top of page

Bible Studies

Making the Tanach Yours

The Parsha Philosophically

Instructor:  Rav David Debow

Credits: 1 credit hour

Ancient Jewish tradition divides the Five books of Moses into approximately fifty weekly readings to be spread out over the year.  This course analyzes each weekly portion with an extensive overview and then an in depth analysis of a specific issue of note.  Here the basic philosophic tenets of the Emunah V’Omanut program are transmitted as the issues arise in the weekly portion. Deep thought and active participation are required.

Required text: Tanach

Understanding Eden and other Relationships in Tanach

Instructor: Dr. Yocheved Debow

Credits: 2 credit hours
Why are there two creation stories? Why was man created before woman? Or was he? What actually happened in Gan Eden? What can we learn about the nature of male and the nature of female from those first chapters of creation?  How does sin affect man and woman’s relationship with each other and with God? What can we learn about the nature of our relationship with God from these chapters, both as individuals and as a community? We will explore the text of the first chapters in Bereishit in order to understand the essence of man and woman, their differences and their similarities. We will then explore the nature of sin – religious sin and moral sin in the context of Gan Eden and Cain and Hevel. What do these chapters teach us about human nature? How much have we changed and what lessons can we learn for the way we live our own lives? If there is time – we will look at a few other relationships in Tanach that can give us more insight into human nature and relationships. This class will use both text and discussion to explore these issues which are an essential part of ourselves.

Required text: Tanach

Chumash B’Iyun: Beginnings of a Nation

Instructor: Mrs Adina Mann

Credits: 3 credit hours -– Bet Midrash class

Who am I? What does it mean to be part of the Jewish people? How do I fit into the larger scheme of things? These questions, which we all ask of ourselves, were also asked by one of our greatest leaders: Moshe Rabeinu. The story of the boy, Moshe, torn between two worlds and in search of his identity, is essentially the story of every Jew who has lived in the Galut. The timeless narrative of the long exile, dreams of redemption and its realization as told to us in ספר שמות has been told and retold by our people throughout the ages. The Tanakh comes alive as we place ספר שמות in the context of Jewish history and in that of our own personal lives. The story of the redemption of our people reflects our own personal struggles and hopes for redemption. We will come to a deeper understanding of the birth of our nation and its role in the world via pshat based analysis, as well as through the eyes of classic parshanim. We will also discuss Moshe’s quest for self-identity and the process it took to transform him from Moshe to Moshe Rabeinu.

Textual skills:

Students will learn to read pshat of the Tanakh using literary techniques as well as

classic commentators, so as to understand and incorporate their perspectives.

My Roots in Tanach

Instructor: Mrs Franny Waisman

Credits: 2 credit hours

Ever wonder what a 3000 year old book really has to do with MY every-day life? We will embark on a journey into our own inner-selves using the Tanach as a road map. Our journey will touch briefly on select prakim in Sefer Bereshit and Shemot which will lay the groundwork for diving into Neviim Rishonim. We will talk about our connection to our inner selves, finding the right path in life, combining heaven and earth, our connection to our nation and land, how to make our prayers "work", relationships, and more. On our journey through Tanach and our deeper selves, we will use tools such as creative writing, music and more. We will develop and refine the ability to make Tanach yours.

Books: Tanach

Parsha, Pictures and Mepharshim

Instructor: Rav Gideon Sylvester

Credits: 1 credit hour

How do our religious ideas translate into art? How do religious artists portray God, violence or nudity? How do we envisage the wicked son, the site of the Temple Mount or the return of the Jewish people to Israel? Each week, we will take a theme from the week's parsha or a forthcoming chag and see how its themes have been translated into some of the greatest works of art, illustrations of Jewish books and Jewish iconography. If you love looking at texts, analyzing pictures and discussing both, this is a course for you.

Bekiut Torah

Instructor: Rabbanit Shira Zimmerman

Credits: 2 credit hours– Bet Midrash class

Description provided by a former student who participated:

Bekiut Torah is a class that every seminary girl should take.  The class provides a framework to learn the weekly parsha an Aliya a day, integrating Torah into one’s daily routine.  Girls learn the parsha for themselves and inevitably feel more intellectually stimulated and involved in Shabbat table conversations.  The weekly quizzes are self-graded and rewarding because they reflect the work one put into the class and the tests are purely for the student.  Rabanit Shira delivers concise Divrei Torah that offer a fresh perspective on the parsha.  Even after seminary ended many girls including myself made the decision to continue the class via social media, and I know that come Simchat Torah, I’ll feel so accomplished knowing that I learned the entire chumash.  I cannot recommend this class enough. (Adina Weinberger EVO 2016-2017)

Bekiut Tanach

Instructor: Rav David Debow

Credits: 2 credit hours

Over the year, students will בעזרת ה' complete the entire section of Neviim Rishonim, the main Prophetic History of Am Yisrael beginning with Yehoshua’s entry into Eretz Yisrael (Sefer Yehoshua) and culminating in the downfall of the first monarchy (Sefer Melachim). Our goal is to understand the big picture issues through careful readings of the Tanach. Through a Bekiut approach we will appreciate repeating patterns, parallelisms and other important structures by which the Tanach communicates its eternal message. Among the questions we will address are the following:

What is the purpose of Eretz Yisrael?

What is the correct balance between Man’s efforts and Emunah?

What is the correct type of governance for Am Yisrael?

You will see the land of Israel with a new set of eyes, able to picture the dramatic events on the hills and valleys of the country you are living in thus better understanding both the Tanach and Eretz Yisrael.

Required text:

Tanach or Tanach with English Translation

bottom of page