Living by Their Wits – How our Ancestors Parleyed Their Way into Power

I led a pair of Sunday morning sessions at Congregation Eitz Chayim, 10/28/12 and 1/6/13, on the topic of Living by Their Wits.  We looked at a few of our biblical ancestors who lived by their wits and gained power when they lacked authority.  Many people think that the only tricksters in the Bible are women, and dismiss living by wits as a feminine wile, unworthy of respect.  In fact, men as well as women live by their wits.  We read selected biblical texts and entered into a lively discussion relating our texts to current politics, philosophy and challenges of life.

These types of classes are participatory and accessible to people with no experience studying biblical texts, while providing an intellectual challenge to those with a broad background.  Everyone is an expert at something; we combine our insights and knowledge to unpack the biblical texts and to wrestle with questions such as: what is authority vs power?  Is living by our wits relevant today?  If so, how does it help us to meet modern challenges (or not)?