Emory University Spring 1993 Max: 15; Writing requirement: Yes Professor David R. Blumenthal firstname.lastname@example.org W 7:30 - 10:00 at professor's home
We will spend the entire semester examining the story of creation as related in Genesis, chapters one and two. We will pay special attention to the great medieval commentators — Rashi, Ramban, and Ibn Ezra — who raised the basic exegetical and theological questions that have made the creation narrative a centerpiece of western thought for milennia.
- copies of the relevant commentaries will be provided
This is an in-depth course. We will read this central text very closely and consider the textual and philosophical problems carefully. Class participation is expected. One final paper.
assn.: The first day with Rashi and Ibn Ezra
Jan 20 The first day
assn.: The second day with Rashi and Ibn Ezra
Jan. 27 The second day
assn.: The third day with Rashi and Ibn Ezra
Feb. 3 The third day
assn.: The fourth day with Rashi and Ibn Ezra
Feb. 10 The fourth day
assn.: The fifth day with Rashi and Ibn Ezra
Feb. 17 The fifth day
assn.: The sixth day with Rashi and Ibn Ezra
Feb. 24 The sixth day
assn.: The seventh day with Rashi and Ibn Ezra
Mar. 3 The seventh day
assn.: Genesis, chapter 2, with Rashi and Ibn Ezra
Mar. 10 (no class; spring recess)
Mar. 17 Genesis, chapter 2
assn.: The first and second days with Ramban
Mar. 24 The first and second days
Assn.: The third and fourth days with Ramban
Mar. 31 The third and fourth days
Assn.: The fifth and sixth days with Ramban
Apr. 7 (no class; Passover)
Apr. 14 The fifth and sixth days
Assn.: The seventh day and chapter two with Ramban
Apr. 21 The seventh day and chapter two
Final papers due:
(1) Graduate students will be responsible for following up all cross-references to the Talmud and various midrashim. They will be responsible for the context of such quotations.
(2) Graduate students may select any additional medieval rabbinic commentary and will be responsible for presenting the views of that commentary to the class when called upon.
(3) Graduate students are expected to write full-length papers at the end of the semester analyzing all the relevant commentators on a passage not studied in class. Such exegetical work should be publishable in form and in content.
This examination is in two parts; please do both.
Please have it typed. There is no special rule about length.
The exam is due in my office May 3rd, 5:00 p.m.; those who need until May 5th, 5:00 p.m. may take that time without special permission; SENIORS !!!
You may consult with any books your wish; you may not consult with one another. The Emory Honor Code is in effect for this exam.
Part One: Re-narrating Creation.
(1) Create three files entitled:
- “The Traditional Narrative,”
- “Rashi’s Narrative,” and
- “Ibn Ezra’s Narrative.”
COPY (do not cut) and paste from whatever files you are now using into each of these three files material for all seven days of creation.
(2) Edit each file for the following:
- Put in the verse numbers for each of the files.
- Leave an extra space between each day.
- Correct the English, e.g., comma, quotation marks, capital letter.
- Make sure the text is consistent, e.g., “see / saw / perceived / finished”; the ending of each day.
- Make quotations from God into quotations.
(3) Edit each file for the following too:
- Make the narrative complete;
- Make the English flow — to do this, read your narratives out loud.
This is harder than it looks; effort counts.
Part Two: Using Our Skills
(1) Study Chapter 2, verses 7 and 8 with Rashi and Ibn Ezra.
(2) Copy out the two verses.
(3) Explain each of the comments, as best you can, identifying the question implied in the comment and the answer as given by Rashi.
(4) Do the same for Ibn Ezra.
(5) Follow references; check as many other sources as you wish; don’t forget to consult your own work on the parallel section in chapter one.