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Dr. Lawrence H. Schiffman, renowned Dead Sea Scrolls authority, will lecture at Temple Isaiah on Nov. 8.
Dr. Lawrence H. Schiffman, renowned Dead Sea Scrolls authority, will lecture at Temple Isaiah on Nov. 8.

Dead Sea Scrolls Expert To Speak At Temple Isaiah

Temple Isaiah will host an international authority on the Dead Sea Scrolls on Sunday, Nov. 8, at 2 p.m. Dr. Lawrence H. Schiffman is the Judge Abraham Lieberman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University and director of the Global Institute for Advanced Research in Jewish Studies. He is a specialist in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Judaism in Late Antiquity, the history of Jewish law and Talmudic literature.

A tall, genial man with a pronounced New York accent and an infectious sense of humor, Dr. Schiffman has been working on the Dead Sea Scrolls ever since he was a senior in college. In fact, even his doctorate was on the scrolls, although at that time not all of the scrolls had been published or were available for study.

The scrolls were found quite by accident. In 1947, a Bedouin shepherd tossed a stone into a cave close to the northwest shore of the Dead Sea in Qumran. Rather than the sound of rock or earth, he heard the sound of breaking pottery. Peering into the cave, he saw a number of tall clay jars. Together with a cousin, he entered the cave, where he found one jar containing some scrolls.

Following the Bedouin shepherd’s discovery, the Qumran area saw a gold rush of sorts as archaeologists vied with local tribesmen to recover the leather fragments from nearby caves. In total, 972 documents were found in 11 local caves.

The Dead Sea Scrolls include three types of documents: the earliest existing copies of books from the Hebrew Bible, known in Hebrew as the Tanach; copies of other early works that are not part of Tanach; and works related to a specific sect that existed among the Jews at the time of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. There were also ancient tefillin scrolls and archaeological artifacts, such as mikvahs or ritual baths.

Dr. Schiffman’s lecture will take place at Temple Isaiah, 1 Chelsea Place, off Cutter Mill Road, on Sunday, Nov. 8, at 2 p.m. The Temple is a member congregation of the Union for Reform Judaism. There is a $10 fee for the lecture and the community is invited to attend.

In preparation for Dr. Schiffman’s lecture, Rabbi Tsuruoka will offer a two-session class surveying the background, history and content of the Dead Sea Scrolls on Thursday, Oct. 29 and Nov. 5, at 7:30 p.m. There is no charge for the classes and everyone is welcome.

Fabulous Finds

Temple Isaiah of Great Neck will hold a three-day Fabulous Finds Bazaar on Friday, Oct. 23, Sunday, Oct. 25, and Monday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The bazaar will feature a wide range of items including artwork, Swarovski crystal, designer scarves, jewelry and Judaica. There will also be a selection of toys and games, books, china and glassware. Baked goods and a selection of new and gently used gift items will also be available.

All are welcome and admission is free. Temple Isaiah, a member congregation of the Union for Reform Judaism, is located at 1 Chelsea Place off Cutter Mill Road. For more information, call the Temple office at 516-487-5373.

Income Inequality Talk

Richard Roth, former Deputy Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board, will present
a talk on income inequality at Temple Isaiah on Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 7:30 p.m.

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