This is going to be a busy semester...

This semester is going to be very challenging! I have a lot of work for two of my classes and the end of the semester is going to be VERY rough. I must plan ahead. My 5 classes are:

Moses Traditions: We'll be discovering how the Bible portrays Moses as a political/military/religious leader for the Israelites and as a Divine figure (but that he is NOT God); What he Egyptian or Israelite?; How he fits into the Hero motif of the ancient Near East as a whole. This class will be a TON of reading (Garfinkel has literally 7 or 8 pages of bibliography that we will be reading. Thank GOD he's putting them up on blackboard) and a TON of preparation of various Torah passages, consisting of translating directly from the Hebrew with the help of various Bible commentaries. NO TEXT BOOK! YES!

The Book of Job: We have a visiting professor from Princeton Seminary; his name is Leong Seow ("Seow, rhymes with 'meow'") and is currently a part of Princeton's intense collaborative work on a new collective Bible commentary. He's writing one for Job, which is why he's teaching the class; it's currently at the publisher's and it's 1500 pages. We'll be dissecting the first part of the Job story: it's language, forms, poetry, meanings, etc. Seow informed us that it is the single most difficult book of the Bible to understand, the old rabbis absolutely hated talking about it and therefore wrote very little about it, and yet everyone heralded it as the most beautiful work of literature ever created, from religious scholars to famous authors. We will be reviewing large chunks of it at a time. We'll need to prepare each section by translating, considering the difficulty of the language and questioning it's forms. Then we'll use Seow's commentary (which he'll be putting up on blackboard!) and then other commentaries for whatever we're having trouble with.

Hebrew 1101: Not as awesome as when we had Nadav because our new teacher is not a native Hebrew speaker. Way too much of our first class was in English. However, Nadav is our lab teacher, so we will still see him once a week! I've already finished all my homework due for Monday. It's going to be the same thing, lots of busy work that is actually quite simple and I'll be finished quickly.

Classics of Jewish Tradition II: This is the second half of a required course on various writings throughout the history of Judaism on the religion and the Bible. Our first class was filled with a lot of emotion and personal feelings on belief and belonging in Judaism. Pretty much that meant I felt quite left out. Ha! But that was what the first class was planned to be like, apparently, and hopefully the rest of our classes will go the way the professor wants it to go, which will be the professor lecturing on the historical background of our reading for class and then a discussion of the reading. I'm hoping it will be much less emotional. Again, no text book, the readings will be posted on blackboard.

Aramaic of the Dead Sea Scrolls: This is the class I am most excited about and of course it's the only one I have not had. It starts on Monday and is only on Mondays, as all of my classes are only once a week except Hebrew. I am not sure what to expect, other than learning how Aramaic is different from Hebrew and reading lots and lots of DSS!!! *squeeeeeeeee!!!* Not sure if there will be a text book, but I am expecting at least some kind of workbook or binder explaining the grammar and idioms of Aramaic. This is also my first class with my adviser, which I am absolutely psyched about! He's such a sweet old man and I'm looking forward to the chance to forming a better relationship with him, because I am quite at a loss about how to focus my studies here and what I'm going to write my thesis on.

Well, there is how my semester is expected to go: a TON of work! But I was expecting that anyway since I'm actually taking 3 graduate level classes plus a required class plus Hebrew, whereas the normal grad student is taking 2 Hebrew classes plus 2 maybe 3 graduate level classes.

Time for me to get some breakfast and head off to the library to get a huge chunk of work out of the way before heading home this weekend!

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