Biblical concepts and values have a pervasive but often unrecognized effect on our views of the proper role and limitations on government, according to Ed Rabin, emeritus professor of law at the UC Davis Law School.
Rabin will present a program, “How the Bible Influenced American Political Ideas,” at Congregation Bet Haverim at 3 p.m. Sunday. The event is free and open to the public at the synagogue, located at 1715 Anderson Road, Davis.
“Ancient Greeks are usually credited with being the source of democratic theory and practice,” Rabin said. “Scholars and others have thought that the contribution of the ancient Hebrews was to religion, theology and ethics. But when we understand how much biblical concepts influence our current political thought, we gain a deeper understanding both of the Bible and of our own political institutions.”
“We’re interested in learning how our modern experience is influenced by our own ancient biblical history,” said Rabbi Greg Wolfe, leader of the 280-family congregation. “Professor Rabin’s presentation will provide a fascinating understanding of this issue.”
This program is part of Bet Haverim’s Jubilee Lifelong Learning Series. In honor of the synagogue’s 50th anniversary, the series highlights speakers from UC Davis and other area colleges and universities speaking on a variety of issues including the history of Judaism in the region, Hassidic Jews, interpreting the Talmud and the 1950s immigrant experience in Israel.
Congregation Bet Haverim, a Reform congregation, serves all of Yolo County and surrounding areas. The Lifelong Learning Series continues on March 17, with a presentation by Peter Siegel titled “Puns in the Hebrew Bible.”