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Beginnings and Order: Encounters with Jewish Creation Myths

Hosted By: Shalom Hartman Institute

How do we create new beginnings? How do we establish order in our lives and worlds? While the Genesis creation story is a familiar, seamless, and orderly one, later commentaries probe it to reveal cracks and underlying layers of the narrative. What gets lost or sacrificed when something is created and order is introduced? What precedes creation?

Drawing on sources such as classical midrash, medieval exegesis, and kabbalah, Melila Hellner-Eshed will explore various interpretations of this opening, iconic part of the Bible. These interpreters not only play with the text and language of the story, but in doing so, convey distinct approaches towards the deepest, existential questions confronting humanity.

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