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News from the Hill April 16, 2014 | back to index

Meet Summer 2014 adjunct instructor Sarit Kattan Gribetz


The Sabbath: A History of the Day of Rest,' offered June 9-20

Andover Newton is pleased to welcome Sarit Kattan Gribetz to the summer adjunct teaching faculty. A recent Ph.D. graduate of Princeton University, her research focuses broadly on the history of Jews and Christians in Greco-Roman antiquity, and on early Jewish and Christian biblical interpretation. Her dissertation, titled “Conceptions of Time and Rhythms of Daily Life in Rabbinic Literature, 200-600 CE,” is a study of the role that central rituals and observances — such as morning and evening prayers, menstrual purity laws, and other “timebound” commandments — played in marking and structuring the time of ancient Jews.

Before beginning her graduate studies at Princeton, she studied Talmud and archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on a Fulbright Grant. Sarit taught for a year in the Department of Religion at the University of Toronto and has guest taught at the Princeton Theological Seminary. She held postdoctoral fellowships at the Jewish Theological Seminary and at the Center for Jewish Studies at Harvard University this year, and will be joining the department of theology at Fordham University this fall as an assistant professor of Classical Judaism.

Dr. Kattan Gribetz will teach a two-week summer course entitled “The Sabbath: A History of the Day of Rest.” The idea of a weekly sacred day of rest is still observed in Judaism and Christianity today, and this class is an opportunity to learn about the earliest history of the idea and its observance. Starting with the first mention of the Sabbath in Genesis and working its way through biblical, second temple, and rabbinic sources, as well as related Christian and “pagan” texts, this course will explore what the Sabbath was, the ways the Sabbath was practiced and the rituals associated with it, and how its meaning changed as the Sabbath was transformed by different communities in antiquity. We will also use the ancient sources to reflect on our own relationship to work, rest and rejuvenation, and what it means to cease from our everyday activities on a regular basis to create time for contemplation and community.

“The Sabbath: A History of the Day of Rest” is being offered as a two-week intensive June 9-20, 9 a.m. - noon.