Fall 2024

Reading the Rabbis

Listed in: Religion, as RELI-367


Susan Niditch (Section 01)


For the Rabbis of post-biblical Judaism, the Hebrew Bible was a sacred resource to be mined, interpreted, developed, and reapplied. This course explores the rich corpus produced in classical Judaism of the post-biblical period. We will explore Rabbinic worldviews through the close reading of  legal and aggadic or non-legal texts from the Midrashim (the Rabbis’ explanations, reformulations, and elaborations of Scripture), the Mishnah, and the Talmud and examine diverse subjects ranging from human sexuality to the nature of creation, from ritual purity to the problem of unjust suffering. Topics covered will vary from year to year depending upon the texts chosen for reading. There are no prerequisites required for this course.

Limited to 15 students.  Fall semester. Professor Niditch.

How to handle overenrollment: -

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Students will become skilled in the close reading of texts in context. Their work will involve reflections on the material assigned, and they should expect to become well acquainted with the literature of classical Judaism and the vital concerns expressed.

Course Materials


Other years: Offered in Fall 2022, Fall 2024