Sign In Forgot Password

Learning with R. Richard Hirsh (via Zoom)

Thursday, March 19, 2020 23 Adar 5780

7:30 PM - 9:00 PM


- Summary
- Readings
- Audio Recordings of the Class

It Ain't Necessarily So...Rabbinic Doubts and Debates about the Bible

“I believe with complete faith that the whole Torah now found in our hands is the exact same one given to Moses…”

So teaches Maimonides in his Thirteen Principles of Jewish Belief.

But the Torah itself never makes this claim about itself. And certain rabbis in the Talmud state outright that there are a number of passages in the Torah that were not written by Moses.  And certain medieval Jewish scholars allude to verses in the Torah that could not have come from the hand of Moses.  And Reform, Reconstructionist and Conservative Jewish teachings all adhere to alternative explanations of how the Torah text we have today came to us…and none of them agree with Maimonides.  In these three sessions we will look at: 

What the Torah itself says about the origins of the Torah

Skeptical rabbinic and medieval Jewish teachings about the Mosaic “authorship” of the “whole Torah now found in our hands”

What contemporary Jewish movements teach about the origins of the Torah, and how the Torah can remain a sacred text, despite having passed through multiple stages of human redaction and transmission. 


Sessions 1 and 2:  Sefer Haggadah Texts (PDF) and Humashim Statements on Revelation (PDF)
Session 3:  What Makes the Torah Holy? (PDF)

Audio Recordings of the Class (MP3 format)

March 19, 2020 (Session 1)

March 26, 2020 (Session 2)

April 2, 2020 (Session 3)

Share Print Save To My Calendar
Mon, May 27 2024 19 Iyyar 5784