What is the Shema?I mentioned his book about a year ago, here, when it was a finalist for the Nahum M. Sarna Memorial Award.
Yes, as we are told, it’s the central part of our liturgy, ancient, stirring, anchoring.
But what exactly is it? What does it mean? “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.” Clarify, please.
Dr. Benjamin Sommer of Teaneck, a professor of Bible and ancient Semitic languages, will talk about that and other Jewish issues as scholar in residence at Temple Emanu-el of Closter. As always, he speaks as an academically rigorous scholar who is also an observant Conservative Jew, an active member of Congregation Beth Sholom in Teaneck.
His most recent book, “Revelation and Authority: Sinai in Jewish Scripture and Tradition,” “shows that a particularly modern way of understanding the nature of revelation and the authority of Jewish law is far deeper and has more ancient roots than people realize,” he continued. “In the book, I argue that the view of revelation associated with theologians like Abraham Joshua Heschel in fact has predecessors in the Bible itself.
Sunday, January 29, 2017
What is the Shema?
ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN BACKGROUND: Talking to God? Dr. Ben Sommer explains the Shema and other ancient Near Eastern Texts (JOANNE PALMER, Jewish Standard/Times of Israel).