This is the Twelve Hour Shavuot Budget page. To jump directly to one of our other Shavuot Budgets, click the corresponding button below.

 
Image Credit: http://ninjas.digital/digits/stop-watch-game/

Image Credit: http://ninjas.digital/digits/stop-watch-game/

Shavuot Budget #4: Twelve Hours

Ready to pull an all-nighter? Choose one of the following twelve-hour Shavuot options (both found on this page)!

Track 1 - The Judaism Unbound Podcast

180 Minutes - Binge listen to the first four episodes of the Judaism Unbound podcast.

Questions to consider as you listen:

1. What does the phrase "Judaism Unbound" mean to you? Are you persuaded by the co-hosts' arguments for an "unbound" Judaism? What role should boundaries play in the lives of 21st century Jews?

2. Richard Elliott Friedman's Who Wrote the Bible? plays a key role in Episode 2, as Dan and Lex discuss the transformative role it played in their lives. Does the idea of the Torah being written by human beings have a strong effect on you? In a positive or negative sense? For people who accept the ideas developed by academic Biblical scholars and the discoveries of archaeologists over the last 100 years or so, what kind of meaning can they make of this holiday and of Judaism more broadly? 

3. Do you agree with Benay Lappe's theory that rabbinic Judaism is experiencing a "crash" (Episode 3)? If so, do you think of yourself as an Option One, Option Two, or Option Three Jew (or perhaps a combination of these responses)? If Option Three is desirable, what can we do today to increase the likelihood that people will develop something new that is resonant and profound?

4. In episode four, Dan and Lex discuss "disruptive" vs. "sustaining" changes, and apply the ideas of Albert Hirschmann's Exit, Voice, and Loyalty to today's Jewish world. Are there any "disruptive" changes you would especially like to see occur in American Judaism? Any "sustaining" ones?

180 Minutes: Listen to episodes 5-8 of the Judaism Unbound podcast.

Questions to consider as you listen:

Image Credit: University of Virginia

Image Credit: University of Virginia

1. What do you think of Professor Vanessa Ochs's idea of "inventing" Jewish ritual? What does it imply about our role in practicing Judaism? (Episode 5)

2. In episode six, Lex and Dan put forth the idea that having less knowledge about Judaism might actually be conducive to creating the kinds of innovative changes that could be compelling to 21st Century Jews. Do you find this idea persuasive? How can bold creativity and deep knowledge both be achieved?

3. Professor Barak Richman articulates a few reasons why institutions often resist change. Have you experienced difficulties trying to implement change in the Jewish community? Do you find the idea compelling or distressing that existing institutions simply cannot make certain kinds of changes? (Episode 7)

4. Do today's Jewish institutions focus too much or too little on issues of numbers? (Episode 8)

Image Credit: Duke Law School

Image Credit: Duke Law School

180 Minutes: Listen to episodes 9-12 of the Judaism Unbound podcast.

Questions to consider as you listen:

Image Credit: Brandeis.edu

Image Credit: Brandeis.edu

1. Dan Mendelsohn-Aviv outlines his theory of "radical breaks and remakes" in episode nine. What would you describe as the most important radical break in Jewish history? Do you find his idea of "remakes," rather than "reboots," compelling? 

2. Do you think syncretism plays a lesser, a greater, or the same role in Judaism today as it did in earlier eras of Jewish history? (Episode 10)

3. Professor Jonathan Sarna (Episode 11) outlines three "strategies for Jewish continuity": retaining tradition, adapting tradition to modern times, and focusing on peoplehood. While many connect to all of these, which of the three strategies would you choose if you had to select just one?

4.  Anita Diamant (Episode 12) argues that there has never been a better time to be Jewish than today. To what extent do you agree?

Image Credit: Npr.org

Image Credit: Npr.org

180 Minutes: Listen to episodes 13-16 of the Judaism Unbound podcast.

Image Credit: www.indiana.edu

Image Credit: www.indiana.edu

1. Professor Shaul Magid (Episode 13) presents two major forms of engaging with Judaism today, which he terms "survivalism" and "spiritual humanism." Do you agree with this dichotomy? What would a "third way" look like?

2. Dan and Lex argue that Bernie Sanders, widely viewed as a marginal Jew, actually practices a deep and profound form of Judaism. Is the Judaism of Bernie Sanders authentic? As authentic as more established forms of Judaism? Could it be developed and institutionalized?

3. Did any of the differences between men and women, discussed by Dr. Keren McGinity with respect to intermarriage, surprise you? (Episode 15)

4. Paul Golin, in episode 16, explains why he has not attended High Holiday services in 25 years. Does the experience of Rosh Hashanah and/or Yom Kippur resonate with you? Have you attended services on those days in recent years? Why or why not? What about Shavuot? What would a High Holidays Unbound look like?

Credit: Keren McGinity

Credit: Keren McGinity

Bonus: Still hungry for more, even after twelve hours? Listen to the final episode of Judaism Unbound available as of Shavuot 2016 below!

Track 2 - RLST 145: Introduction to the Hebrew Bible (from Yale University's Open Yale Courses, taught by Professor Christine Hayes)

720 Minutes: Visit Yale University's "Open Yale Course" on the Hebrew Bible by clicking the image below, and begin with the first lecture by clicking Lecture 1 "The Parts of the Whole" from that page. Continue listening to the first 14 episodes (45-50 minutes each, all available at this link and directly linked below the image of Professor Christine Hayes), which collectively account for a twelve-hour track. These episodes cover material ranging from Historical Criticism, to scholarly perspectives on the Exodus, to the Deuteronomistic history. Like other content on Shavuot Unbound, this is a different style of Torah study.

Image Credit: Oyc.Yale.edu

Image Credit: Oyc.Yale.edu

Christine Hayes, Introduction to the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible), (Yale University: Open Yale Courses), http://oyc.yale.edu (Accessed June 8, 2016). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

 

We hope you enjoyed the Twelve Hour Shavuot Budget! To jump directly to one of our other Shavuot Budgets, click the corresponding link below.