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Indiana University Bloomington
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Course Description

VT: Water and Jews, Heaven and Earth (3 cr)
Vered Sakal
JSTU-J 204 Social & Historical Topic in Jewish Studies (12271)
TR 3:00-4:15
GenEd S&H; CASE S&H

Water is the basis for all known forms of life. It is also a vital element in the Jewish universe, beginning with the Biblical division of (upper) waters from (lower) waters in the story of Creation. The course will explore how Biblical, rabbinical and mystical texts deal with the idea of heavenly control of water as a means of communication between God and the children of Israel. We will then explore how these ideas were transformed by Zionistic ideologies, especially the Pioneer movement that promoted a humanistic, non-celestial, mechanical approach that disconnected God from water/life in order to create a "New Jew."