3/5/2001

Jewish History Scholar to Visit Chattanooga

Aaron Demsky, whose deciphering of the oldest Hebrew document known to date and his recent interpretation of the Tel Ekron inscription dedicated to an unknown goddess received world-wide media coverage will bring his expertise to Chattanooga next week. Demsky, a professor of biblical history at Israel's Bar-Ilan University, will present two lectures in Chattanooga on March 6 and 7. He has taken part in archaeological excavations at Tel Shiloh, which was the religious and political center of ancient Israel before Jerusalem. Presently, Demsky is part of the team digging at Tel Safi, ancient Gath of the Philistines

On Tuesday, March 6th at 7 p.m.. at Mizpah Congregation, 923 McCallie Avenue, Demsky will discuss "The Origin of the Alphabet and the Oldest Hebrew Inscription". This illustrated lecture, sponsored by the Bureau of Jewish Education, involves the audience in the exciting adventure of deciphering an ancient inscription and understanding the revolution in communication created by the invention of the alphabet.

On Wednesday March 7th, Demsky will present "Jewish Time: The Secret of the Calendar" at 2 p.m. at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in the Raccoon Mountain Room of the University Center. "Jewish Time: The Secret of the Calendar" looks at the Jewish calendar while the western world is celebrating the Millennium. Exploring how calendars express cultural and religious values, Demsky will probe the question: Does the Millennium have a Jewish connection?

Demsky joined Bar-Ilan's faculty after obtaining a doctorate in Jewish history from The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He is the director of the Project for the Study of Jewish Names at Bar-Ilan University. This lecture is sponsored by the Chair of Excellence in Judaic Studies at UTC and the UTC Department of Philosophy and Religion. The public is invited to these lectures. For additional information, call Mizpah Congregation at 267-9771 or the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, 425-4334.

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