Enlightening the Eyes

The Full Spectrum of Jewish learning

The Concept of Sonship in Jewish Thought

A friend recently asked me whether Christianity had been a topic of discussion at the three traditional Jewish institutions I studied at. I remarked that it was never a central topic of discussion, but that it did arise on occasion. When it did, there were three contexts in which the topic arose....

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The Stranger within Your Gates: Converts and Conversion in Rabbinic Literature

Controversy regarding conversion to Judaism seems like an ever-present discussion when it comes to the modern State of Israel and Jews in the Diaspora. Every few weeks or so an article appears in a Jewish online newspaper or an Israeli news site discussing a disagreement usually between the...

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Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls: The History of Judaism, the Background of Christianity, the Lost Library of Qumran

One of the foundational texts for the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls remains the work of Dr. Lawrence Schiffman titled Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls: The History of Judaism, the Background of Christianity, the Lost Library of Qumran. Schiffman lays out the history of the scrolls from their...

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Jewish Conversos and the Rise of Secularism

The rise of a secular alternative to Jewish life was the product of a series of complicated events and trends brought about in part by the Renaissance, the Age of Reason, and various wide ranging political changes in Europe. It was also brought about in part by changing views on Jewish religious...

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​A Review of Zakhor: Jewish History and Jewish Memory

A great many Jewish holidays and practices in their earliest understanding reflect the great innovation of Biblical religion which placed the emphasis on “historic events” in contrast to other ancient Near Eastern religions which stressed nature. As Abraham Joshua Heschel noted, faith is memory....

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The Beginnings of Jewishness: Boundaries, Varieties, Uncertainties

The subject of Jewish identity has been a long term interest for me. My thesis at the Siegal College of Judaic Studies was on Jewish identity during the Second Temple period. My dissertation at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies was on Iberian Conversos, or Anusim. In either case, what...

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The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English

Every scholar has his or her unique story. Few, however, have as fascinating a story as the legendary Geza Vermes. Even fewer can weave their personal stories and transform their struggles as strengths into their professional work. Geza Vermes was one such person. Vermes was from Hungarian...

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Who Was a Jew?: Rabbinic and Halakhic Perspectives on the Jewish Christian Schism

One of the premier scholars of the Dead Sea Scrolls is Dr. Lawrence H. Schiffman of New York University. In fact, he remains the premier American scholar on the Dead Sea Scrolls to my knowledge. He taught as Yeshiva University and also served as provost there. One of the first books I read by...

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A New Stage at Yeshivat Meor Enaim

The process of developing curriculum for Yeshivat Meor Enaim is a slow but steady process. One of the exciting components we are adding is a blog which will highlight articles and recommended books that are critical resources to anyone who is interested in a broad Jewish educaition. Our blog...

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