The Akedot

JS 730: THE AKEDOT

Spring 2010

 

Description:

Confession (vidui), together with repentance (teshuva), is the essential way to seek forgiveness from God. Recitation of the penitential liturgy (selihot) is an essential part of confession. And, recitation of the akedot is a key element in the liturgy of the selihot. This course will examine the structure of the selihot and, then, study closely some akedot that appear as part of that liturgy. The goal of this class is for each student to translate and annotate at least one of the akedot with the hope of publishing the collected class work.

 

Instructor:

David R. Blumenthal (reldrb@emory.edu)

 

Time and Place:

Wed. 9:30 – 12:30

JS Seminar room

 

Texts:

Texts and articles as assigned

  1. Spiegel, The Last Trial.

 

Reserve:

Spiegel article with the Hebrew text

The poems

 

Expectations:

We will study background material and then six akedot together. Each student will assume responsibility for preparing the translation and annotation of (at least) one of these poems. Student work will be presented and discussed in class.

Students are expected to prepare the readings and to participate actively in the class.

Grading will be based on class participation and the final paper.

 

 

SYLLABUS

 

Background

1/13

Introductions

What are selihot? What are akedot?

What is the structure and function of the selihot liturgy?

 

1/20

Midrashic texts: Bereshit Rabba, ch. 55-56; Pirkei de Rabbi Eliezer, ch. 30-31; Tanhuma, Vayera; Midrash Vayosha

 

The poems

1/27

Et Avotai (Efraim of Bonn) together with S. Spiegel

 

2/3

Az beHar Mor (Ibn Gavirol)

El Har haMor (Me’ir ben Yitzhaq)

 

2/10

Im Afes Rova` haKen (Efraim ben Yitzhaq of Regensburg)

 

2/17

Elokim `Al Domi leDami (David ben Meshullam)

 

2/24

Et haKol Kol Ya`akov Nohem  (Kalonymos bar Yehuda)

 

3/3

Avram Hu Avraham (Menachem Vardimeshi ben Peretz haZaken)

 

3/10 – (no class; spring break)

 

3/17 — student presentation

3/24– student presentation

make up class for 4/7– student presentation

4/14 — student presentation

4/21 — student presentation

 

3/31, 4/7 – (no class; Passover)