Torah Studies: A Weekly Journey Into the Soul of Torah - 5779 Season 3


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

It’s Just a Mistake, Isn’t It?

We all make mistakes. Period. That’s a fact of life. So why does the Torah require atonement for an inadvertent sin? Explore the pathways of consciousness exemplified in the Torah’s prescription for sin. You’ll be surprised to learn that you may not be who you really think you are.


Lesson 2

Allocation, Allocation, Allocation

What if you were as strong as Samson, rich as Jeff Bezos, and beautiful as Cinderella? An interesting question, but completely irrelevant to you. A curious mix of the yearly donations to the Temple and an announcement about forbidden mixtures packs a powerful punch about staying—and thriving—in your lane.


Lesson 3

Speak Up!

For too long, we have been told how we ought to refrain from negative speech. It’s time to flip the narrative and take an opposite approach: speak, and speak a lot: just make sure it’s positive speech. Never underestimate the impact of a good word, so get talking!


Lesson 4

Head in the Clouds, Feet on the Ground

Is it, “I love you, therefore I am committed to our relationship”? Or is it, “I am committed to our relationship, therefore I love you”? The man who single-handedly brought kabbalah to the world and burned fields with his eyes, yet was simultaneously very down-to-earth, shines a light on this important question.


Lesson 5

When “WIIFM” Is a Good Thing

A six-week cruise with five-star accommodations, all expenses paid, plus free gifts. While that sounds like a terrific bonus package, it’s hardly what you would expect in return for leading a pious life. One would expect promises for spiritual delights and G-dly pleasures. Well, Judaism has a radical idea about what religion means. Come discover what it is.


Lesson 6

The Day G-d Gave Us the Torah . . . Or Not?

Shavuot is known as the day the Torah was given. A look at the phenomenon of crossing the international before the holiday unravels a whole new element to the holiday—and lends us fresh perspective on what it means to be Jewish.


Lesson 7

Give It All You’ve Got!

Are you letting your inner artist go to waste? What about that project that you really wish you can accomplish one day: Are you letting the opportunity slip away? From the surprising behavior of certain desert princes, we learn that maximizing your potential is to realize the divinity in creation.


Lesson 8

When a Moment Counts

An entire nation was put on hold. Travel plans for millions of people were thrown off course. Why? To hold off the inevitable suffering of one woman just a little longer. Let that sink in. Such is the import of one person’s pain. We ought to pay attention.


Lesson 9

Be Humble, Egoless . . . and Great

The meek, helpless Jew is a stereotype that has not boded well for the tribe. But taking one look at the doctrine of servitude embedded in the faith, one cannot help but think that we are some sort of seriously indentured bunch. Discover the secret to maintaining a healthy, if not glorious, sense of self-esteem in the Jewish way of life.


Lesson 10

Pipeline for Success

Did you know that almonds bloom extremely quickly? If you’re not botanically inclined, don’t worry: this class is just for you. From hastily flowering almonds, we move on to how to make a living and the formula for a successful life-work-faith balance. Not a bad deal for a bunch of tree nuts.


Lesson 11

All’s Well

When we look back at rough times and see how things turned out for the best, we become aware of the miracles in our lives. But perhaps the greatest miracles are the ones we are not even aware of. When we keep in mind the work G-d is doing for us, we can truly be at ease.


Lesson 12

When You Dream a Dream

In an effort to understand Judaism’s fascination with dreams, we explore the human capacity for prophecy and examine scenarios in which a single thought can make a world of difference.

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