Torah Studies: A Weekly Journey Into the Soul of Torah - 5776 Season 4

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12 lessons that probe into the depths of contemporary Torah thought, with a special focus on issues surrounding spirituality, the human psyche, love, and relationships. Every experience offers meaningful and timely lessons – from the most timeless of texts. You will walk away surprised, inspired, and knowing more about who we are as Jews, and who you are as an individual.


 

Lesson 1

Once Upon a Rabbi

Throughout our history, rabbis have been a fountain of strength, inspiration, and authority for the Jewish people. What is the history of the rabbinate, what is the process of becoming a rabbi, and what role do rabbis play in Jewish life?


 

Lesson 2

A Jewish Land

Israel, a tiny piece of land, provokes so much passion among the Jewish people and throughout the world. Why do we care about it so much? Uncovering the inner dynamic of the Holy Land and the spirit pulsating within it sheds light on our timeless bond with a land unlike any other.


 

Lesson 3

A Clever Opponent

The evil inclination will often take the guise of piety, making its lies hard to tell from the truth. So how can we stay one step ahead of it? This lesson in judgment helps us determine what is right and what is merely the voice of the enemy within.


 

Lesson 4

The Case for Mezuzah

The common expression is, “My home is my castle.” But the Jewish people rely not on the fortitude of their walls but on the strength of their spirit, as expressed in the mezuzah hanging on their doors. What is the meaning of this scroll, and why is it so important?


 

Lesson 5

Better Than Perfect

If we were perfect, life would be a lot easier. But is that really what we want? Aaron, becoming High Priest after his involvement in the Golden Calf, teaches that perfection isn’t achieved at birth. Rather, by overcoming personal struggles and challenges, we achieve the ideal.


 

Lesson 6

Beware of Blood

Numerous times the Torah mentions the prohibition against eating blood. Not that you’d want to eat it, but if meat is kosher, what’s so bad about the red fluid found within? This class probes beneath the skin of the Torah’s aversion to blood, providing us a guide to living a kosher life.


 

Lesson 7

Life Behind Bars

Perhaps our prison systems indicate our rigorous sense of justice, but could there be a more productive way of “correction” than years spent locked away? Understanding why Jewish law doesn’t promote incarceration reveals Torah’s unique approach to crime and punishment.


 

Lesson 8

Read Between the Lines

Our reception is considered our marriage with G-d; exile is likened to divorce. But is it really possible for the Jewish people to separate from G-d? By hiding the laws of marriage in between the laws of divorce, the Torah points to the depth of our relationship with G-d.


 

Lesson 9

Journey of the Soul

Heaven, hell, and the world to come: all loaded terms. But what is the Jewish take on life after death? And what difference does it make now? By exploring these matters, this class gives an empowering perspective of what we are doing here.


 

Lesson 10

Curious Customs of Rosh Hashanah

Certain High Holiday customs are geared toward “confusing the satan,” to weaken his prosecuting act. But how exactly does that work? More than just throwing him a few false leads, the name of the game is staying positive and confident that G-d is on our side.


 

Lesson 11

A Time to Fast

Diets of all kinds have become popular, but the Jewish people have been fasting for thousands of years. So, what’s behind the Yom Kippur fast? Wouldn’t a snack make it easier to remain in synagogue all day? This profound take on Yom Kippur reveals why eating simply has no place in the schedule.


 

Lesson 12

Come-Back Nation

From time to time, we get inspired to change for the better. But often, we very quickly revert to our old habits. So what hope do we have? The story of the Jewish people teaches that whatever happens, we can and will make a comeback.


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In loving memory of Rav Dovid ben Nissan HaKohen Moradoff and Reb Rafael ben Moshe - By the Bharier Family, London, UK