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Sunday, March 19 • 12:00 - 12:45
Teaching Biblical Criticism and Revelation in Jewish High School

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"Revelation as a model for teaching Biblical Criticism in Jewish High Schools." Revelation and Authority by Benjamin Sommer has been a wonderful book which blends a reading of the Bible through the lens of the critical Documentary Hypothesis as well as Jewish philosophy throughout the ages. Firstly, following Sommer, analyzing the Bible through the lens of Biblical Criticism has allowed students to see the various lenses and approaches that exist within the text we know as the Bible. Doing so directly in the Sinai Revelation has challenged the views of many students, and has allowed them to have a paradigm--arguably as old as the Bible itself--in which to interpret Revelation in the modern era. The exercise is not only beneficial for biblical studies as an opening to multiplicitous interpretation, the polyvalence of the texts, etc., but it has also proved beneficial to students creating their own lens of Jewish Thought in which to interpret for themselves Rabbinics. 
Throughout the process, we have explored the Midrashic, medieval, and modern Jewish philosophical interpretations of Revelation to allow students to see the tradition they know as Judaism as validating pluralistic models of Truth. In dividing these thinkers into Minimalist and Maximalist camps, students have been able to explore and evaluate the approaches for what they are, and how each theory carries with it some sort of benefit and detriment. In the modern age, I follow the lead of Sommer in seeing this fruitful conversation between Biblical Criticism & Jewish intellectual history as crucially relevant to the formation of CHAT student's own theological views. I hope that in sharing these ideas and discussing this paradigm we will become encouraged to keep challenging our perceptions of truth on the never ending journey of life.

avatar for Rafael Sotto

Rafael Sotto

Growing up in Toronto, Raffi attended Or Chaim, went off to Israel, and returned to complete a BA in psychology at York University. Raffi then pursued a MA in Jewish Education at Azrieli Graduate School of Yeshiva University. Raffi is currently in his final year of an MA in Jewish Studies at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Learning and Jewish Leadership. Raffi has taught Jewish Studies at several Toronto day schools and currently at Tanenbaum... Read More →

Sunday March 19, 2017 12:00 - 12:45
L3 27th Floor

Attendees (19)