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Take a look back at Israel through history using biblical and Rabbinic material!

Dr. David Bernat will present "Stones, Bones, and Stories: Archaeology & History in the Holy Land" in three sessions, every other Tuesday starting April 12. Attend any or all sessions.

There is no charge for these sessions.
Please REGISTER HERE for the series.

Tuesday, April 12 at 7:30 PM (via Zoom)
TOPIC: Hezekiah to the Hasmoneans

This session will focus on Hezekiah’s tunnel and the siege of Jerusalem by the Assyrian king Sennacherib during Hezekiah’s reign [~700 BCE], arguably one of the most telling moments in Biblical history. In addition, we will range across the timeline through the Babylonian Exile, Persian Period, Alexander the Great’s conquests, and the 100-year dynasty of the Maccabees, the Hasmonean royal family.

Tuesday, April 26 at 7:30 PM (via Zoom)
TOPIC: Herod to Hadrian

This session will take up Israel during the Roman era. We will focus on the reign of Herod [37 – 4 BCE] and his massive building projects that have stood the test of time and technology. Among other achievements, Herod developed Jerusalem, and the Temple as a crown jewel and urban exemplar his Roman patrons, particularly Caesar Augustus. The Kotel, the Western Wall, remains as a living testament to Herod’s influence. We will also look at the first revolt against Rome [66 – 73 CE], the destruction of the second Temple, and the Bar Kochba revolt, and the material evidence of both that is still extant, in Israel.

Tuesday, May 10 at 7:30 PM (via Zoom)
TOPIC: The Religious Life of Our Ancestors: Temples, Synagogues, and Miqvaot
This session will explore the evidence of how Judaism was observed in its nascent days. A wealth of shrines, altars, idols, and temples of the Biblical era, along with synagogues and miqvaot, ritual bath complexes, built during the Hellenistic and Roman periods, are preserved throughout modern Israel in national parks and easily accessible to visitors. We will explore these artifacts and relevant written texts from the Hebrew Bible, Dead Sea Scrolls, and Rabbinic writings as testimony to the way in which our forbearers practiced their religion. We will also think about the continuities and disjuncture between Judaism’s early days and how we practice today.

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Mark your calendar for this event with Dr. Bernat in June!

Saturday, June 4 (Time TBD) (during Tikkun Leil Shavuot) (in person only)
TOPIC: God’s Wine Cellar: Tasting and Torah

A midrash on the Song of Songs identifies Mt. Sinai as a great wine cellar with rows of wisdom and mitzvot that the Jewish people accepted with love and joy. As Shavuot celebrates the giving of Torah at Mt. Sinai, how fitting to begin our evening of learning with a wine program. David Bernat, Ph.D., our guest scholar and oenophile (wine expert), will guide us in the art and science of wine appreciation and wine-food pairing. We will sample four world-class Israeli wines, with appropriate snacks, and be spiritually and gastronomically transported to the Holy Land (with the aid of a video projector and screen.) At the same time, our immersion into Israel’s wine culture will open a window to the history of our homeland, from ancient times to today. Be prepared for an experience that will excite your palates and enrich your souls.
Registration to come...

Meet Dr. David Bernat

Dr. David Bernat is a consultant in Outreach and Development with JALSA, The Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action. He has a Ph.D. in Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies from Brandeis, is the author of Sign of the Covenant: Circumcision in the Priestly Tradition and co-editor of Religion and Violence: The Biblical Heritage. Dr. Bernat has held faculty positions at UMass Amherst and Wellesley College, and regularly leads adult education tours to Israel with an historical and archaeological focus.

Wed, May 18 2022 17 Iyyar 5782