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Philosophy, Politics, and the Hebrew Bible

Is there a Jewish theory of politics? By reading three Biblical books—Lamentations, Esther, and Ruth—we will attempt to answer this question. We will consider how the Book of Books approaches issues like national tragedy, individual glory, and future redemption. In doing so, we will better understand our present position. How can Jews succeed in America? What political challenges does the Jew face in Exile? What is the spiritual cost of political gain?

This fall, we will read the Book of Lamentations and discuss the political and religious significance of Jerusalem. In subsequent terms, we will read the Book of Esther and the Book of Ruth.

This is Part I of a full-year course, spanning all three Tikvah Online Academy semesters. Full-year courses are an exciting opportunity for students to dig deeper into a critical topic in Jewish thought and history. Students may enroll in Part I as a standalone course without enrolling in future semesters but are encouraged to reenroll in subsequent terms to gain mastery over the subject.