You will find here her teaching schedules in Israel and abroad, book reviews, videos and audios.
Avivah's next North American lecture tour will be in 2016 from May 6 to June 7. See below for details.
SPECIAL EVENT: Avivah will be interviewed in public November 29 at 7 pm at the AACI on Pierre Konig 37 by ELLIOTT MALAMET "Can Torah Speak to the Modern World?" Dr. Elliott Malamet and Dr. Avivah Zornberg in Conversation
When: Sunday, November 29th 19:00 – 21:00 Cost: NIS 55 / NIS 45 Refreshments will be served.
Combining everything from classical rabbinic commentary and Hasidic writings to postmodern literary criticism, art history, and psychoanalysis, Dr. Avivah Zornberg's writings on the Bible are now known and admired around the world by diverse audiences and faith communities. In this free ranging conversation with Dr. Elliott Malamet, Dr. Zornberg discusses her background of deep Jewish learning and secular knowledge; her unique approach to the Torah and the relevance of an ancient text for contemporary Jews.
How can the Torah speak to the modern reader in ways that can transform our understanding of Judaism and of ourselves? Don't miss this fascinating evening, the first of four interviews with contemporary writers and scholars by Dr. Malamet (co-founder of Torah in Motion).
Kirkus Review: “This is not a simple retelling of Numbers but rather a Talmudic commentary of a high order based on artful Hebrew prose and poetry….Zornberg displays her own superior hermeneutic skills as she calls on the teachings of vaunted rabbinic authority, Midrashic tradition and the homilies of Hasidic masters…. A powerful, important textual deconstruction of the mystical fourth book of the Old Testament.”
“Zornberg’s grasp of the rabbinic interpretations of the text (as well as of Jewish philosophy generally) is masterful, and the meat of her work is in relating these interpretations to the spiritual and psychological questions, or bewilderments, evoked by the book of Numbers.” —Publishers Weekly
Jweekly, San Francisco: http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/74336/off-the-shelf-new-books-about-the-bible-worth-reading-more-than-once/ Review by Amos Lassen: http://reviewsbyamoslassen.com/?p=35380 Jerusalem Posthttp://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Book-Review-Performer-of-Torah-395995 Amazon Customer Reviews There are not many great commentaries on the Book of Numbers By Anglican Bishop Joel Marcus Johnson on March 2, 2015: There are not many great commentaries on the Book of Numbers, but now comes Avivah Gottleib Zornberg’s “Bewilderments: Reflections on the Book of Numbers” (Schocken 2015), hot off the press. I have long been an admirer of her work, first with “Genesis: The Beginning of Desire,” thence “The Particulars of Rapture: Reflections on Exodus.” All three of these should grow to classic importance. I would assume at this point that she may be planning volumes on Leviticus and Deuteronomy, as well, giving us a full set of reflections on the entire Torah. More power to this marvelous literary commentator and philosopher. … But there is something new about this work, making it to stand out. She seems to me to have grown in literary dexterity, making this work far more accessible than those previous, even a joy to read. … First, buy “Bewilderments,” then go read the other two in reverse order, so as to receive the full Avivah impact. Second, I ask you, when was the last time you were jumping up and down to study Numbers? My answer is that you have never realized its historical and literary genius until you read Avivah.
Superb By Grant Barber I had feared that no more volumes by this superb author on the books of the Torah were forthcoming after those on Genesis and Exodus. One of those unexpected surprises that brightens up the day was to find this! Her mastery of her field might be rivaled by other Jewish scholars...I can barely keep up with my own Christian writers, let alone other faiths...but how could any surpass her? Edifying, insightful, encyclopedic...excellence and clarity.
See her BIO page above for a list of further publications.
New Photo courtesy of Joan Roth 2014
Teaching Schedule: Thursdays 11:30am at MaTaN on Rashbag Israel Center Tuesday evenings at 7.30pm and Thursday mornings at 9am
North American Itinerary 2016 May 8 NYC 10 am Yeshivah University students May 9 Chicago Torah Learning Center of Northbrook
May 10-12 San Francisco, The Kitchen, Four lecture seminar. For information write to email@example.com
May 13 Berkeley 9am GTU
May 15 10am Palo Alto
May 15 Berkeley 7 pm lecture Chochmat HaLev synagogue, https://chochmat.org/ 2215 Prince Street, Berkeley, at corner of Fulton and Prince streets,
May 16 Santa Barbara Congregation B'nai B'rith 1000 San Antonio Creek Road
May 17 Los Angeles IKAR
May 18 UCLA Hillel 574 Hilgard Ave
May 22 Boston Ma'ayan
May 23 NYC JCC Manhattan
May 24 NYC Brooklyn Public Library 7:30pm Dweck Cultural Center, on the lower level of Central Library at 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11238
May 25 NYC Skirball at Temple Emmanuel
May 27-30 Toronto
June 2 Long Island
June 3-5 Pittsburgh
2015 Lecture Topics: 2016 Lecture topics will be chosen by the end of December
1. 'Sing – now! – to God!' Miriam and Moses
Midrashic material will illuminate this mysterious relationship. The history of Miriam, the prophetess who speaks enviously of her brother Moses, offers an intimate glimpse of the tensions between brother and sister, both leaders, both prophets.
2. Letter from an Unknown Woman: Joseph's dream
Joseph dreams provocative dreams; his brothers' hatred grows because of them; Jacob apparently dismisses them. But according to Freud, all dreams contain a 'navel,' a spot that defies understanding, that 'reaches into the unknown.' In the midrash, that unfathomable element in the lives of Jacob and Joseph is represented by Rachel, the 'unknown woman' in their narrative. Literature, film, and psychoanalytic thought will enrich our study.
3. The Pit and the Rope: Recovering Joseph
We will explore the complex history of Joseph, left for dead in a pit, sold as a slave, finally viceroy of Egypt. Consulting midrashic sources and other commentaries, traditional and modern, we will attempt to trace the trajectory of his inner life. Psychoanalytic and literary material will aid us in our quest: What happened to the light in Joseph's face?
4. 'And I am a Stranger:' Becoming Ruth
Ruth is a stranger in more senses than one. Who is this unknown woman who is destined to become mother of royalty? What is the process by which she finds her way into a foreign and unwelcoming culture and religious tradition? How does destiny come about?
5. From Another Shore: Moses and Korah
A political rebellion reveals its psychological and theological underpinnings. We will explore midrashic and hassidic sources that place the two leaders, Moses and Korach, in a relationship of radical tension.
6. The Murmuring Deep
We will discuss Moses’ speech inhibition as a pivotal issue in the Exodus narrative. What is the nature of this ‘impediment’? We will look at midrashic and hassidic sources, as well as philosophical and psychoanalytic thinking on the role of voice in communication.
7. 'Let me see that good land:' The Story of a Human Life
'Moses fails to enter Canaan not because his life is too short but because it is a human life.' (Kafka) Moses' fundamental sense of himself as 'not a man of words' comes to a poignant consummation in the long speeches he makes to the people before he dies. What is his purpose in these speeches, and particularly in his narrative about his desire to 'cross over to the other side'(of the Jordan