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For the first time in its history, Shalom Hartman Institute Rabbinic Leadership alumni will gather for an Alumni Study Retreat. The inaugural Rabbinic Leadership Institute Alumni Study Retreat will be held from January 23-26, 2011, at the Steven Breuer Conference Center in Malibu, California. Rabbinic Alumni of the first three RLI cohorts, representing nearly a decade of our intensive rabbinic leadership program, will gather to study the topic of Covenant and its contemporary challenges and applications with SHI faculty members Prof. Israel Knohl and Rabbi Dr. Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi.

Text study will focus on Biblical, Rabbinic and Modern interpretations of covenant and covenant theology. One day of the retreat will be open to all rabbinic colleagues in the area of Southern California. Highlights will be a learning session with Prof. Knohl; a session on the Hartman Institute’s newest project, Engaging Israel: Foundations for a New Relationship; and a preview of a learning program for rabbis and their communities which seeks to lift and shift the discourse on Israel and the relationship of North American Jews to Israel.

Rabbis will also enjoy a visit to a local winery and a viewing of a new Israeli film portraying Israeli society.

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A globally diverse group of distinguished Jewish, Chsristian and Muslim theologians is due in Jerusalem at the Hartman Institute annual theology conference on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009.

Outside participants (Hartman participants below)

Nicholas Adams, University of Cambridge
Sr. Therese Andrevon, Institut Superieur d’Etudes Ecumeniques, Paris
Ahmed Al-‘Atari, Al-Quds University
Paul Ballanfat, Galatasaray University, Istanbul
Avriel Bar Levav The Open University
Hakan Bengtsson, Swedish Theological Institute
Frederick Bliss, Pontifical St. Thomas Aquinas University
Davida Charney, University of Texas
Shlomo Fischer, Tel Aviv University
David Ford, University of Cambridge
Paula Fredriksen, Boston University, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Alon Goshen-Gottstein, The Elijah Interfaith Institute
Shiraz Hajiani, University of Chicago
Zeev Harvey, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Annabel Herzog, Haifa University
Muhammad Hourani, The David Yellin College
Jimmy Jones, Manhattanville College
Karen King, Harvard Divinity School
Halima Krausen, Initiative for Islamic Studies, Hamburg
Halida Mahmutcehajic, International Forum, Bosnia
Rusmir Mahmutcehajic, International Forum, Bosnia
Tzvi Marx, Folkertsma Inst. for Talmud, Hilversum, Catholic University of Nijmegan
Michael McGarry, CSP, Tantur Ecumenical Institute
Barbara Meyer, Franz-Rosenzweig Institute, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Donald Moore, Pontifical Biblical Institute, Jerusalem
David Neuhaus, SJ, Bethlehem University, Latin Patriarchate Seminary
Emre Oktem, Galatasaray Universitesi, Turkey
Kimberley Patton, Harvard University
Peter Pettit, Institute for Jewish Christian Understanding, Muhlenberg College
Christoph Schmidt, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Adam Seligman, Boston University
Murtaza Shibli, Kashmir Affairs, London
Karla Suomala, Luther College, Iowa
Jesper Svartvik, Lund University
Karen Jo Torjesen, Claremont Graduate University
Olivier Thomas Venard, OP, Ecole Biblique, Jerusalem
Ophir Yarden, Brigham Young University, Jerusalem, Interreligious Coordinating Council In Israel
Randall Zachman, University of Notre Dame
Asim Zubcevic, University of Sarajevo

Shalom Hartman Institute participants

Adam Afterman
Bill Berk
Angelica Berrie, Board of Directors
Menachem Fisch
Ori Goldberg
David Hartman
Donniel Hartman
Melila Hellner-Eshed
Israel Knohl
Ron Margolin
Stuart Schoffman
Nehama Verbin

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Gateways Jewish Learning Fest in Jerusalem during Sukkot 2008

Gateways Jewish Learning Fest in Jerusalem during Sukkot 2008

Plan ahead: Shalom Hartman Institute is joining an impressive lineup of prominent Jerusalem and Jewish institutions in the first Gateways Festival of Jewish learning, taking place throughout Jerusalem on Sukkot, October 16 and 19.

The rationale behind this event is to bring together all streams of Jews on Sukkot, the Feast of Ingathering, in Jerusalem for a celebration of Jewish learning and culture. All study sessions – whether in English, French, Hebrew or Russian – all outdoor performances, and some indoor performances will be offered free of charge.

The Hartman Institute is participating in the festival with five study sessions at its campus, three in Hebrew and two in English. The Hebrew sessions will be given by Dr. Ariel Picard, who will discuss Jewish education in the postmodern era, Dr. Yishai Rozen-Tvi, who will focus on women and prayer in Midrash, and Prof. Israel Knohl, who will talk about the genetic code of the Bible. In English, Dr. Alick Isaacs will discuss a Jewish philosophy of peace, while Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi will lecture on revelation in modern Jewish thought.

The October 19 sessions will carry on through the night in a traditional Hoshana Rabbah night-long study.

For a full listing of all the sessions and their times see the Gateways website.

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Israel Knohl tells us his latest in-depth article about the “Messiah Stone” and its translation is available in the new issue of Biblical Archaeology Review (It’s the cover article for you print types).

What Israel tells us is also new is written confirmation by prominent archeological scholar Ada Yardeni, “premier expert of the script of that period, where she accepts my reading of the crucial words IN THREE DAYS, LIVE.”

Those four words provide the basis for the thesis that ties in Jewish prophecy of the day with the origins of the Christian Jesus.

For a lot more from Knohl, including his translation, click here. One more thing…

(more…)

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Interest in the so-called “Messiah stone” and the innovative and provocative translation of it by Shalom Hartman Institute Senior Fellow Israel Knohl continues unabated. The Jerusalem Report now wades into the fray with a typically lengthy but thorough piece on the cover of its latest issue. The piece rambles on about the Dead Sea Scrolls for a while before getting to Knohl and the Dead Sea stone, but gives him ample time to explain his theory: (more…)

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[blip.tv ?posts_id=1109259&dest=32833]

Watch this video of Israel Knohl, Senior Fellow, Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem, Israel, author of the controversial, “The Messiah Before Jesus,” whose tranlsation of the “Messiah Stone” has caused a stir worldwide, talks here about the Jewish concept of tikkun olam – repairing the world, and where it first appeared in the Jewish Bible.

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Oh, the power of the New York Times combined with a provocative idea. The Times story quoting Hartman Institute Senior Fellow Israel Knohl‘s innovative commentary on the “biblical stone” and the idea that Jewish tradition and folklore had of the messiah whose death and resurrection three days later would redeem the people has spun around the world and back again since it appeared on the paper’s front page and website over the weekend.

Follow-up stories in everything from Time to MSNBC and newspapers in Ireland, South Africa, Australia, and elsewhere have given the matter widespread publicity. Now, bloggers worldwide are chewing over Knohl’s research and claims, which we posted on the Shalom Hartman Institute website in May.

Some of the more interesting thoughts and headlines out there:

MSNBC: Messianic message stirs debate. MSNBC quotes (among others), Herschel Shanks, founder of the Biblical Archaeology Society and editor of the Biblical Archaeology Review:

“The really unique thing about Christian theology is in the life of Jesus – but in the doctrines, when I was a kid, you had little stories about the Sermon on the Mount and the people listening to this saying, ‘What is this man saying? I never heard anything like this! This is different,'” Shanks told me. “Today, this view is out. There are Jewish roots to almost everything in Christian experience.”

Time: Was Jesus’ Resurrection a Sequel?

“It is certainly not perfectly clear that the tablet is talking about a crucified and risen savior figure called Simon,” says Ben Witherington, an early-Christianity expert at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky. The verb that Knohl translates as “rise!,” Witherington says, could also mean “there arose,” and so one can ask “does it mean ‘he comes to life,’ i.e., a resurrection, or that he just ‘shows up?’ “

New York Sun: Blurry ‘Vision of Gabriel.’ The usually reliable Hillel Halkin, roused by his editors in New York to join the conversation offered this surprisingly thin commentary:

 The “Vision of Gabriel,” from what I have been able to gather from these reports — I was not at the Jerusalem conference and have not read Mr. Knohl’s paper — would seem to be in many ways a typical late-Second-Temple-period eschatological text, a cryptically couched prediction of the messianic End of Days in the form of a revelation granted to the anonymous author by the archangel Gabriel….

What, then, is so dramatic about the “Vision of Gabriel”? Mainly, it would seem, a possible pronouncement by the archangel that the future Messiah will die and rise from the dead in three days’ time, just as Jesus is said to have done by the New Testament….Let us suppose that Mr. Knohl is right, and that the New Testament story of a messiah who is killed and rises from the dead on the third day represents a borrowing of a motif current in the same Jewish circles in Palestine that produced the “Vision of Gabriel” a generation or two before Jesus’s time.

(D)oes it tell us anything sensationally new about Christianity’s Jewish antecedents? I doubt it — not because these antecedents were not real, but on the contrary, because we already know so much about their reality that one more instance of it, however remarkable, will not add a great deal to the overall picture.

Knohl spoke on his theories at the Israel Museum conference mentioned above on Tuesday. There is no doubt his thought-provoking interpretations will continue to be discussed by religious thinkers and all those who care about the connections between Judaism and Christianity.

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