Advanced Readings In Biblical Hebrew: Land and Labor
Develop New Tools for Interpretation!
This course is for rabbis/cantors/clergy who can translate significant chunks of biblical texts, but who want to more deeply appreciate the artistry of biblical Hebrew in communicating ideas.
This course includes six units that cover:
- syntax in biblical narratives (how vav consecutive and the lack of it communicate meaning, review of infinitive constructs and subordinate clauses, recognizing modal forms [“may” “let”] and reviewing the toughest verbal forms);
- the structure of legal materials (how to identify the if’s and then’s, how to find parallel laws in Torah and how to identify unusual forms);
- biblical poetry (how biblical parallelism functions, syntax in poetry versus prose, and how to listen to the language);
- and biblical prophecy (common idioms, the use of metaphor in biblical Hebrew and syntax).
The course will engage with texts from Torah, Isaiah, Ezekiel and Psalms.
Here are the goals of the course:
to tune up your biblical Hebrew
to engage in ongoing text study without the constraints of time or travel
to cultivate relationships with colleagues
to develop new material for divrei torah
and, if desired, to received a certificate of completion for the course.
Here is how the course works:
Every Wednesday I will release an opening video to set the stage for our text study and I will provide a copy of the text along with three different English translations and most importantly, a guidebook for the week with questions and additional resources to help you and your hevrutah work through the text.
During the week, before or after Shabbat, you will work through the materials with your hevrutah or on your own. You will also be posting questions, comments or additional resources on the comments section of our platform. This is a time to move the conversation beyond individual or hevrutah study to a fuller group.
Every Tuesday, I will release a summative video that incorporates questions and comments, along with my own thoughts on the text. I'll pay attention to both details and the bigger picture.
During the course of the 6 weeks, we will study three passages from Torah, one passage from Isaiah, one passage from Ezekiel and one Psalm. The tools that you gain from these sessions should be applicable to other texts of the same genre.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS COURSE IS FOR RABBIS AND CANTORS ONLY. A VERSION FOR LAY LEARNERS WILL BE COMING SHORTLY!
You can enroll in this course with a hevrutah partner or on your own.
Tamar Kamionkowski is professor of Bible at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, where she has been training rabbinical students for over 20 years. She holds a B.A from Oberlin College, an M.T.S from Harvard Divinity School and a Ph.D in Near Eastern and Judaic studies from Brandeis University.
Tamar is the author of Leviticus: A Wisdom Commentary (Liturgical Press, 2018), Gender Reversal and Cosmic Chaos: Studies in the Book of Ezekiel (Sheffield Academic Press, 2003) and co-editor of Bodies, Embodiment and Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures (T&T Clark, 2010
Tamar loves scifi, DIY projects, both Marvel and DC, and most of all, Tamar loves her partner, her two daughters and her dogs!
For over 25 years, Tamar has been committed to making Jewish literacy accessible to all kinds of learners.
StartIntroduction to the Material (5:26)
StartThe Primary Text: Genesis 2-3
StartGuiding Worksheet for Primeval Period
StartSharing and Conversation
StartResource: Video Grammar Walkthrough (15:28)
StartResource: Reviewing the Biblical Infinitive Construct (14:00)
StartConcluding Video (17:55)