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Moses at Sinai: God’s Partner or Adversary? Part 2

The second of a two-part study guide and lecture by Christine Hayes about Moses and the giving of the Torah at Sinai.
Dr. Christine Hayes is a Senior Fellow of the Kogod Research Center at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. She is the Sterling Professor of Religious Studies at Yale University, specializing in talmudic-midrashic studies. She received a BA in the Study of Religion, summa cum laude, from Harvard University and both an MA and PhD from the University of California Berkeley, Department of Near Eastern Studies. Her most recent book, What’s Divine about Divine

This is the second part of a two-part study guide for Shavuot, find Part 1 here.

In this video lecture, Hartman research fellow Christine Hayes, continues her exploration of the following question: Who is the God of the Bible and Jewish tradition, and what does this God expect, want, and need of Moses and of Israel?

In Part 1, Professor Hayes analyzed an interaction in Exodus between God and Moses at the time of the revelation of the Torah, specifically in the immediate aftermath of the sin of the Golden Calf when God is on the brink of delivering the tablets to Moses. Two distinct images of God and of Moses’s relationship with God emerge from this narrative.

In Part 2, Professor Hayes identifies the same two models of God and of divine-human interaction and traces them throughout rabbinic midrash.

In this lecture, Professor Hayes provides a methodology of studying biblical and midrashic texts. Below the video is a source sheet with the texts that Professor Hayes references, along with follow-up questions for discussion and reflection.

Note that while Part 1 can be enjoyed independently of Part 2, it will be difficult to access the latter without the former. Feel free to watch the video on your own or watch and study the texts with a partner. 


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