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The Origins of the Bible and How to Read It: Prophecy and Wisdom Literature

This course was offered in Winter/Spring, 2019.

To many contemporary readers, the Bible often feels impenetrable and outdated, principally because of the manner in which Jewish texts have been taught in religious schools for generations. This three section course utilizes methods for reading the Bible that are central to liberal Judaism’s orientations to reading sacred texts, but are not frequently utilized in synagogue settings. Participants can take the sections in any order.

In this section, we will explore the purpose(s) of several prophetic texts, their historical backdrop, and how prophecy and prophets functioned in the ancient Near East. Additionally, we will study examples of wisdom literature, and compare and contrast the wisdom(s) of prophecy to the wisdom(s) of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. We will also determine these sacred texts' relevance to modern day Jews and the world in which we live.


# Sessions
Date & time

Thursdays, March 7 - April 4 (no class 3/28)
7:00 - 9:00 pm

$100 (100%)
$80 (80%)
$60 (60%)

As a nonprofit, Lehrhaus relies on tuition to help cover the direct cost of our course offerings. We offer a tiered pricing structure to ensure that cost is not a barrier to participation. Please evaluate your own ability to pay, and select the option that makes it possible for you to participate. To inquire about pricing or scholarships, please email us at info@lehrhaus.org.

Session Time Days Location Instructors
Mar 07 7:00 PM–9:00 PM Thu Beth El Rabbi Jeremy Morrison
Mar 14 7:00 PM–9:00 PM Thu Beth El Rabbi Jeremy Morrison
Mar 21 7:00 PM–9:00 PM Thu Beth El Rabbi Jeremy Morrison
Apr 04 7:00 PM–9:00 PM Thu Beth El Rabbi Jeremy Morrison


Congregation Beth El

1301 Oxford Street

Berkeley, CA 94709



Rabbi Jeremy Morrison

Rabbi Jeremy MorrisonJeremy is the Executive Director of Lehrhaus Judaica. Following his ordination in 2001 from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, Jeremy served as Associate Rabbi of Temple Israel of Boston for 15 years. Among other leadership roles at Temple Israel, Jeremy was the founding director of the Riverway Project, a nationally recognized outreach and engagement initiative for adults in their 20s and 30s, and he served as the synagogue’s Director of Education. He earned a doctorate in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University, and his dissertation focused on the use of metaphors in the Bible and in other ancient Near Eastern texts. Jeremy lives in Berkeley with his wife, Molly, and their two children, Ezekiel and Poppy.