Philosophy 335                     Philosophies of Judaism                  Le Moyne College
Take-home exam #1                                                                          Spring 2007

These are to be emailed before class and a printed copy turned in during class  on Friday, February 23;  students who both email (to and turn in the exam early or on time will have 5% added to their exam's grade.  Late exams are to be emailed (if you have no access to email over break you can fax the exam to 315-445-4540 or mail them to me at Le Moyne College (1419 Salt Springs Road, Syracuse, NY 13214 ) as soon as it is completed.   Exams received by the 25th will be accepted with no penalty, after that, 5% will be subtracted each day with a maximum deduction of  100%. For example, an exam that would have received a 98 if turned in on time, would have its score reduced to a 93% if I  received it on February 26th and a 43% if I received it on March 6.

Answer three of the following questions, using 1-2 double spaced pages (or less) for each answer.

1.  According to Rivkin, why does the Aaronide revolution succeed where the Deuteronomic revolution failed?  What does this suggest about the requirements for a successful change in a Jewish  paradigm?


According to Rivkin, what is the Pharisaic revolution?  Why did it and its spin-offs succeed? 

2.  What does higher criticism  of the bible suggest about the legitimacy of Aaronide, Deuteronomic, or Pharisaic teachings about  God, Torah and Israel?  What does this imply with respect to Christianity or Islam?

3.  Compare and contrast Plaskow's method and epistemology in ""Beyond Egalitarianism" God: Some Feminist  Questions" and "'It is Not in Heaven' Feminism and Religious Authority" with that found in the Book of Ecclesiastes. 

4.  Give an example of how one could apply the insights express in "Persecution and the Art of Writing "(Strauss, Ch. 2, pp. 22-38) to the books of Esther or Ecclesiastes, or to the first four chapters of Genesis or the first four chapters of Exodus.

5.  Compare/contrast the problems bothering the author of Ecclesiastes with the challenges addressed by Plaskow in "Beyond Egalitarianism." How do their responses address issues of legitimate authority, revelation, and epistemology?