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.
Why do I get stuck in traffic? Why did I miss my flight? Why do I live in this neighborhood? What’s the meaning behind all the randomness in my life? Some may indeed assign it to the “Universe” or other haphazardness. This class tells a very different story.
Our Temple lies in ruins—a reality we’ve been forced to cope with for a couple of thousand years now. But was G-d really allowed to put a wrecking ball to His sanctuary? A fresh look at the legalities of Temple damage leads us to a startling recalibrating of loss and tragedy.
If life were a romance novel, it would be easy to be “in love” at any given moment. Alas, it isn’t. Far from it. Love is quite an elusive trait, which makes the command, “Love your G-d,” all the more baffling. Discover the key to summoning the love whenever you wish.
Throughout our storied past, the Jewish people have zealously clung to their faith, fiercely rejecting any threat to the fundamental tenets of our belief. So, what do we make of all the other literature out there? Explore the annals of apocrypha and, in a surprising twist, a battle of presses in nineteenth-century Europe.
Can you define who you are? Or at least define who you aren’t? If you can, then you’ve done something positive. Even if you find yourself in the heretic’s corner, you are headed in the right direction, because sometimes being undecided is worse than being wrong.
Whether it’s in a courtroom or a public hearing, giving testimony is serious business. But did you know that your very existence as a Jew is a testimony of sorts? Find out your legal rights and obligations as G-d’s witness.
Judaism seems to be downright divorce-phobic. Why is divorce really all that bad? Are there any situations that warrant a divorce in the Jewish conscience? Of course. Not only that, the very notion of divorce only aides the institution of marriage. Find out how.
Living in the age of “stuff,” it is becoming clearer that more is not always merrier. But If we are so well off compared to previous generations, why are we so unhappy? By understanding the root causes of misery, we find a simple formula for gratitude, happiness, and true wealth.
When the Temple stood, the Jewish nation would gather once in seven years to hear the King read publicly from the Torah. Standing united, every Jew would draw lasting inspiration to last for years to come. Though the Temple doesn’t currently stand, this class shows that we can and should observe hakhel in our time.
Whether you are still young or already old and grey, Rosh Hashanah likely brings the shofar to mind. But what is the meaning of the shofar’s sound? This Rosh Hashanah anthology explains what a ram’s horn, long prayers, and the Jewish New Year have in common.
Of all the Talmud’s characters, perhaps the most enigmatic is the story of Elisha ben Avuya—the illustrious scholar turned heretic. In an inspiring interpretation of the narrative, Elisha’s story is the story of all Jews. The point? All is never lost. G-d is waiting for you to return.
On the holiday that celebrates completing the Torah, we… hold it shut and dance around in circles. Have we gone mad? And where did this idea come from, anyway? Well, it’s as holy as Moses, or, as this class exposes, maybe even more.