This spring, join other adult learners for stimulating text study and discussion with the outstanding scholars of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. Advance registration is required.
February 27; March 6, 13, 20, 27; April 3, 10
Sacred Time: Hasidic Mystics on Shabbat and the Holidays
Dr. Eitan Fishbane, Associate Professor of Jewish Thought, JTS
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Since Hasidism’s emergence in Eastern Europe in the eighteenth century, this movement of spiritual revival and mystical thought has radically transformed Judaism. We will study the fascinating evolution of Hasidic thinking on the meaning and practice of sacred time (Shabbat and holidays). We will explore how Hasidic mystics understood experiences of holy time as pathways into the presence of God and the transformation of spiritual awareness. The course will feature lecture and class discussion based on texts from Rabbi Nahman of Bratzlav, Rabbi Moshe Hayim Efrayim of Sudilkov (grandson of the Ba’al Shem Tov), Rabbi Yehudah Leib of Ger, and Rabbi Tzadok ha-Kohen of Lublin.
In Search of an Ethical Judaism: Rabbinic Sources That Challenge Our Hearts and Minds
Dr. Marjorie Lehman, Associate Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics, JTS
1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Our contemporary moment is calling out for us to think about how to act ethically, but when we turn to the Talmud for guidance, we face many stories that challenge our contemporary ethical sensibilities. Do the rabbis have anything to teach us about how to be responsible members of the Jewish community and broader world? We’ll begin by considering the rabbis’ relationship to God and Oral Torah and the institutional challenges they faced in the wake of the destruction of the temple. We’ll then enter their courtrooms and neighborhoods to confront their struggles with how to relate ethically to their parents, colleagues, wives, and children. Together we will explore how ancient Jewish texts can still shape our inner lives, nurture the empathic sides of who we are, and foster our spiritual longing to be connected to something larger than ourselves. This course will be discussion-oriented as we try to find ways that the texts speak to us.
$185 for one course
$360 for both courses
$335 discount for Women’s League members before February 13