Graduate Theological Union

Did Noah and Jonah Share the Same Boat? How Similar Stories Say Opposite Things About the Human Soul

Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 7:00pm

with Judy Klitsner

The stories of Noah and Jonah share a remarkable number of details, including: water, boats, a divinely-decreed catastrophe, and a prophet's desperate need to escape. These comparisons will lead us to a surprising inverse relationship between the stories, including opposing views on the question:  is it really possible for human beings to change?

Klitsner is a senior faculty member at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, where she has been teaching Bible and biblical exegesis for more than two decades. Klitsner has had a profound impact on a generation of students, many of whom now serve as teachers and heads of Jewish studies programs in the US, Israel and the UK. With her fresh, original readings of familiar narratives, Klitsner illustrates the dynamic nature of biblical attitudes regarding issues of ongoing relevance, such as the self, gender relations, and relations between Jews and non-Jews. She is the author of Subversive Sequels in the Bible: How Biblical Stories Mine and Undermine Each Other, originally published by the Jewish Publication Society; paperback recently released by Koren Publishers. The book was awarded the 2009 Jewish Book Award. Books can be purchased here:

GTU Library, Dinner Board Room, 2400 Ridge Rd, Berkeley, CA