Tag Archives: Hebrew

Library Book Club Reading Schedule 2016-2017

Read literature, and argue the great questions of life with the likes of Leo Tolstoy.

One of the most famous openings in literature is the beginning of Anna Karenina: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Because Tolstoy is one the supreme writers of all time, readers have tended to accept his claim about families as a piece of incontrovertible wisdom. Reader and essayist David P. Goldman, however, argues that Tolstoy got it exactly backwards: “…unhappy families are all unhappy in the same way. It is happy families that are different, because every child is radically unique, such that raising children is the one human activity that is sure to surprise.”*

Goldman’s riposte to Tolstoy brings to mind three reasons on why it is essential that we read literature throughout our lives:

  1. To gain new perspectives, to see the world through other people’s eyes.
  2. To “converse” with the great authors through engagement with their works.
  3. To understand ourselves better.

The mission of the Library Book Club is to encourage the reading of great literature by bringing members of the Regent and CBN communities together to enjoy the unique pleasure of reading and discussing books. For our tenth year, we have assembled a schedule of five classics from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, one acclaimed historical novel about the life of King David, a selection of modern Hebrew poems (our first foray into poetry), a history monograph, and a contemporary memoir. So we hope there’s something for everyone!

Library Book Club Schedule 2016 – 2017

Month Author Title Date & Time
September Geraldine Brooks The Secret Chord Sept 27 at 12:00
October John Allembillah Azumah The Legacy of Arab-Islam in Africa (Dr. Joseph N. Kickasola, discussion moderator) Oct 28 at 12:00
December Edith Wharton Ethan Frome Dec 9 at 12:00
January Shusaku Endo Silence Jan 31 at 12:00
February Ta-Nehisi Coates Between the World and Me Feb 27 at 12:00
March John Bunyan The Pilgrim’s Progress Mar 31 at 12:00
April Yehuda Amichai The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai (Rabbi Dr. Israel Zoberman, discussion moderator) Apr 21 at 1:00
June Charlotte Brontë Jane Eyre June 30 at 12:00
July Elizabeth George Speare The Bronze Bow July 28 at 12:00

Time & Location

Book Club meetings usually take place at noon during the final week of each month in the Library Conference Room. The day of the week depends on the availability and preference of readers. To request a day, send an e-mail message to Harold Henkel (harohen@regent.edu). Check the events tab on the Library Facebook Group for confirmed dates and times. Tea and refreshments are served, and participants are welcome to bring a lunch.

Distance students and faculty welcome

Distance students and faculty are invited to join discussions via Google Hangouts, Google’s free videoconferencing service. Here is the permanent link for all Library Hangout events: https://plus.google.com/hangouts/_/event/c0lnc83s5ok7tecuqdcnjg0mcno?authuser=0&eid=100028809078157626561&hl=en.

For more information about the Book Club, see our website or contact Harold Henkel.

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*David P. Goldman, “Thanks, but I already have a novel,” Asia Times Online, January 29, 2013, http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/OA29Aa01.html.

Torah from Yemen housed in Special Collections

by Don Gantz, Head of Archives & Special Collections

The Ten Commandments, copied with special formatting, in the Torah donated to Regent

The Ten Commandments, copied with special formatting, in the Torah donated to Regent

Regent University recently received an 18th century Torah scroll from Ken and Barbara Larson, a couple whose mission is to gift Torah scrolls to academic institutions for study and inspiration.1

The Torah is the first five books of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures and is foundational to the faith of both. It is hand-written in Hebrew consonants by scribes observing traditions passed down for thousands of years. Dr. Scott Carroll, the scholar working with the Larsons, observed that the rules of the writing process have fixed the text of the Torah.

Our scroll has been dated at about 1750 and originated in Yemen. The history of the Jewish community in Yemen is long and fascinating and is still unfolding. Some forty thousand Yemenite Jews were airlifted to the newly formed nation of Israel in 1949, and just last month, Israel airlifted 19 of the remaining Jews out of the country. A Jewish man and Muslim airport worker have been arrested for helping to smuggle out a 500-year-old Torah.2

The Torah scroll donated by the Larsons consists of 50 calf skins that were made into parchment and sewn together. If unrolled entirely it would be 80 feet long. Most of the skins have five columns of text, but not all the skins are the same width. Some of the skins have holes and other minor defects outside the writing area. Some holes are covered with sewn patches. Some loose seams have been re-sewn by a conservator.

The text has about 860 noted corrections, most being corrections to the form of letters. Special formats of spacing in the text are evident which indicate important passages, such as the Ten Commandments, the song of Moses, and the priestly blessing. Each of the books ends exactly four lines short of the full 51 lines of the previous full columns, an amazing feat of scribal planning.

Now Regent faculty and students, especially those studying Biblical Hebrew, can study and read from a unique and inspiring primary source with a rich history.

The scroll is being stored in the Library Special Collections temperature and humidity controlled vault room. Persons desiring to see it should contact the Special Collections Supervisor, Donald Gantz (donagan@regent.edu) or Library Administration at 757-352-4185.

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1 Brett W. Tubbs, “Regent University Presented with Gift of 18th Century Torah,” Regent University News, March 17, 2016, http://www.regent.edu/news_events/?article_id=2177&view=full_article.

2 Adam E. Berkowitz, “Yemen Arrests Jew for Smuggling Ancient Torah to Israel,” Breaking Israel News, March 25, 2016, http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/64353/yemen-arrests-jew-for-smuggling-ancient-torah-to-israel-jewish-world/#9TWhrEZwVjcP40Mo.97.