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National College Credit Recommendation Service

Board of Regents  |  University of the State of New York

Foundation Courses - Mercaz HaTorah

Descriptions and credit recommendations for all evaluated learning experiences

Location:
Mercaz HaTorah, Talpiot, Jerusalem, Israel.
Length:
50 hours (40 weeks).
Dates:
August 1991 - Present.
Objectives:

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to: recognize the gamut of Biblical exegesis and its components; compare different commentaries and approaches to the Biblical text; master the literary genres of the Biblical text; and apply the ethical and philosophical implications of the Biblical text to contemporary living.

Instruction:

A year-long study of the five books of Moses (Pentateuch) guided by classical commentaries. Topics include: Creation, early man, the Deluge, Noachide history and code, the early history of the Patriarchs, Redemption and the Decalogue, Leviticus, concepts of holiness, holiday cycle, historical elements of the sojourn in the desert, Deuteronomy, historical narrative, and legal and judicial institutions.

Credit recommendation:

In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category, 3 semester hours in Judaic Studies, Near Eastern Studies, or Religion (4/94) (5/99 revalidation) (7/01 revalidation) (8/08 revalidation) (11/14 revalidation) (12/19 revalidation).

Location:
Mercaz HaTorah, Talpiot, Jerusalem, Israel.
Length:

Version 1 or 2: 50 hours (40 weeks).

Dates:

Version 1: August 1991 - July 2003. Version 2: August 2003 - Present.

Objectives:

Version 1: Students will be able to: discuss the major themes of the Biblical narrative; apply techniques of approaching Hermeneutic texts related to the Bible; extract philosophical and moral insights contained in the Midrash relating to the Biblical text. Version 2: Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to: discuss the major themes of the Biblical narrative and legal texts; apply interpretive techniques to Biblical texts utilizing medieval and modern Biblical commentaries; and extract moral, ethical and theological insights from the Biblical text and its commentaries.  

Instruction:

Version 1: This course continues from Bible 101 with specific focus on Midrashic (Hermeneutical) texts. It is a year-long study of the five books of Moses (Pentateuch) and the Midrashic literature guided by classical commentaries. Topics include Creation, early man, the Deluge, Noachide history and code, the early history of the Patriarchs, Redemption and the Decalogue, Leviticus, concepts of holiness, holiday cycle, historical elements of the sojourn in the desert, Deuteronomy, historical narrative, and legal and judicial institutions. Version 2: This course continues from Bible 101 with specific focus on medieval and modern Biblical commentaries. A year-long study of the Pentateuch guided by classical commentaries. Topics include: Creation; early man; the Deluge; Noachide history and the Noachide code; the history of the Patriarchs; slavery in Egypt and redemption; Theophany and the Decalogue; Leviticus and concepts of holiness; the holiday cycle; historical elements of the sojourn in the desert; the book of Deuteronomy and its historical, narrative, and legal and judicial institutions.

Credit recommendation:

Version 1 and 2: In the upper division baccalaureate degree category, 3 semester hours in Judaic Studies, Near Eastern Studies, or Religion (4/94) (5/99 revalidation) (7/01 revalidation) (8/08 revalidation) (11/14 revalidation) (12/19 revalidation). 

Location:
Mercaz HaTorah, Talpiot, Jerusalem, Israel.
Length:
40 hours (40 weeks).
Dates:
August 2003 - Present.
Objectives:

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to: discuss the methodology of Midrashic literature, particularly as it relates to the Biblical text; develop skills in extracting moral, ethical and theological insight contained in the Midrash and the underlying Biblical text; and apply these insights to the growth and development of the religious personality. 

Instruction:

This is a year-long course dedicated to the comprehensive and analytic study of selected themes in the weekly Torah portion with emphasis on Rabbinic Midrash as the primary hermeneutic tool. Emphasis is placed on moral, ethical and theological concepts that emerge from the Midrash and their contribution to the development and growth of the religious personality. Midrash Raba and Midrash Tanhuma will be the main Midrashic sources. 

Credit recommendation:

In the upper division baccalaureate degree category, 3 semester hours in Judaic Studies, Near Eastern Studies, or Religion (7/04) (8/08 revalidation) (11/14 revalidation) (12/19 revalidation).

Location:
Mercaz HaTorah, Talpiot, Jerusalem, Israel.
Length:
Guided independent study (minimum 120 hours over 40 weeks) under the supervision and direction of a mentor.
Dates:
September 1999 - Present.
Objectives:

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to discuss opinions of standard recent legal authorities on disputed points of law regarding Chanukkah, Shavu'ot and the Fast of Tish'a B'av and apply selected sections of the Code of Jewish Law to daily life situations.

Instruction:

This course is a year-long guided independent study of the basic codes and their adjunct commentaries pertaining to the laws of Chanukkah, Shavu'ot and the Fast of Tish'a B'av. Students read and study under the supervision and direction of a mentor.

Credit recommendation:

In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category, 3 semester hours in Jewish Law, Judaic Studies, or Religion (7/01) (8/08 revalidation) (11/14 revalidation) (12/19 revalidation)

Location:
Mercaz HaTorah, Talpiot, Jerusalem, Israel.
Length:
Guided independent study (minimum 120 hours over 40 weeks) under the supervision and direction of a mentor.
Dates:
August 1994 - Present.
Objectives:

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to discuss opinions of standard recent legal authorities on disputed points of law regarding prayers and benedictions and apply selected sections of the Code of Jewish Law to daily life situations.

Instruction:

This course is a year-long guided independent study of the basic codes and their adjunct commentaries pertaining to the laws of prayers and benedictions. Students read and study under the supervision and direction of a mentor.

Credit recommendation:

In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category, 3 semester hours in Jewish Law, Judaic Studies, or Religion (4/94) (5/99 revalidation) (7/01 revalidation) (8/08 revalidation) (11/14 revalidation) (12/19 revalidation).

Location:
Mercaz HaTorah, Talpiot, Jerusalem, Israel.
Length:
Guided independent study (minimum 120 hours over 40 weeks) under the supervision and direction of a mentor.
Dates:
August 1994 - Present.
Objectives:

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to discuss opinions of standard recent legal authorities on disputed points of law regarding the Sabbath and apply selected sections of the Code of Jewish Law to the observance of the Sabbath.

Instruction:

This course is a year-long guided independent study of the basic codes and their adjunct commentaries pertaining to the Sabbath Laws. Students read and study under the supervision and direction of a mentor.

Credit recommendation:

In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category, 3 semester hours in Jewish Law, Judaic Studies, or Religion (4/94) (5/99 revalidation) (7/01 revalidation) (8/08 revalidation) (11/14 revalidation) (12/19 revalidation). 

Location:
Mercaz HaTorah, Talpiot, Jerusalem, Israel.
Length:
50 hours (40 weeks).
Dates:
August 1991 - Present.
Objectives:

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to distinguish between the concept of trust and related concepts, such as faith and explore the similarities and differences between the views of  leading Jewish philosophers of the Middle Ages.

Instruction:

This course is a year-long study of the concept of Trust in G-d with particular attention focused on the philosophical dimensions and psychological consequences of this attribute. Related topics such as reward and punishment are also studied.

Credit recommendation:

In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category, 3 semester hours in Judaic Studies or Religion (4/94) (5/99 revalidation) (7/01 revalidation) (8/08 revalidation) (11/14 revalidation) (12/19 revalidation). 

Location:
Mercaz HaTorah, Talpiot, Jerusalem, Israel.
Length:
50 hours (40 weeks).
Dates:
August 1991 - Present.
Objectives:

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to: analyze the major themes of the Mishnaic tractate Avoth; compare and contrast the interpretations of various commentaries; and assess the relevancy of moral and ethical principles delineated in the text to various contemporary social issues and personality development.

Instruction:

This course is a  year-long study of salient topics in Jewish thought as reflected in tractate Avoth, or  Ethics of the Fathers. References are drawn from major medieval and modern commentaries and other major Jewish philosophers. Topics include: the chain of Jewish tradition, moral conduct between peers, the relationship between students and teachers, professional ethics, the centrality of Torah study in Jewish tradition, and the significance of the Land of Israel in Jewish thought.

Credit recommendation:

In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category, 3 semester hours in Judaic Studies or Religion (4/94) (5/99 revalidation) (7/01 revalidation) (8/08 revalidation) (11/14 revalidation) (12/19 revalidation). 

Location:
Mercaz Hatorah, Talpiot, Jerusalem, Israel.
Length:

Version 1 and 2: 50 hours (40 weeks).

Dates:

Version 1: August 1991 - November 2019. Version 2: December 2019 - Present.

Objectives:

Version 1 and 2: Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to: decipher the parables used in the Book of Proverbs; apply skills in Biblical explication based on comparative analysis of classical commentaries; and connect the Biblical text to relevant contemporary issues involving life style and life values.

Instruction:

Version 1 and 2: This course is a  year-long study of the Book of Proverbs utilizing medieval and modern commentaries. Topics include: the shaping and breaking of character traits, the awareness of man's evil instincts, and models of successful self-conquest and self-actualization.

Credit recommendation:

Version 1: In the upper division baccalaureate degree category, 3 semester hours in Bible, Judaic Studies, or Religion (4/94) (5/99 revalidation) (7/01 revalidation) (8/08 revalidation) (11/14 revalidation). Version 2: In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category, 3 semester hours in Bible, Judaic Studies, or Religion (12/19 revalidation).

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