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					                  Isaac Breuer College                          Fall 2008

     CRN 27425, BIB 1014, Introduction to Biblical Text, Tu/Th 11.40-1, FH 203

Instructor:             Shawn Zelig Aster,
                        Office Hours Tues 3.15-4.30pm, Furst Hall 322.
Teaching Assistant: Joshua Dachman-Soled –
                        Furst Hall 303 – Mondays and Tuesdays 7-9 PM,
                        Furst Hall 322 -- Wed 7-8 PM
The course aims to develop students’ ability to read the narrative portions of Tanakh
(Chumash, Nevi’im Rishonim) in the original Hebrew. This will be accomplished through
study of the features of the most relevant features of Biblical Hebrew grammar and syntax,
through study of vocabulary, and through practical text study. The course will emphasize the
aspects of grammar, syntax, and vocabulary most necessary to successfully understand
narrative parts of Tanakh. We will also focus on students’ ability to read Rashi, which is
necessary for classical study of Hebrew Bible. It is highly recommended that students take
Hebrew 1205/6 concurrently with this class.
Required Texts: Introduction to Hebrew, by Moshe Greenberg, available at the bookstore or on; ‫ חומש בראשית‬with Rashi, without English.
Rules: Since this is a skills course, attendance and preparation for classes is absolutely
necessary. Students who miss four or more classes will receive an “F.” Students who come
late may be denied admittance. Do not come to class with an active cell phone, except in
cases of military or medical emergency; you will be marked absent if you do.
Homework: There will be a vocabulary test every Thu; the lists of words are up on Angel.
All vocabulary tests are cumulative and include all words from previous lists. Homework from
Greenberg will be assigned to prepare for class every Tues. Assignments will be handed in
weekly, and will be graded A – C – F; students are then responsible for keeping their work
organized in a binder for the remainder of the semester.
1. Noun quiz on Oct 7:                10%
2. Midterm on Nov 4:                  20%
3. Homeworks + attendance
      Grammar homework                15%
      Vocabulary tests                15%
      Final exercise                  10%
4. Final Exam (≈ placement test):     30%

                  Teaching Assistant (TA): Rules and Responsibilities

If you cannot attend scheduled tutorial hours assigned to this class (Mondays and Tuesdays
7-9 PM, Wed 7-8 PM) due to an academic conflict, notify the Instructor and the TA in writing
designating the nature of the conflict no later than September 12th.

                    Regulations Governing TA-Student Relationship

The TA will keep a log of students who come to them for assistance. Student must sign in
and the TA will record the date, the amount of time spent and the type of help given – e.g.,
assignment, text reading, class-review, etc. Any student missing more than 3 non-excused
absences will be notified that he is barred from TA help and the teacher must notify the TA

The TA may not give students answers to class assignments, nor translate a text for a
student who refuses to read it in Hebrew and attempt a translation, nor teach a student who
has missed a class. If the student has been ill and missed classes, the student is required to
get class notes, consult with classmates, and then to discuss the matter with his teacher who
may instruct the TA to help him catch up with the missed work.

Students encountering difficulties with the tutorial system should address their problems to
the class instructor. If the difficulties have not been satisfactorily resolved, the student
should notify the chair of the Oversight Committee, Professor David Berger, of the

Students must arrive either at the beginning of the tutorial session or at 8 PM (on Mondays
and Tuesdays) so that the TA knows how best to utilize the hour. In the first five minutes of
the session, the TA shall assess the students' problems. If there are only a few students, the
TA may decide to work with them one on one. If there are many students, the TA may
divide them into groups where the students will work together amongst themselves, with the
TA rotating amongst them giving instruction and offering help. The TA may also choose to
teach up-front, covering the topics which the students have acknowledged as presenting the
major difficulties.

Semester schedule

G = pages in Greenberg; VQ = vocabulary quiz
                  Topics covered                          Pages in G       Quizzes
August      28      Breakdown of a ‫פסוק‬
September   2, 4       Subject and object
                                                                           VQ on G 24, 25,
                       ‫ את‬as a marker of the direct
                                                                           28, 38
            9       Grammar of nouns:
            11         Gender, number, segolates,                         VQ on List 2 and
                        broken plurals                    G 25-37          on G 32, 36
            16         Definiteness
                       ‫סמיכות‬
            18      Prepositions                                           VQ on List 3
            23      Pronouns and pronominal
                                                          G 38-40, 64-70
            25      suffixes                                               VQ on List 4
October     7       Quiz on nouns and pronouns
            28      Introduction to verbal system         G 41-44
            30      ‫ בנין קל‬perfect                       Handout          VQ on List 5
November    4       Midterm covering nouns,
                    basic ‫ ,בנינים‬and ‫ קל‬perfect
            6       ‫בנין קל‬                                                VQ on List 6
            11         participles, imperfects,          G 49-57
                        imperatives, & infinitives
            13                                            G 58-63 and
                    Other ‫,נפעל ,הפעיל ,פעל( בנינים‬
                                   ֵ ִּ  ִּ ְ ִּ ַ ְ ִּ                    VQ on List 7
                    and ‫)התפעל‬
                         ֵ ַ ְ ִּ
            20                                                             VQ on List 8
                    Verbs with direct object suffixes G 71-73

December       2      ‫ו' ההיפוך‬                             G 74-77
December       4      Non-‫( שלמים‬hollow verbs, final
                            ִּ ֵ ְ
                      ‫ ה‬verbs, initial ‫ א‬verbs, final ‫א‬
                                                            G 78-83, 88-92,
                      verbs, initial ‫ א‬verbs, initial ‫נ‬                         VQ on List 9
                      verbs, initial gutturals, middle
                      gutturals, final gutturals)
               9                                            ‫בראשית‬
               11     Review: Reading a ‫פסוק‬                44:18-34
                                                                                VQ on List 10
                                                            (G 167)
                      Reading Rashi
               23     Final exercise due & review
               24     Final exam

Students with disabilities who are enrolled in this course and who will be requesting documented
disability-related accommodations are encouraged to make an appointment with the Office of
Disability Services, 646 685 0118 during the 1st wk of class. After approval is granted, please submit
your accommodations letter to the instructor as soon as possible, to ensure successful implementation
of the accommodation.


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