Articles By Jeffrey Spitzer

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    Jeffrey Spitzer is Chair of the Department of Talmud and Rabbinics at Gann Academy, The New Jewish High School, Waltham, Mass., and a member of the Institute's Tichon Fellows Program.


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      To What is God Similar?

      Rabbinic parables explicitly compare God to a variety of human analogues, reflecting the rabbis' subtle, complex, and diverse images of God.

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      The Non-Jew in Jewish Law

      Rabbinic authorities have used different arguments to redress inequities in the way halakhah treats non-Jews.

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      Shema as a Love Story

      The three paragraphs of the Shema can be interpreted allegorically by connecting each of the three paragraphs to a different stage of a growing, loving relationship.

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      The Synagogue and the Study House

      These two institutions reflect the dynamism and the tensions in late antique Jewish society.

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      Babylonian Exile

      The Temple's destruction, the transfer of leadership to Babylon, and the Persian return to Israel reflect the larger political conflicts of the ancient world.

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      The Birth of the Good Inclination

      In rabbinic texts, the distinction between childhood and young adulthood is the birth of the yetzer hatov, the good inclination.

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      God as a Wife-Beater

      Does this text (or any text) deserve to be excluded from the larger category of Jewish teaching

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      Maimonides' Eight Levels: A Comtemporary Reading

      Jeff Spitzer mines Maimonides' 8 levels of Tzedakah for guidance on contemporary issues in tzedakah.

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      Taxing Times

      The economic history of the Jews in Palestine in late antiquity

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      Valuing Debate and Conversation

      Jewish tradition, informed by the precedent of the Talmud, prefers to promote discussion rather than correctness.


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