After Torah Study on Krasnow Zoom
Faith Krasnow, facilitator
This course includes 24 discussion/lectures and a 30 minute video primarily but not only on the foundational stories of the Book of Genesis. We will approach the text as a piece of literature. On the surface many of these well known stories look like simple tales, but they are, in fact, products of a great literary genius.
The Bible itself, enriched by the great cultures of ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt and Canaan, breaks through the traditions of these texts with a literary sophistication and refinement heretofore unknown. We are seeing remarkably gifted authors but also an ancient Israelite audience that could appreciate and understand literature of such high quality and brilliance.
We cannot but conclude that literature played a central role in the life of ancient Israel.
The Flood Story
The flood story, like all the Genesis stories from chapter one through eleven, comes directly out of the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, a wildly popular legend that captured the imagination of the peoples of the Near East for centuries. There are so many points of similarity with the biblical story that we must ask how the Israelites distinguished themselves and their story from that of the polytheistic world.