« Back

Perspectives on the Jewish Calendar

Perspectives on the Jewish Calendar

15 teaching hours, equivalent to 2,5 ECTS

Feb 19 – Feb 23

Barbara Spectre


Barbara Lerner Spectre is the Founding Director of Paideia.  She was formerly on the faculty of the Hartman Institute of Advanced Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, where she taught Jewish Thought. She was among the founders of the Seminary of Judaic Studies in Jerusalem. Her area of research is in models of inference in Christian and Jewish post-Holocaust theology, for which she received a research grant from Yad V’Shem Institute. Barbara’s publications include “A Theology of Doubt” (Hebrew) and, together with Noam Zion of the Hartman Institute, the two-volume “A Different Light: The Hannukah Book of Celebration.” In 2007, she received the prestigious Max M. Fisher Prize for Jewish Education in the Diaspora.


Course Description

How a people organize its calendar, what it celebrates and mourns, how it understands time, are signposts that can serve as indicators of a cultural perspective. These indicators can then serve as a platform by which to build an understanding of the celebratory and ritualistic aspects of Judaism. 


The course will analyze a series of concepts that stand in a paradoxical relationship one to another, for example: accident/fate; obedience/responsibility; faith/doubt. The ways in which these paradoxes are expressed in the Jewish calendar will be studied, utilizing a wide variety of sources, including the Bible, Midrash, Talmud, Maimonides, Kabbalistic sources, and contemporary literature.  Comparisons will be made with various philosophic and religious traditions.

To participate in the course, please contact Paideia at info@paideia-eu.org.