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Secrets of the Torah Revealed – Book by Book: Part 4 (Bamidbar/Numbers)

Hosted By: Orange County Community Scholar Program (CSP)

God may have taken the Jews out of Egypt, but how to take Egypt out of the Jews? The Book of Numbers recounts the difficulties of what can only be termed the adolescence of the Israelite people, and like everyone’s teenage years, it is not a pretty picture. What skills, what sustaining ideas, what resiliences are put into play when the Israelites, having escaped Egypt, must face both the effects of enslavement on their national character, and the threats of growing up in the desert, an environment arguably more hostile than the slavery to which they—ironically— end up begging to return.

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Marc Michael Epstein

Marc Michael Epstein is the product of a mixed marriage between the scions of Slonimer and Lubavitcher Hassidim and Romanian socialists, and grew up, rather confused, but happy, in Brooklyn, New York. He is currently Professor of Religion at Vassar College, where he has been teaching since 1992, and was the first Director of Jewish Studies. At Vassar, he teaches courses on medieval Christianity, religion, arts and politics, and Jewish texts and sources. He is a graduate of Oberlin College, received the PhD at Yale University, and did much of his graduate research at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He has written numerous articles and three books on various topics in visual and material culture produced by, for, and about Jews.
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