By Mr. Jared Goldfarb (Guide & Lecturer) and the Team of Tantur Ecumenical Institute
Join us on a textual journey through the early rabbinic teachings of the Mishna and Talmud, as well as the synoptic gospels of the New Testament, in order to trace the radical transformation of Jewish practice following the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, and witness the birth of early Christianity. An additional focus will be placed on the key sites and structures that serve as an important backdrop to this historical period - the first synagogues, the fishing villages along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, the mixed Jewish-Roman city of Tzippori (Sephoris), the scriptorium at Qumran, and of course the complex fabric of politics, religion and identity in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus.
Session 1 - October 17 - "Setting the Scene: The Geopolitical Reality of the Holy Land During the Time of Jesus"
* A tour of the land that Jesus called home - geography, topography, borders, and population centers
* How should we understand the complex relationship between the Roman Empire and the local Jewish communities?
* Virtual Site Visit: Caesarea - King Herod's magnificent port city and architectural masterpiece
Session 2 - October 24 - "These Are the People in Your Neighborhood: Jewish Communities & Identities in the 2nd Temple Period"
* A survey of a fractured Jewish society - Sadducees, Pharisees, Rabbis, Essenes, and Rebels (and where does Jesus fit in?)
* What role does each sect play in confronting the challenges of the time and the growing conflict with Rome?
* Virtual Site Visit: Qumran - A mysterious village on the shores of the Dead Sea, and the scrolls revealed after 2,000 years
Session 3 - October 31 - "Did Jesus Go to Temple or Synagogue? Navigating Between Priestly Rituals and Rabbinic Teachings"
* An exploration of the tension between the literal and interpretive traditions of the Hebrew bible, and the forces behind each path
* How did the ritual traditions of the politically powerful priests hold up against the homilies of social justice in the small village synagogues?
* Virtual Site Visit: The Temple in Jerusalem - House of God? Pilgrimage destination? Bastion of corruption? Or all of the above...
Session 4 - November 7 - "From Destruction to Redemption: Jerusalem's Demise and the Messianic Rise"
* Tracing the narrative of chaos - fleeing the conflict, ritual observance post-Temple, a new hierarchy of Jewish leadership
* How do the various communities push forward following the Great Revolt of the 1st century, and who will inspire new spiritual directions?
* Virtual Site Visit: Tzippori (Sephoris) - A mixed Jewish-Roman city that successfully embraces the post-war reality
Each session of each series will be recorded and a link for viewing will be posted on our website.
Suggested donation of $80 for the 4 sessions (registration is for the entire series)
Everyone is welcome to register! Please do not let the suggested donation amount prevent you from joining. Donate what you can. If you find that the series is worth more than the suggested amount and you can afford the extra donation, your contributions is appreciated. Know that your contribution supports the guides and presenters sharing their knowledge and passion since many have lost their livelihood during this pandemic year and no tourism.