An upcoming Torah portion discusses the arrangement of the Israelite tribes camped around the Tabernacle. Why were they there, and what does their order signify?
Steven Stark-Riemer will consider one scholar’s suggestion of the origins of this Tent and the purpose of the encampment in a “Synagogue Scholars” lecture at B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation in Albany.
Stark-Riemer will deliver his talk, “When is a Tent not a Tent?” Friday, June 10, immediately after the congregation’s Shabbat service. The service and program begin at 8 p.m. and are open to all who wish to worship and learn. B’nai Sholom is located at 420 Whitehall Road, Albany, New York.
“Parshah Bamidbar” opens the Book of Numbers and, like many Torah portions, addresses multiple subjects. The first two concern a census of military-aged men and the arrangement of the Israelite tribes camped around the Tabernacle (a/k/a the Tent of Meeting). Stark-Riemer will discuss how the census and the encampment may be related and one scholar’s suggestion that these issues present a clue as to what may be the rather surprising origins of the Tent.
A popular contributor to B’nai Sholom’s adult education program, Stark-Riemer has taught about the scientific study of the Biblical world since 2007. He studied anthropology at City College of New York, where he specialized in archaeology, and received his degree in 1972. He conducted field work at the Tel Gezer excavations in Israel under the direction of William G. Dever, director of the Hebrew Union College Biblical and Archaeological School at the time. Stark-Riemer continues to pursue his interest in the archaeology, history and religion of the ancient Near East.
Begun in 2004, the Synagogue Scholars series spotlights members of the B’nai Sholom community who are scholars in their fields.
For more information about the June 10 lecture, contact the B’nai Sholom office at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 518-482-5283.