NML357H1: Legends of the Jews (Aggadah)


This course is an introduction to the exegetical methods of the rabbinic sages in their analysis of biblical texts, with special attention to issues of intertextuality. After a quick overview of the genres of midrashic literature, we shall examine the midrashic methods used to transition from the biblical text to the midrash. Our main focus will be on Original Sin in the Garden of Eden and its repercussions. Our primary texts will be Bereishit Rabbah, Avot de Rabbi Natan, and Alphabeta deBen Sirah. We shall follow these midrashim in other midrash collections such as Midrash HaGadol, Tanhuma, Bereishit Rabbati, and Aggadat Bereishit. The motif of Original Sin has had significant reverberations in Judaism and Christianity and societies influenced by these traditions.

Intermediate-level Hebrew (Modern or Biblical)
Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)