Maalot Educational Network | Evaluated Learning Experience
Jewish Intellectual History from the Mishna until Modern Times (HIS399)
Major topics include: 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 versus 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.