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Jewish History

JH101;102 Jewish History (1-0-1)

The Who’s, What’s, Where’s, and When’s of Jewish history from the conclusion of the Talmud until the present era; the meaning of Jewish history in the construction of a Torah outlook on life; issues that have immediately shaped the lives of the modern day Jew including : 1. Shabtai Tzvi and his aftermath, 2. The use of the Yeshivot and the leading personalities in the movement, 3. Chassidut and its opponents, 4. Confrontation with modernity — Enlightenment, Reform, the Orthodox response., 5. the Holocaust, 6. political Zionism – ideological foundations, kulturkampf in Israel, 7. The American experience — the immigrant experience, the creation of an American orthodoxy.

Course requirements: Final exam or term paper per semester

JH103;104 Survey of Jewish Intellectual History (1-0-1)

A survey of periods in Jewish history against the background of movements, ideas, and personalities. Interaction with the surrounding civilizations and cultures. First semester focus on the period from the Second Commonwealth through the Talmudic and post-Talmudic period, the gaonic period until the Spanish Portuguese period. Second semester focus on the modern period beginning with the Spanish Portuguese expulsion.
Course requirements: Book reports and term paper.

JH105;106 Responsa from the Holocaust/ Modern Issues (1-0-1)

Course designed for students interested in participating in a tour of Eastern Europe to provide an appropriate religious and historical framework. Analysis of legal issues that arose in the era of the Holocaust as addressed to leading Rabbinic authorities. Students will also participate in a seminar on modern issues affecting the orthodox world of today.

Course requirements: Pass/Fail course. Attendance required.

JH107;108 The Hassidic Movement (1-0-1)

The Hassidic Movement is an attempt to see beyond the external garb of Hassidim and into the inner world of Hassidut and the relevance of its teachings to the modern era.

The course first traces the origins of classical hassidic thought (by examining relevant passages in the Rambam and Messilat Yesharim) and then explores some of the main teachings of Hassidut: Emunah – faith, joy, the role of the righteous leader, Dveikut – attachment to G-d, etc.

TEXT: Source sheets.

Course requirements: Pass/Fail course. Attendance required.

JH109;110 Personalities and Ideologies (1-0-1)

Discussion of the ideals and achievements of great Jewish leaders of the previous three centuries.

Course requirements: One term paper per semester.

JH111;112 Leaders of the Twentieth Century (1-0-1)

Analysis of the impact of the Jewish intellectual leadership in the turbulent years of the past century. Course includes purview of classic works, personal stories of impact, and general historical information.

JH201;202 Advanced Jewish History (1-0-1)

First semester focus on a variety of responses to the breakdown of traditional Jewish society from the 18th century C.E.: Chassidism, the rise of the yeshivot, the Mussar movement.

Second semester focus on three contemporary topics: The American immigrant experience, the Holocaust and Zionism.

Course requirements: Final exam or term paper per semester.

JH203;204 The world of the Yeshiva (2-0-2)

The course is a historical perspective of the Yeshiva world in Eastern Europe starting from the late 1700’s. Emphasis on the biographies and modes of leadership of the Roshei Yeshiva. In depth study of the writings of the leaders discussed, and the writings as an implementation of specific educational systems.

Course requirements: Paper or exam per semester