Fall Lecture Series with Rabbi Ethan Tucker
Mondays, November 8, 15, 22 at 8:00 PM Eastern
All lectures will be held on Zoom
How can rabbinic midrashim -- even the seemingly most outlandish, unexpected stories - give us a more sophisticated understanding of biblical texts? Join us for three lectures with Rabbi Ethan Tucker as we visit and revisit familiar and obscure narratives, with an eye toward making sense of rabbinic midrashim which, on the surface, seem fantastical. We will read these stories closely to gain a deeper understanding of both the biblical text and its characters, while also appreciating midrash as a strategy to read and make sense of extraordinary biblical texts.
Lecture #1: Time to Move On?
Monday, November 8 at 8:00 PM Eastern
Throughout the Bible, there are characters who disappear from the narrative only to reappear later in rabbinic midrash. While the reappearances may seem unexpected, there is often an overlooked biblical chronology behind these surprises. In this session, we will look at a few examples and see how these retellings bring new values and meaning into our lives.
Lecture #2: Filling Gaps
Monday, November 15 at 8:00 PM Eastern
Sometimes the Bible introduces new minor characters, only for them to soon disappear, leaving a record that is frustratingly thin. Whether it is Hur, Yehoyakim, or Serah bar Asher, certain biblical figures leave us wanting more. Midrash often comes along to fill these gaps. In this session, we will aim to understand how these midrashic extrapolations are not mere flights of fancy, but readings tightly tethered to the biblical text.
Lecture #3: Crossover Characters
Monday, November 22 at 8:00 PM Eastern
Some of the most exciting and creative moments of cinematic and literary universes happen when characters cross over from other plotlines to enrich the narrative arc of the local story. In this session we will focus on the book of Job, to see how midrash pursues this tactic, expanding our imagination and the power of these unique biblical figures.
Rabbi Ethan Tucker is President and Rosh Yeshiva at Hadar and chair in Jewish Law. Ethan also directs Hadar’s Center for Jewish Law and Values. Ethan was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and earned a doctorate in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary and a B.A. from Harvard College. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, he was a co-founder of Kehilat Hadar and a winner of the first Grinspoon Foundation Social Entrepreneur Fellowship. He is the author, along with Rabbi Micha'el Rosenberg, of Gender Equality and Prayer in Jewish Law (2017). Ethan serves as a trustee of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.