How Jewish Studies Came to Harvard, with Anti-Semitism Hovering Nearby

Dec. 14 2018

In 1670, a commencement speaker at Harvard College cited Maimonides’ halakhic code; in the next century, the school hired Judah Monis, a converted Jew, as its first full-time professor of Hebrew. It was not until 1912, however, that the university would hire a Jew to teach Jewish studies. Jon D. Levenson, in a brief history of Jewish studies at Harvard Divinity School, tells of these developments, focusing on “the most impressive scholar of Hebraica in the history of Harvard,” the historian of religion George Foot Moore, who taught at the university from 1902 to 1928. Moore learned Hebrew from his grandfather, a pastor, and served as a clergyman himself before coming to Harvard:

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Read more at Harvard Divinity Bulletin

More about: Anti-Semitism, Christian Hebraists, Christianity, Harvard, History & Ideas, Jewish studies

 

Exploring the Political Significance of the Seder Liturgy

April 6 2020

Besides being one of the most beloved of all Jewish texts, argues Meir Soloveichik, the Haggadah is also a foundational work of Jewish political philosophy. He explains why this is so—and much else about this deceptively simple work—in an eight-part audio course. Listen to the first lecture here, and click on the link below for the entire series. (Other options for download and streaming are also available.)

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Read more at Tikvah

More about: Haggadah, Jewish political tradition, Seder