Hebrew Studies

The Joy of Reading the Bible

Yair Mazor, Professor

Course: HEBR ST 192, SEM 001
Class Number: 33897
Credits: 3 HU
Time: MW 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM
Place: NWQ G575

Course Description:

This First Year Seminar (FYS) aims to acquaint the student with some of the most exciting and compelling aspects of the Bible. This FYS focuses on the literary richness of the Biblical text as well as on the provocative, penetrating nature of the messages which are molded and conveyed by the Biblical text. Also, this FYS demonstrates plausibly the appealing aesthetic intricacy of the Biblical text. For instance: how the order of presentation of words along the textual sequence dictates and determines the meaning of those words. In those cases the structure of the Biblical text turns into the meaning of the Biblical text. This FYS trains the student to decipher and unveil the mysteries invested in the Biblical text.

Accordingly, in many cases the surface meaning of the Biblical text conceals a cryptic, secret meaning of the same Biblical text. Hence, the student will be trained and coached to act as a Biblical detective who unearths the mysterious, latent meaning of the Biblical text.

This FYS does not only teach the student how to become an active, creative, discriminating reader of the Biblical text. This FYS coaches the student to be an independent critic of the Bible who analyzes penetratingly and insightfully the Biblical text while realizing that quite often the game of the Bible is not what you see is what you get. In numerous cases the game of the Bible is what you see is not what you get since you get much more than what you get on the surface.

In this FYS the students are expected to be both active and creative. All students will deliver presentations that focus on the Biblical text in focus. Those presentations will yield and ignite vivid class discussions which will approach the Biblical text under consideration from various viewpoints. In this respect, the role of the students in conducting and leading the FYS is both prominent and paramount.

About the Instructor:

Yair Mazor is a professor of modern Hebrew literature and Biblical literature with UWM department of Foreign Languages and Literature. To date, Dr. Mazor authored 24 scholarly books and about 250 scholarly articles an review essays which have been published in U.S., Israel, and numerous European countries. The fields of study of professor Mazor are modern Hebrew literature, Enlightenment Hebrew literature in Eastern Europe, Biblical literature, comparative literature, Scandinavian literature, and children’s literature. Among the many scholarly awards Dr. Mazor received are Shpan Prize and Sadan Prize for two of his books , the Baron Prize for Excellency in contributing to Jewish Studies, UWM Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching award and a National Award (Friedman Prize) for the most distinguished Hebrew Studies scholar in U.S.(1998).