Torah Studies: A Weekly Journey Into the Soul of Torah - 5778 Season 2


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

A Believer's Question

To believe is to follow G-d unquestionably. Right? Wrong. Through the eyes of such greats as Abraham and Moses, we discover that to believe is to challenge; to wrestle with G-d and emerge stronger. After all, if you don’t really believe, who cares?


Lesson 2

The Power of Power

Sounds pretty unbelievable, right? The more power, the more corruption is the word on the street. As we journey across Egypt and witness the devastation of the firstborn, we learn that the story of the Exodus is a story about abuse of power--and how to avoid such corruption.


Lesson 3

When the River Split

When a Talmudic sage was on his way to performing a mitzvah, crazy things happened: A donkey kept a mitzvah, and a river split in half to make way for his entourage. What’s the message of this wondrous tale?


Lesson 4

Father(-in-law)ly Advice

While many great leaders are too busy for the average folk, Moses helped every Jew sort through their personal issues. But when his father-in-law advised him to take it easy, Moses took a step back. Why? Moses is a great help, but there’s no substitute for internal transformation. For that, you need a mentor, not a Moses. 


Lesson 5

Kindness Wins

Scholars throughout the ages were mystified by the law against mixing meat and milk. A ride through the kabbalah of these two culinary counterparts, coupled with a detail in kosher law, delivers a profound lesson about managing your emotional bank account.


Lesson 6

The Synagogue Story

For millennia, the synagogue has served as the hub of Jewish life. These structures, large and small, are used for prayer, celebration, and a bevy of communal functions. Explore the importance of synagogues, the laws mandating their construction and maintenance, and proper synagogue conduct.


Lesson 7

Bold, Brash . . . Braggadocious?

When the first mitzvah tanks rolled out on the streets of New York, many people turned heads . . . and noses. We’ve come a long way since, and it’s time to settle the score: Should we wear our Judaism on our sleeve, or keep our religious lives to ourselves?


Lesson 8

Woodstock: The Real Story

Remember the hippy counterculture, when droves of young Americans rejected the sensible path of their parents? What caused that sort of mayhem? The Purim story teaches that what may have looked like a wild, senseless party was, in fact, a symptom of a longing for meaning. Sometimes, real growth only comes through rejecting the “establishment.” 


Lesson 9

Art and Soul

Musicians, dancers, photographers, poets, artists, and many other people bursting with creativity endow our world with color, meaning, and beauty. At the core of such abundant creativity lies an unbridled spirit, a freedom of expression, and boundless energy. How does that jive with a religious lifestyle that appears so restrictive and limiting?


Lesson 10

Where Do I Fit In?

What makes you most proud? Your individual accomplishments, or your contribution to the community? Are those perhaps the same thing? What if they clash? And which one is more important? Sacrificial goats, the tablets at Sinai, and the breastplate of the High Priest are the surprising authors of insightful commentary on these very questions.


Lesson 11

Stealing Freedom

“You don’t have what it takes.” “Stop faking it.” “Who do you think you are?” Ever heard those before? Yeah, we all have. You want to turn things around, be a better you . . . despite all the naysayers. What to do? Take a cue from the Passover story and “snatch your afikomen”—steal your way to a brighter future.


Lesson 12

Consumer Culture

Many great sages sufficed with bread and water, shunning the caviar and the Rolls Royce. But is having a few extras really so bad? Discover how, when, and why we ought to make use of the finer things in life in a way that complements, rather than contradicts, our spiritual selves. 

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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