Hebrew Major

As a major in Hebrew, you can expect to gain proficiency in the language, study the area’s literary and cultural landmarks, and gain familiarity with Near Eastern history and civilizations. Whether you favor the study of language, literature, religion, history, or politics, you will find a way to deepen your appreciation of these complex and diverse societies and cultures. This major is housed in the Department of Jewish, Islamic, and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures.

sample courses:

Intro to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament

A survey of the religious ideas and cultural history of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and its context in the ancient Near East. Traditional Jewish and Christian interpretation of the Bible is discussed. No knowledge of Hebrew required

From the Temple to the Talmud: The Emergence of Rabbinic Judaism

This course offers a survey of the historical, literary, social, and conceptual development of Rabbinic Judaism from its emergence in late antiquity to the early Middle Ages. The goal of the course is to study Rabbinic Judaism as a dynamic phenomenon -- as a constantly developing religious system. Among the topics to be explored are: How did Judaism evolve from a sacrificial cult to a text-based religion? How did the "Rabbis" emerge as a movement after the destruction of the Second Temple and how could they replace the old priestly elite? How did Rabbinic Judaism develop in its two centers of origin, Palestine (the Land of Israel) and Babylonia (Iraq), to become the dominant form of Judaism under the rule of Islam? How did Jewish ritual and liturgy develop under Rabbinic influence? How were the Rabbis organized and was there diversity within the group? What was the Rabbis' view of women, how did they perceive non-Rabbinic Jews and non-Jews?

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