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The Second Temple Period as a Cultural Bridge: The Apocrypha and Early Jewish Identity

Hosted By: Haberman Institute

The books of the Apocrypha represent a tiny fraction of the literature that Jews produced over the course of the late Second Temple period (200 BCE–70 CE). Many of the novellas, prayers, poems, and historical documents that Jews produced during this period seek to interpret political and social events that affected Jewish life through the lens of earlier Jewish tradition. The first lecture in this series will explore the history of Second Temple Judaism and home in on Apocryphal texts that seek to decipher the theological meaning of the Hasmonean rebellion against the Syrian Greeks. The second lecture in this series will take a deep dive into Apocryphal documents that engage with ancient Jewish history, and will focus on interpretations of biblical stories that feature women. This series will highlight the myriad ways that Jews during the Second Temple period developed strategies to address an ever-changing world while staying true to their identities.

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