Grappling With the Ways of Hashem
Wednesdays October 26 - November 23
1:00pm Eastern, 8:00pm Israel
This course will look at several stories in Tanakh which raise theological issues about how Hashem runs His world. Does man always have free will, or can Hashem take it away, as He seems to have done to Paroh during the plagues? Is collective punishment the norm in Tanakh or the exception; what does Hashem mean when He says that He will visit the sins of the parents on the children? Tanakh is filled with stories of Divine intervention into the affairs of mankind. What though is the line between miracle and nature? When does Hashem intervene in the world by suspending the natural order and when does He leave it intact? Finally, are Torah's laws meant to represent an ideal, or does Hashem make concessions to human frailty and the realities of an imperfect society? In each class we will explore a Biblical text which opens up one of these issue and then compare how an array of commentators and Jewish thinkers throughout the ages have grappled with it.