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HIST 221 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Pirkei Avot, Omnipotence, Book Of Deuteronomy

Course Code
HIST 221
Vassili Schedrin
Study Guide

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Unit 1- Foundations and Origins
Abraham was the first Jew
Makes a covenant with God for special rights
Covenant: signed contract, promise, agreement, ensured responsibility
God's covenant with humans start in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve
Conflict between God's commandments and humans' free will
Genesis 3.4-3.17 Lines 8-17
Relationship between God and men/women
Covenant (unsuccessful) that outlines the consequences of eating from the tree
Covenant or commandment? Direct consent from Adam? Eve?
Eve is punished more heavily than Adam (gender roles)
Adam is literally exposed for his actions (unclothed)/denial of responsibility
God prompts Adam to admit fault, Adam shifts blame to Eve (exaggerates his guilt)
Eve also tries to shift the blame to the serpent (covenant comes to an end)
Serpent receives most amount of punishment, then Eve and then Adam
Resembling a parent-child relationship between God and his creations
Broken covenant between divinity and humanity: transgression, encounter, reaction, punishment
Genesis 4.6-4.22 Lines 8-12
First murder in the bible is brother killing brother
Same pattern of transgression, encounter, reaction and punishment
Cain shifts blame and more complex emotions
His punishment is to be lonely (cutting ties with family and community), consequence of fratricide
God will always know your sins, better to repent
Breaking covenants with God is met with the expectation of taking responsibility and then
accepting punishment
Two unsuccessful attempts of God to enter a covenant with humanity
Humanity's free will is too strong
Conforming to standards set by God
Purpose of God's commandments is to show them the right way to live
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Why were Abraham's and Sarah's names were changed?
Changing of status
What does circumcision mean in the context if the covenant?
Makes covenant personal
What does it mean that Sarah, being infertile and very old, could give birth to Isaac?
God is upholding his part of the covenant (physical realisation of his promise, "to multiply")
Example of Sarah's spiritual devotion, given a miracle
Shows that they are chosen by God and that God is omnipotent
What kind of emotional reaction did God's promise produce?
They laughed, experiencing doubt and disbelief but also joy
Complex reaction, she tries to deny her laughter
God gives the child the name "Isaac"
Why was Ishmael made a father of 12 tribes, and it was Isaac with whom God promised to maintain the
Ishmael represents the physical part of the promise but Isaac represents the spiritual part (child
born out of wedlock vs. child born because of God)
Mothers had different relationships with God
Isaac will be more of a holy leader, more responsible
Zekut Avot = merit of fathers recognized by God
Why did God ask where are you and Abraham replied here I am?
Abraham has nothing to hide from God, testing his loyalty and honesty
Parallel between physical and spiritual connection
Why repetition when speaking about Isaac - son, favoured, whom you love?
Speaking to the commitment he has made to God
What could you see in the image of Isaac carrying the wood on which he is to be burned?
Representative of the trials and burdens he has to endure for God
Solidifies his role of a martyr
Key aspect of the Jewish bible: Jews are chosen people, "chosenness"
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