ILS 328: Classical Rabbinic Literature in Translation Spring 2019

Download RabbinicLitTranslationSyllabus2019 Rosenhagen

Judaism today is rabbinic Judaism. From dietary regulations to marriage laws, Jewish
customs are filtered through rabbinic understandings of – and additions to – biblical
traditions. This course examines the literary corpus of the classical rabbinic period (70-
640 C.E.) in order to understand how this group shaped the religion now known as
Judaism. Interacting closely with primary texts in translation, students will learn the
operating principles of rabbinic logic, as well as how scholars (re)construct history based
upon this corpus. In the second half of this course, we will focus on rabbinic topics.
Using drinks and drinking as a test case, students will apply arguments made on the
macro level (i.e., about rabbinic literature in general) to the micro level. Throughout this
course, students will be challenged to question and verify various scholarly assumptions