Ibn Ezra, Rashi and Potter?!
By Rabbi Peter Stein, Bible Studies Dept. Chair;
STUDENTS IN MR. Eichenhorn’s Bible 3 class recently had the opportunity to apply their skills in Biblical interpretation to another sacred text – Harry Potter! For two years, these juniors have studied the different lenses that medieval rabbis such as Rashi and Ibn Ezra bring to their interpretations of the Torah, examining how their lives and
social contexts have influenced their writings.
In this project, students closely read two chapters from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and then wrote original commentaries from a medieval commentator’s perspective. By using a more contemporary text, students were able to understand the process by which Jewish commentators wrestled with the Bible and developed their diverse and creative interpretations