Chumash – Bamidbar
Textual Analysis of the Pentateuch: Numbers
Objectives: To prepare for the examination, the candidate is expected to be able to prepare a textual analysis of Numbers, as well as the comparative analysis of the various studied commentaries; discuss and analyze literary aspects of Numbers’ main narrative; recognize the range of traditional biblical exegesis and its exegetes; explore ethical and narrative applications of the text and applied commentary; make value decisions about issues; and criticize or defend the activities of the biblical characters. In topics on biblical law, the candidate is expected to be able to analyze the basic premise and state the rule from the text, be able to classify or arrange the components, and predict how the law is applicable in modern life.
Instruction: The proficiency examination is administered under secure and proctored conditions.
The candidate is expected to be very familiar with the structure of the Book of Numbers (main sections) as well as with text of the biblical narrative of Numbers (census; camp arrangement; duties of the Levites; redemption of the first born; responsibility of the Levite families; suspected adulteress; the laws of the Nazirite; the Menorah; Miriam’s punishment; 12 spies; laws of offerings; the sabbath violator; rebellion of Korah; punishment of the rebellion; the Red Heifer; Moses hitting the rock; war with Edom; death of Aaron; war with Canaan; confrontation with Sichon and Og; Bilaam attempted curse; Pinchas; division of the land; laws of vows; borders of Israel) and familiarity with selected commentaries in traditional biblical exegesis (Rashi, Ibn Ezra, Nachmanides, Abravanel, Radak, Ktav V’ha’kabbalah, Or Hachayim, Sforno).
One section will contain 5-6 unseen passages with commentaries and the student will be required to answer questions on the commentary.
This course has a value of 3 lower-level undergraduate credits.