Since antiquity, Jews have been known as the “people of the book.” In this course, we will explore how and why this association emerged. Further, we will try to understand how certain key books—both their form and content—have shaped Jewish culture. Indeed, many central events of Jewish history have revolved around the production, dissemination, and interpretation of the written word: the Hadrianic persecutions, the emergence of Christianity, the Maimonidean controversy, the birth of printing, the spread of the Enlightenment and mysticism, and the digital revolution, to name a few. No previous knowledge of Jewish history is required, only a willingness to read and discuss the key texts together.
WHC Academy costs $25 for members and $54 for non-members per semester.