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Trees and Plants of the Torah (BIB-376)
Various: distance learning format

Varies (self-study; self-paced)

March 2021 - Present.

Subject Area:
Judaic Studies

Number of Credits:

Learner Outcomes:
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: to identify the main references to plants and trees in the Torah; to recognize the Torah prohibitions and commandments involving trees and plants; to understand the symbolism of trees in general and certain individual trees and plants according to rabbinical interpretation from the times of the midrash until current times; to be able to demonstrate how knowledge of passages in the Torah involving trees and plants provides guidance in life and spiritual growth; to apply the rabbinic symbolism of trees and plants to additional Biblical, Talmudic, or Midrashic passages or scenarios involving those trees and plants; and to apply the rabbinic symbolism of trees and plants to create messages relevant to current issues in life and spiritual growth.

Trees and Plants of the Torah (BIB-376) is an advanced Bible course which examines the relevance of trees and plants in the Torah. This is to include not only the explicit references to trees and plants, such as the mitzvos of orlah, shmitah, and bikurim, but also the symbolic significance of trees as interpreted by the rabbis from the composers of the midrash through current times. A major focus will be to understand how Torah scholars over the generations have learned lessons for the man’s daily life and spiritual growth from the metaphorical example of the trees in the Torah, both in lessons from trees in general and from specific types of trees and plants, such as the grapevine and the olive tree. Some of the specific topics will include analysis of the trees of the Garden of Eden, the Burning Bush, and the apple orchard referenced in Yitzchak’s blessing of Eisav.

Credit Recommendation:
In the upper division baccalaureate degree category, 3 semester hours in Bible Studies, Judaic Studies, or Religion (5/21).