Course Schedule

See the table below for the schedule of topics, what texts to prepare for class, and assignment due dates.

Last updated: April 16, 2018

Date Topic Assignments
Jan. 22 Introduction: What is (and is not) Parshanut?

Forms, Methods, Sources, Transmission

Texts: In-class: Saʿadyah to Bereshit 3

Methodological comments (source sheet)

Ashkenazic Approaches
Jan. 29 Derash: Rashi Shemini: Nadav and Avihu

Texts: Rashi to Vayiqra 10: 2-6

Reading: R. Harris, “Jewish Biblical Exegesis from Its Beginning to the Twelfth Century”

Feb. 5

 

 

Feb. 12

From Derash to Peshat: Rashi, Rashbam, Ḥizquni

 

Con’t.

Be-ha‘alotekha: Miriam’s Affliction

Texts: Rashi, Rashbam & Ḥizquni to Bamidbar 12: 1, 4 (where they appear)

Reading: E. Viezel, “The Secret of the Popularity of Rashi’s Commentary on Torah”

Texts: Rashi, Rashbam & Ḥizquni to Bamidbar 12: 10, 12, 14 (where they appear)

(No secondary source readings; assignment sheet distributed)

Feb. 26 Con’t. Shelaḥ: The Generation of the Desert

Texts: Rashi, Rashbam & Ḥizquni to Bamidbar 13: 2, 16; 14: 16, 33 (where they appear)

Reading: E. Kanarfogel, “Midrashic Texts and Methods in Tosafist Torah Commentaries” (look at sec. I & II)

*Assignment 1: Derash based on Rashi

Sefaradic Approaches
Mar. 12 Peshat: Ibn Ezra Qoraḥ: The Revolt against Moshe

Texts: Bamidbar 16: 1, 3, 4, 5, 30 *ד”ה ופצתה האדמה את פיה*, 35

Reading: N. Sarna, “Abraham Ibn Ezra as Exegete”

 Mar. 19  Qabbalah: Ramban Ḥuqat: Striking the Rock

Texts: Bamidbar 20:7-8 excerpts (handout; download from sidebar)

Reading: B. Septimus, “Open Rebuke and Concealed Love: Naḥmanides and the Andalusian Tradition”

Miqraʾot Gedolot: Reading the Commentators Together
Mar. 26 Miqraʾot Gedolot:

Rashi, Rashbam, Ibn Ezra, Ramban,  Ḥizquni

Balaq: Bilaʿam (Bamidbar 22-24)

Texts: Bamidbar 22: 5, 8-11 (as they occur)

Additional texts (Source Sheet): Esp. Bamidbar 31:8, 16; Yehoshua 24:9; Micah 6:5; Avot 5:19; Sanhedrin 105a; Bava Batra 14b; Sifrei Devarim sec. 357, par. 40; and others.

Apr. 9 Con’t. Balaq: Bilaʿam (Bamidbar 22-24)

Texts: Bamidbar 22: 20*, 22, 23**, 25, 28 (as they occur)

*[Ramban (long comm. covering 22:20-22), read from והנכון בעיני בענין הזה under the the ד”ה ויחר אף ה’ כי הולך הוא to the following ד”ה, ואם לקרוא לך בלבד באו (it’s roughly the middle segment of the comment). **[Ramban, read from כי הענין כולו באתון נס גדול to end]

Reading: R̶.̶ ̶N̶i̶k̶o̶l̶s̶k̶y̶,̶ ̶“̶I̶n̶t̶e̶r̶p̶r̶e̶t̶ ̶H̶i̶m̶ ̶a̶s̶ ̶M̶u̶c̶h̶ ̶a̶s̶ ̶Y̶o̶u̶ ̶W̶a̶n̶t̶:̶ ̶B̶a̶l̶a̶a̶m̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶B̶a̶b̶y̶l̶o̶n̶i̶a̶n̶ ̶T̶a̶l̶m̶u̶d̶”̶

*Assignment 2: Prospectus for final project

Apr. 16 Con’t. Balaq: Bilaʿam  (Bamidbar 22-24)

Texts: Bamidbar 22: 23*, 25, 28; 23: 1, 9-10, 21**

*[Ramban, read from כי הענין כולו באתון נס גדול to end] **[Ramban, read from הטעם כי ה’ אלהיו עמו]

Apr. 23 Seforno & Supercommentaries

 

(End of Balaq: Bamidbar 24)

Texts: 24: 1*, 5

*[Ramban, read from ואין לי מה להאריך]

Texts: Seforno & Supercommentators (source sheet; no prep)

Reading: Simon, Uriel. “Interpreting the Interpreter: Supercommentaries on Ibn Ezra’s Commentaries”

Conclusion
Apr. 30 Textual Issues:  Ibn Ezra & “the Secret of the Twelve” MAKE UP CLASS **optional**

Ve-Zot ha-Berakhah: The Death of Moshe

Texts: Ibn Ezra to Devarim 1:2 & source sheet; all commentators to Devarim 34:5-12

Additional texts: Bava Batra 14b-15a

Apr. 30 – May 30: Reading Week *Final Paper: due Sun., May 6, via email by 11:59 p.m.