Goal: To critically examine a number of issues that are of great significance for the American Jewish community. The themes that will be discussed are:
• The Contemporary Theological Significance of the State of Israel: “Reshit Zemihat Geulatenu?”
• Christianity, Islam and Judaism: History, Religion and Contemporary Significance
• The Mitzvah of Killing “Amalek:” Halakhah, Morality, and Modern Times
• On the Morality of the Patriarchs: Must Biblical Heroes Be Perfect?
Objectives: Students should be able to reflect critically on these issues. They will be expected to appreciate how a more sophisticated and in-depth understanding of them will enhance their ability to be thoughtful and engaged Jews in a more meaningful way. They will also be expected be able to articulate their ideas on these matters, orally and in writing.