May 21, 2024
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May 21, 2024
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BCHA Upper School Students Study With Rabbi Dr. Joshua Berman

As an introduction to Sefer Devarim, BCHA (Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy) Upper School Honors Tanach students recently spent time analyzing an article by Professor Joshua Berman of Bar Ilan University on traditional and modern scholarship on Sefer Devarim. The unit culminated with Professor Berman speaking to students from Israel via Zoom to answer their questions.

“Since many of our students will be pursuing Bible study beyond high school, some on secular college campuses, we want to make sure that we expose them to Torah approaches that provide them compelling responses to Biblical criticism and modern, secular approaches to Bible study.” said Rabbi Oran Zweiter, Tanach teacher at BCHA, “Dr. Berman’s approach to Devarim provides an overarching framework for students to understand that narrative discrepancies within Tanakh need not be a problem vis a vis the historicity of the Bible. Rather, by understanding the Ancient Near East context in which the Torah was transmitted, these discrepancies serve specific, intentional purposes and strengthen rather than weaken the Torah’s modern relevance.”

According to senior Julianne Katz, “I really enjoyed this unique opportunity to learn from a well-known Bible scholar. I’m also so grateful that Rabbi Zweiter has created a classroom environment in which we can freely talk about these issues.”

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