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Scholar In Residence Rabbi David Frankel Speaks at Torah Study Last Night on " Who Really Wrote

More than 40 people attended the exciting lesson which had several bombshells keeping everyone on the edge of their seats.

I knew Dr. Frankel many years ago when we were both students at the Hebrew University. He went on to study in Israel for the Conservative Rabbinate and to do a PhD in Bible at the Hebrew University. I studied at Hebrew Union College for my Rabbinic Ordination and did my PhD in Jewish History at Tel Aviv University.

Our President Mike Pereira presented our scholar in residence David Frankel with an Alabama mascot pillow after his wonderful talk at Torah Study last night.

The chapel was basically full. There were many questions and comments, almost all showing knowledge and insight.

Dr. Frankel explained that according to the dominant view of Jewish Tradition, Moses wrote the entire Torah from beginning to end at the verbal dictation of God. Critical scholarship has shown that this position cannot be defended. Who really authored the books of the Torah? Dr. Frankel described the process as like a snowball, with many individuals and groups contributing to the redaction process over an extremely long time period.

(Photo Credit: Shirley Boyd)

The program tonight Thursday night on "Thirty Years of Life in the State of Israel" is an Eastern Shore Leadership Event, which is full!

So plan to come to events Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Friday night at Kabbalat Shabbat services 6 PM, Dr. Frankel will speak on "When God fought the Monster of the Sea." Then we will have an oneg in his honor. Most people think that the Bible presents Israel’s God as the one and only supreme power. This is a gross oversimplification. In fact, the Bible is full of fascinating mythological stories about a great battle between the storm deity and deities and monsters of the Great Sea. These stories sound a lot like Greek myths, but they are different in some important ways. You will never look at the Bible in the same way again.

Then on Saturday at 11 AM, we have our Special Joint Anniversary Service with Pensacola's Temple Beth El and their Rabbi Joel Fleekop. Then lunch at about 1230 PM (Please reserve a place with the office). Then Dr. Frankel will speak on "What Actually Happened in the Garden of Eden?" at about 130 PM.

Everybody loves the Garden of Eden story. Was the serpent of Eden a kind of Satan? Were people originally meant to be naked? And why did God prohibit eating from the Tree of Knowledge? These and other mystifying questions about the story of the Garden of Eden will be explored – and a new interpretation of the story will be offered.

Dr. Frankel continues at about 3 PM, speaking to the Christian-Jewish Dialogue group and whoever is left from the morning. Jewish-Christian Polemics in the Middle Ages. What are some of the classic arguments for a Christian reading of the Hebrew Bible? How did the Jews of the Middle Ages respond to these arguments? And how might Jews and Christians move beyond these polemics to a more fruitful form of dialogue today?

Finally, on Sunday morning Dr. Frankel will play guitar, strumming favorites from Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Carly Simon, Leonard Cohen, and other mostly Jewish singer-songwriters of the 60s and 70s. Let me know if you want to come to this, which is at a private house on Dog River. It will be lots of fun!

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