Unit Yod – “י” – Ancient History and Loss

 – 3 class sessions (August 2016)

August 7, 2016
The darkest time of the Jewish Year
What we do & how we do it: The Three Weeks and Tisha b’Av
- Strassfeld, A Book of Life, pp. 256-259 – The Three Weeks and Tisha b’Av
- More days of sadness – why?
- Does Judaism need more than one day to commemorate our tragedies?
- Do Reform Jews need to think about these observances and fasts?

August 13, 2016
Late Ancient Israelite History
Who we are: Jewish History pre-70 CE
- Isaiah Gafni, “The Historical Background”, in Jewish Writings of the Second Temple Period, pp. 1-31 Questions:
- What’s the difference between reading history from an academic and a religious perspective?

August 20, 2016
How Ancient Israelites became Jews
Who we are: Jewish History from 70 CE into the Middle Ages
Rabbinic Period Reading:
- Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, Jewish Literacy, pp. 127-157
- How does the history of the period influence the most important writings of Rabbinic Judaism – the Mishnah and the Babylonian Talmud?
- Why are we followers of the Babylonian Talmud and not the Palestinian Talmud?