Unpacking the Sages

Teacher: Elisha Ancselovits

Level: Open to All

Description: “You may polish up common sense, you may contradict [it] in detail, and you may surprise it. But ultimately your whole task is to satisfy it.” Alfred North Whitehead.

In this course, we learn to read a traditional text, and especially religious legal texts, from the Bible through the Talmud and today by understanding what the author tried to communicate rather than reading words as self-defining. In that way, we learn to discover past people’s insights on real life. We use such study, in turn, to learn how to make our own ethical/policy decisions based on inductive and intuitive insights — rather than by pigeonholing issues into principles or values.