Lecture Topics

Tanakh:

 

Sefer Bereishit:  The relationship between the Gan Eden story and the patriarchal narratives

Various Topics in Sefer Shemot (for instance, see the four lectures I'm giving on Shemot at http://www.skokieshul.org/miniseries)

5 Megillot, such as The Image of Rut of Rabbinic Literature and Literary Stylistics in Megillat Esther

The Historical Context of Ezra-Nehemiah

Early Post-exilic Judaism: Chronicles, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemia, and the end of Isaiah 

[I can also speak on any parsha, and have given many parsha-related drashot on Shabbat here in Chicago, most recently at Skokie Valley Synagogue comparing Joseph with Judah Maccabee]

 

Second Temple Judaism and the Rabbinic Period:

 

Jewish Novels in the Ancient World: Judith and Aseneth, Judith, and Greek Esther

Women in Early Judaism: Salome Alexandria, Judith, Greek Esther

Jewish Queens and the Flawed Men Who Love Them: Women Rulers in Early Judaism

Salome Alexandra: The Forgotten Queen of Judea

Was There a Doctrine of Zionism in Second Temple Judaism? 

The Ancient Roots of Apocalypticism and Messianism

Universalism in Ancient Judaism (my dissertation topic)

What Did Jews Write About After the Babylonian Exile?

Introduction to the Apocrypha

The History of the Maccabean Age and Its Literature

What Does the Holiday of Chanukah Really Commemorate?

Jewish Life in the First Century

The Figure of Moshe in Early Jewish Literature

What Are the Dead Sea Scrolls and Why Do They Matter?

How did the Jews in the Second Temple Period Interpret the Tanach?

Sectarian Judaism and Common Judaism: What Made You a Jew in Second Temple Times?

The Excommunication of Rabbi Eliezer and the Democratization of Rabbinic Judaism

Creating the Universe and Creating Israel: The Nation as Microcosm of the World in Early Judaism

The Jews of Egypt in the Second Temple Period  

The Decalogue versus the Shema: Two Theologies of Early Judaism 

The Rebellions of the Jews: From the Great War to the Bar Kokhba Revolt

Ruth in the Rabbinic Imagination

The Hebrew Bible in Greek: Understanding the Politics of Translation and Scriptural Sanctity in Early Judaism

 

The Modern Recovery of Ancient Jewish Texts:

 

Solomon Schechter and the Discovery of the Cairo Genizah

The Recovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and The Long Road to Their Publication

The Ancient Jewish Documents Preserved In Catholic Monasteries

 

 

Contemporary Issues in Orthodox Judaism:

 

The Ascent of Scripture in Christian and Jewish Reform Movements

Women's Leadership and Ordination in Orthodox Judaism: Where are we now? 

The Emerging Interest of Orthodox Leadership in Jewish-Christian Dialogue

Lecture History

“Women’s Leadership in Orthodox Judaism,” Catholic-Jewish Lay Dialogue of Chicago, January 29, 2018

 

“Interpretive Practices in Second Temple Literature and Midrashic Literature: Moses as a Case Study,” Association of Jewish Studies Annual Conference, December 18, 2017

 

“The Reformation and the Dawn of Jewish Reform Movements,” Iona College, October 25th, 2017

 

“The Seven Blessings of the Jewish Marriage Ceremony,” Jewish-Catholic Scholars Dialogue of Chicago, March 2017

 

“Novellas in Early Judaism,” Young Israel of Stamford, Connecticut, February 2017

 

“The Changing Figure of Moses in Early Judaism,” “Was There a Doctrine of Zionism in Early Judaism?” Scholar in Residence at Stern College of Yeshiva University, February 2017

 

“Aggressive Matriarch or Passive Maiden? How Jewish and Christian Writers Interpreted the Rebecca Stories of Genesis in the Greco-Roman World,” Association of Jewish Studies, December 2016

 

“Don’t Make Me Laugh: The Absence of Humor in Early Christian and Jewish Rewritten Texts,” Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, November 2016

 

“The Origins of Israel in 1 Maccabees and in Judith,” Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, November 2016

 

“Was There a Doctrine of Zionism in Early Judaism,” “Perfect Philosopher or Fallible Servant of God: The Portrayal of Moses in Second Temple Literature and Early Rabbinic Literature,” “Solomon Schechter and the Discovery of the Cairo Genizah,” “Passover in the Second Temple Period,” Scholar in Residence at Torah-in-Motion of Toronto, March 2016

 

“The Role of the Sabbath in Jewish Universalist and Particularist Literature of the Second Temple Period,” Society of Biblical Literature Annual National Meeting, November 2015

 

“Varieties of Universalism in Ancient Judaism,” Annual Winter Shapiro Lecture at Catholic Theological Union, March 2015

 

“The Reception History of the Tower of Babel Story in Genesis 11,” Catholic-Jewish Scholars Dialogue of Chicago, December 2014

 

 “Conversion in the Jewish Tradition,” Bernardin Center, Chicago IL, November 2014

 

“Property and Piety in Scripture,” Sacred Texts and Human Contexts International Conference, Fatih University, Istanbul, Turkey, June 2014

 

“Interpretations of Abraham’s Circumcision in Early Christianity and Midrash Genesis Rabbah,” Enoch Seminar, Montreal, CA, May 21, 2014

 

“Introduction to Jewish Medieval Methods of Biblical Interpretation,” Or Torah Synagogue, Four part lecture series, Skokie, IL, April 2014

 

“Second Temple Judaism Today: How Texts were Discovered and Collected into What We Call the Pseudepigrapha,” Loyola University, Expected March 18th, 2014

 

“Biblical Universalism in the Biblical and Post Biblical Periods,” Catholic-Jewish Scholars’ Dialogue of Chicago Lecture, December 16th, 2013

 

“Pseudo-Jonathan’s Commentary to Genesis 15 as Polemical Apocalypticism,” International Organization for Targum Studies conference, Munich, Germany, August 9th, 2013

 

“The Book of Ruth: Fulcrum Between Patriarchal History and Messianic Destiny,” Maimonides Synagogue, Boston, MA, May 2013

 

“Esther and Ruth as Literary Contrasts,” Two-part lecture series, Bnot Torah of Lexington, MA, May and June 2013

 

“Was There a Doctrine of Return Among Second Temple Diasporan Jews?” WJSA Annual Conference, Los Angeles, CA, April 2013

 

“Why does Second Temple Literature associate Abraham with the holiday of Tabernacles?” Young Israel of Brookline, MA, October 9th, 2012

 

“How did Late Second Temple Diasporan Jews Relate to the Jerusalem Temple?” Maayan Torah Initiative for Women, Boston, MA, May 20th, 2012

 

“How did Late Second Temple Diasporan Jews Relate to the Jerusalem Temple?” BOLLI Lecture at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, May 8th, 2012

 

“Echoes of Universalist Testament Literature in Christian and Rabbinic Texts,” Jewish Theological Seminary Graduate Student Conference on Lost Texts, New York, New York, April 29th, 2012

 

“Rabbi Akiva the Anti-Romantic: Some Comments on the Song of Songs,” Young Israel of Brookline, MA, April 14th, 2012

 

“Feminism and Orthodoxy,” Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, December 3rd, 2011

 

“Maccabean History in Rabbinic and Early Christian Literature,” Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, September 23rd, 2011

 

“ ‘Neither Messiah, nor Elijah, nor Prophet:’ Parallelism in John 1:19-42,” Society for Biblical Literature Northeast Regional Conference, Newton, MA, April 29th, 2011

 

“The Theme of Divine Knowledge in the Book of Exodus,” Brandeis Orthodox Organization, Waltham, MA, April 7th, 2011

 

“David and Bathsheba in the Bible and Rabbinic Literature,” BOLLI Lecture at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, October 28th, 2010

 

“The Flood and the First Covenant: A Third Creation Story,” Young Israel of Brookline, Brookline, MA, Sept. 2010

 

“Advantages of a Split Monarchy,” Center for Modern Torah Leadership Conference Presentation, Sharon, MA, July 2010

 

“Who’s on the Page? Medieval Biblical Exegesis,” Two part lecture at Bnot Torah of Lexington, MA, April 18th, 2010, and April 25th, 2010

 

“The Character of David in Rabbinic Literature,” BOLLI Lecture at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, March 4th, 2010

 

“The Character of Moses in Second Temple Literature,” Young Israel of Brookline, Brookline, MA, January 16th, 2010

 

“A Review of Genesis 37: Questions and Review,” Preliminary lecture to Prof. Aviva Zornberg, Young Israel of Brookline, MA, May 5th, 2009

 

“Mishkan, Mikdash, and the holiday of Sukkot: The relationship between Sacred Structures and Sukkot in Tanakh,” Annual Simchat Torah Lecture, Young Israel of Brookline, MA, October 22, 2008

 

“Midrashic and Modern Approaches to the Fallability of Biblical Heroes,” Teaching Halakha: Center for Modern Torah Leadership Conference Presentation, Sharon, MA, August 13, 2008

 

“The Role of Infertility in the Gan Eden story and the Patriarchal Narratives,” Abraham Arbesfeld Kollel Yom Rishon Scholar-in-residence, Yeshiva University, New York, New York, March 23, 2008

 

“The Strange Story of Exodus 24 and its relationship with Exodus 32-34,” Young Israel of Brookline, MA, February 2, 2008

 

“Structure and Pattern in Bamidbar,” Rosalie Katchen Annual Memorial Lecture, Congregation Shaarei Tefillah of Newton, MA, June 2007

 

“Names and Naming in Megillat Rut,” Annual Shavuot Lecture, Young Israel of Brookline, MA, May 2007

 

“Literary Relationships between Gan Eden and the Patriarchal Narratives,” Young Israel of Brookline, MA, March 2007

 

“Significance of Tisha B’Av in Jewish History and Biblical Literature,” Summer Beit Midrash Scholar-in-residence, Congregation Shaarei Tefillah of Newton, August 2006

 

“Significance of Tisha B’Av in Jewish History and Biblical Literature,” Chabad of Lexington, MA, July 2006

 

“Chesed in Megillat Rut,” Young Israel of Brookline, MA, May 2006

 

“Thematic unity in Bamidbar,” Young Israel of Brookline, MA, April 2006

 

“Keywords and Irony in Megillat Esther, Literary Relationship between Gan Eden and the Patriarchal Narratives, The theme of “knowing” and “not knowing” in the Exodus story,” Chabad of Lexington, MA, March 2005-February 2006