Learn classical Hebrew by studying Akedat Yitshak, Isaac’s Binding (Gen.22)!
We start off with the story of Isaac’s binding and go straight to the fascinating universe of classical Hebrew.
How does grammatical constructions affect our interpretation of the story? Why are the words for food and knife that Abraham raises over his son so similar in Hebrew? How has the story been interpreted in different Jewish contexts? Akedat Yitshak is one of the most intense and controversial texts in Jewish tradition. We will therefore not only study and translate the Bible text together but also have a look at later rabbinic interpretations of it. In connection with medieval Jewish persecution, Rabbi Ephraim of Bonn wrote a piyyut (liturgical poem) based on Akedat Yitshak, in which he weaved a riddle that confused successive generations.
Get ready for an exciting course where we will face everything from medieval rabbis through the creation of Hebrew verbs to a dramatic one and difficult-to-interpret story of family relationships.
You need to be able to read Hebrew letters.
About the teacher
Miriam Selén Gerson is a doctoral student in Hebrew Bible exegetics at Uppsala University, where she researches rabbinic interpretations of the biblical sacrificial cult. She got her first degree from the University of Oxford in classical music, worked for ten years with performing arts in various forms in Italy and the UK, before moving to Stockholm to resume her dream to study religious science.