All classes will be held online and are free of charge.
Dates: The first Tuesday of the month from November 8, 2022 – June 6, 2023.
Time: 7:30 PM IST / 5:30 PM GMT / 12:30 PM EST / 9:30 AM PST
***Once you register, you will receive a Zoom link via email. This link can be used for the entire series. You need not re-register each month.***
In the first chapter of Masechet Eduyot (“Testimonies”), Rabbi Yehudah Hanasi describes the development of Halakha (law) and Torah Shebaal Peh (oral tradition) and elegantly paints a fascinating picture of renewed Jewish nationhood after the destruction of the Second Temple.
We will take a spiritual and intellectual journey through the first five Mishnayot and discuss how intimacy, the gift of food, the transformative power of a mikveh, and the blessing inherent in a “mahloket” (constructive argument) teach us about the creative seeds of Torah. Participants are encouraged to prepare the “pshat” (face-value meaning) of these Mishnayot beforehand.
The debate over whether or not to boycott sinful creative geniuses’ work dates back to the Talmud. According to the Talmud, the Heavenly Court itself refused to teach Torah from the sinning sage Aher (Elisha ben Abuya), and then God thought again. What can an examination of this delightful passage teach us about our modern ethical dilemma?
We begin with the assumption that the Bible’s stories engage with one another in a vibrant, often contentious, conversation. With this in mind, we tune in to the dialogue between the fertility-focused matriarchs of Genesis and their surprisingly subversive counterparts in the book of Judges.
In this class we will explore one Talmudic narrative about the Amora Rabbi Elazar ben Pedat. This unusual story will take us deep into the thoughts and feelings of this important Talmudic personality, and we will be offered a glimpse into his personal struggle to come to terms with his experience of loss and suffering. We will watch him emerge from his experience stronger and more deeply committed to the Rabbinic role he is destined to fill.