Contenporay Issues in the Talmud
This year we will be studying various sections throughout the Talmud which relate to contemporary issues. The course will offered into 3 sessions. Students can join for one or more session as each will be stand alone. We will address medical topics such as abortion, euthanasia, and organ donation, laws relating to business, Shabbat and Yom Tov and more. The class includes preparatory chavruta-style learning of classic Talmud text and commentaries and a shiur which will focus on textual and analytic skills development,as well as, a look at how to apply the material studied to practical situations. The course presumes a certain facility with Hebrew text but does not require it.
Mondays, October 30 – December 18, 8 - 9:30 p.m.
Ezra and Nechemiah: Leading the Charge to Zion
Decades after the destruction of the First Temple, the Book of Ezra begins with Persian King Cyrus sponsoring Jewish exiles to return to Zion and build a Temple. The books of Ezra and Nechemiah tell the story of two very different leaders who attempt to rally and inspire a small, impoverished and assimilated population of Jews to reclaim their proud heritage. What worked, and what didn’t work? What are the lessons for us?
Tuesdays, November 1 - June 20, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
The Birth of Moral Selfhood: The Story of Avraham and Sarah
We will examine and compare the approaches taken by different commentaries in analyzing the Torah text focusing on elements of language and structure to uncover and interpret literary patterns and themes studying Genesis, chapters 15 and 16, we will embark on an in-depth study of Brit Bein Habetarim, the Covenant Between the Parts and brit milah, the Covenant of Circumcision, exploring the notion of covenant. Why would God want to make a treaty with a human being? What was it that God promised in these formal agreements? And why was there a need not just for one, but for two treaties? And why the decree of exile? This course is open to students of all levels and backgrounds.
Tuesdays, Sept. 20-27, November 1 – June 13 , 7:30 - 9:30 p.m.
Why Are There So Many Stories in the Torah?
Thursdays, 10 – 11:15 a.m.
Naming a Nameless God: Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh
God’s revelation as 'I will be who I will be' to Moses has generated more discussion about its meaning in both Jewish and Christian theology than any other phrase in the Bible. From medieval rationalist like Maimonides, through kabbalists like Nahmanides. The debate rages on all the way to contemporary existentialist like Martin Buber and Rav Kook. Did God simply evade Moses’ demand for identification or does the apparent nonsensical redundancy of the verb to be provide the key to who Jews worship as their God?
Wednesdays, 8 – 9:30 p.m.
Coming in 2017:
Behind the Scenes in the Book of Bamidbar
Join us as we take a deeper look at some of the most familiar stories in the Torah: the failure of the spies and the rebellion of Korach, the zeal of Pinchas and the temerity of Tzelofchad’s daughters. We will rethink these incidents and reflect on the ways these stories can the reader to about living up to one's ideals with integrity.
Mondays, 10 – 11:15 a.m.
For information and registration call: 647-70-TORAH (86724)