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Scholar-in-Residence: Ezra Zuckerman Sivan

Saturday, October 21, 2017 • 1 Cheshvan 5778

All Day

Kesher Israel is proud to welcome Dr. Ezra Zuckerman Sivan as scholar-in-residence the week of Parshat Noach, October 21. Dr. Zuckerman Sivan will deliver the morning drasha on the topic of "How Can Shabbat Commemorate Creation if the Week is New?" and an afternoon shiur at 4:40 p.m. entitled "How Does the Science of Shabbat Observance Bolster Faith?"

Dr. Zuckerman Sivan is the Deputy Dean of MIT's Sloan School of Management and the Alvin J. Siteman Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship. He holds a BA in political science from Columbia University as well as an MA and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago. He will be sharing with us some ideas from a book he is currently writing on the history, sociology, and Torah of a unique social institution: the 7-day week.  

Contrary to what is commonly assumed, the week is a relatively new institution (outside the Jewish community), and its beginnings are shrouded in mystery-- from both an historical standpoint (when did it start?) and an "entrepreneurial" standpoint (given the obstacles, how could its originators succeed at "launching" it?).  The book also notes that there is only one “contemporary” document that speaks to the origins of the week, i.e., the Torah. 

Dr. Zuckerman Sivan's work demonstrates that several puzzling questions in the Torah's discussion of the Shabbat---how can Shabbat remind us of Creation as well as Exodus?  Why is the Shabbat singled out for its egalitarian themes? Why are Shabbat-violators punished so harshly?  Why does the Torah say that Shabbat "proves" that God is responsible for sanctifying Israel?---are resolved when we recognize that the Torah is speaking to the very questions of emergence that a “Sabbath entrepreneur” would have faced.

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Wed, August 15 2018 4 Elul 5778