants of Avraham as well as, in a certain sense, on God, why is the Biblical text not more explicit about this? Before Sinai: Jewish Values and Jewish Law (2)
Rav Dr. Judah Goldberg Shiur #05: Distinctive Features of Berit Avot The central point of the last shiur was that berit Avot defines values, whereas berit Sinai imposes laws. This shiur will explore the practical ramifications of this key distinction. Before Sinai: Jewish Values and Jewish Law (2)
Rav Dr. Judah Goldberg Shiur #06: Independence of Berit Avot and Its Interaction with Berit Sinai – Part 1 In the previous shiurim, we outlined the general principles of berit Avot. We (1) identified the various components of berit Avot, (2) distinguished between the covenantal nature of berit Avot and the contractual nature of berit Sinai and (3) described some practical distinctions between the values of berit Avot and the laws of berit Sinai. Before Sinai: Jewish Values and Jewish Law (2)
Rav Dr. Judah Goldberg Shiur #07: Independence of Berit Avot and Its Interaction with Berit Sinai – Part 2 In the previous shiur, we addressed a particular critique of our thesis: Perhaps the responsibilities of berit Avot applied to the Avot and their followers but not to us, as berit Sinai superseded all prior frameworks for Jewish duty. Before Sinai: Jewish Values and Jewish Law (2)
Rav Dr. Judah Goldberg Shiur #08: Jewish Peoplehood (1): Conversion and Community – Part 1 Often in the study of law, certain phenomena are best understood not by evaluating mainstream cases but by purposely focusing upon the fringes. Outliers, exceptions and borderline cases can help delineate boundaries and isolate particular features. Before Sinai: Jewish Values and Jewish Law (2)
Rav Dr. Judah Goldberg Shiur #09: Jewish Peoplehood (2): Conversion and Community – Part 2 The last shiur discussed the degree to which a convert can be absorbed into the experience of Jewish peoplehood in its fullest sense. Before Sinai: Jewish Values and Jewish Law (2)
Rav Dr. Judah Goldberg Shiur #10: Jewish Peoplehood (3): Conversion at Sinai – Paradigm and Exception The previous shiurim explored the two facets of conversion that, as R. Soloveitchik described in his seminal essay “Kol Dodi Dofek,” correspond to the twin covenants that bind the Jewish people, berit Avot and berit Sinai. Before Sinai: Jewish Values and Jewish Law (2)
Rav Dr. Judah Goldberg Shiur #11: Jewish Peoplehood (4): Is There a Back Door to Judaism? Part One In earlier shi’urim we described the fundamental principle that Jewish conversion involves the entrance of the convert to both berit Avot and berit Sinai simultaneously. Before Sinai: Jewish Values and Jewish Law (2)
Rav Dr. Judah Goldberg Shiur #12: Jewish Peoplehood (5): Is There a Back Door to Judaism? Part Two The last shiur began with a question regarding the national and spiritual aspects of conversion: Does the convert confront each one separately, or does conversion mean acceptance into the nation, which only secondarily results in obligation towards mitzvot? Before Sinai: Jewish Values and Jewish Law (2)
Rav Dr. Judah Goldberg Shiur #13: Jewish Peoplehood (6): Incomplete Conversions – Part One In the last two shiurim, we looked at the relationship between entrance into berit Avot and acceptance of berit Sinai in the context of conversion. Before Sinai: Jewish Values and Jewish Law (2)
Rav Dr. Judah Goldberg Shiur #14: Jewish Peoplehood (7): Incomplete Conversions – Part Two In the last shiur, we began to explore various examples of converts who participate fully in only one of the two covenants that govern Jewish identity. Before Sinai: Jewish Values and Jewish Law (2)
Rav Dr. Judah Goldberg Shiur #15: Jewish Peoplehood (8): Leaving Judaism Having examined extensively the dual nature of Jewish identity as reflected through the laws of conversion, we now turn our gaze from the entrance to the exit. Before Sinai: Jewish Values and Jewish Law (2)
Rav Dr. Judah Goldberg Shiur #16: Jewish Peoplehood (9): Zionism and Non-Orthodox Jews in the Thought of R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik After spending several shiurim describing a value of Jewish peoplehood as it is manifested in various areas of Jewish law, we turn our attention to exploring what it demands of us in our daily personal and communal lives. Before Sinai: Jewish Values and Jewish Law (2)
Rav Dr. Judah Goldberg Shiur #17: Jewish Peoplehood (10): Covenantal Zionism In the last shiur, we focused on R. Soloveitchik’s essay “Kol Dodi Dofek,” which frames support for Zionism through commitment to the dual covenants of Avot and Sinai. Before Sinai: Jewish Values and Jewish Law (2)
Rav Dr. Judah Goldberg Shiur #18: The Land of Israel (1): Definitions of the Land of Israel This shiur begins our examination of the second core principle of berit Avot, namely, commitment to the Land of Israel. Before Sinai: Jewish Values and Jewish Law (2)
Rav Dr. Judah Goldberg Shiur #19: The Land of Israel (2): The Land of Israel and Berit Avot In the last shiur, we surveyed the multiple definitions that scholars use for the Land of Israel in order to explain a variety of inconsistent phenomena. Before Sinai: Jewish Values and Jewish Law (2)
Rav Dr. Judah Goldberg Shiur #20: The Land of Israel (3): The Land of Israel and the Exodus The previous shiur ended with an incredible claim by the Talmud (Bava Batra 117a): The generation of the Exodus acquired the Land of Israel in concrete, halakhic terms, even before they left Egypt and even though they personally never made their way to the Holy Land. Before Sinai: Jewish Values and Jewish Law (2)
Rav Dr. Judah Goldberg Shiur #21: The Land of Israel (4): The Land of Israel as a Place of Divine Presence – Part 1 In the last few shiurim, we have attempted to delineate multiple aspects of the Land of Israel and to trace which of them derive from berit Avot and which from berit Sinai. Before Sinai: Jewish Values and Jewish Law (2)
Rav Dr. Judah Goldberg Shiur #22: The Land of Israel (5): The Land of Israel as a Place of Divine Presence – Part 2 In the previous shiur, we discerned two different ways of relating to “God’s Presence” in the Land of Israel. Before Sinai: Jewish Values and Jewish Law (2)
Rav Dr. Judah Goldberg Shiur #23: The Land of Israel (6): Summary: Five Dimensions of the Land of Israel In shiur #18, we began to consider different conceptions of the Land of Israel, which quickly multiplied in number. Before Sinai: Jewish Values and Jewish Law (2)
Rav Dr. Judah Goldberg Shiur #24: The Land of Israel (7): Bikkurim and Berit Avot Over the last several shiurim, we have differentiated between the “sanctity of the soil” of the Land of Israel (category #5) and other dimensions of the Land, such as the “title” of the Land of Israel (categories #1-2) or the holiness of the Divine Presence (categories #3-4). Before Sinai: Jewish Values and Jewish Law (2)
Rav Dr. Judah Goldberg Shiur #25: The Land of Israel (8): Mikra Bikkurim and Viduy Ma’aser In this shiur, we shift our attention from the mitzva of bringing bikkurim to the mitzva of reciting a text upon their offering (“mikra bikkurim”). Before Sinai: Jewish Values and Jewish Law (2)