Thursday, July 23, 2015

Was There a Walking Talking Snake in Gan Eden- Using our intellect in studying Torah- Project Makom (video shiur

This is the link to the shiur I gave last night for Project Makom.

In the shiur we examine the story of the nachash (snake) in Gan Eden, as a way of examining to what extent we are allowed to, or even obligated to, use our intellect and rationality in studying Torah.

We start with the question of whether we are obligated to believe that there was a walking, talking snake who interacted with Chavah. We start by studying what Rishonim like Ibn Ezra, Seforno, Rambam, and Abarbanel said about this episode. We then move onto the last 200 years and look at the ideas of Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch, Shadal, and Rav Kook, the latter who gives the most radical but important lense for how to look at this story, and Torah in general.

The shiur begins a little past the 3 minute mark. It might lose the audio feed for a moment or two toward the beginning. Running time is about 1:20 including the questions at the end.


  1. is it possible to get a transcript of this shiur?
    tizku l'mitzvos

    1. It was recorderd but not written. I can tell you the sources.