Maalot Educational Network | Evaluated Learning Experience
Jewish Intellectual History from the Mishna until Modern Times (HIS399)
Major topics taught in this course include: The intellectual history of Judaism from the Mishna until modern times, the creation and function of the Mishna and Talmud; the era of the Geonim, the formation of Sefardi and Ashkenazi Jewry under Moslem and Frankish rule, the “Golden Age” of Spain and its major Torah figures, the Halachic Codification of Talmudic law through the Medieval period, Ashkenazi Jewry, the Crusades and major Torah figures, Sefardi and Ashkenazi Schools of thought in Torah Commentary – ‘Peshat vs Drash’ and Rationalist vs Non-Rationalist approaches, the Jewish communities of Provence, the Maimonidean controversy, late Medieval Spanish and Ashkenazi schools of thought, the Expulsions of the 14th and 15th Centuries and the creation of the modern Diaspora, the writing of the Shulchan Aruch – historical, philosophical and theological underpinnings, the emergence of Lurianic Kabbalist thought, commentators on the Shulchan Aruch, False Messiahs and their effect on the modern Jewish world, Reform and the Enlightenment – the Jewish response to Napoleon; reaction against Reform – the philosophy of Rav S. R. Hirsch, the emergence of Chassidu, reactions against Chassidut – the Vilna Gaon and the Mitnagdim, Haskala, the emergence of the Yeshiva and Mussar movements, Zionism – religious and secular; Modern Orthodoxy and Torah U’Madda. Topics may vary. Methods of instruction include lecture, discussion, and textual preparation. Prerequisite: Introduction to Jewish History.