Calling Out from the Depths: Reading the Book of Psalms Today

Calling Out from the Depths: Reading the Book of Psalms Today

Program: Hebrew College Me’ah Select
Instructor: Rabbi Or Rose (Read Bio)
Dates: 6 Thursdays, 2/8, 2/15, 2/22, 2/29, 3/7 & 3/14
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Course fee: $270, financial aid is available
Location: Zoom
Hosted by: Hebrew College

The Book of Psalms has served as a source of inspiration and guidance to countless numbers of Jews, Christians, and other seekers throughout the ages. Our forebears turned to these sources in times of joy and thanksgiving and in times of sadness and lament. What might these ancient poetic texts have to say to us today? How have past generations engaged these sources liturgically and otherwise. In this course, we will examine several the original psalms (each focusing on a different theme) and the writings, music, poetry, and visual artistry of interpreters—Jewish and non-Jewish alike—of these biblical sources.

For more information, contact meah@hebrewcollege.edu

My Neighbor’s Faith: Exploring Narratives of Encounter, Challenge, and Growth Across Differences

My Neighbor’s Faith: Exploring Narratives of Encounter, Challenge, and Growth Across Differences

Program: Hebrew College Me’ah Select
Instructor: Rabbi Or Rose  (Read Bio)
Dates: 6 Thursdays, 4/11, 4/18, 5/2, 5/16, 5/23 & 5/30
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Course fee: $270, financial aid is available
Location: Hybrid – In Person at Hebrew College with Online option via Zoom
Hosted by: Hebrew College

Based on the 2012 award-winning collection by the same name (and including materials from the 2023 follow-up volume, With the Best of Intentions), this course offers students the opportunity to explore narratives of transformative encounter across lines of difference. With wisdom, wit, courage, and humility, the writers—Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, etc.—share their experience of border-crossing and the lessons learned from their interreligious and cross-cultural adventures. We live in one of the most religiously diverse society in the history of humankind. Every day, people of different beliefs, ideals, and practices encounter one another in a myriad of settings. How has this new situation of widespread diversity impacted the way we understand the religious other, ourselves, and God (or ultimacy)? Can we learn to live together with mutual respect, working together for the creation of a more compassionate, just, and sustainable world?

For more information, contact meah@hebrewcollege.edu

The Language of Wisdom: Learning Pirkei Avot in Hebrew

Course Title: The Language of Wisdom: Learning Pirkei Avot in Hebrew
Instructor: Rabbi Natan Margalit, PhD (see bio)
Program: Hebrew College Open Circle Jewish Learning, Text and Tradition
Day and Time: Monday evenings 7:15-8:45pm Eastern
Dates: February 12, 26; March 11, 25; April 8; May 6, 20, 2024
Location: Online via Zoom
Partner Organization:  Sinai Brookline, Brookline, MA
Fee: $280
Inquire about partial need-based scholarships here.

In this class we will study together one of the most accessible and beloved texts of the ancient Sages: “The Sayings of the Fathers,” or Pirkei Avot. By opening ourselves to the original texts rather than relying on translations we will be able to access its timeless wisdom, wrestle with its puzzles and also improve our Hebrew reading skills. We will read and translate together in class in a relaxed, non-judgmental and unpressured atmosphere. Students can choose to read aloud and to translate, or not as they feel comfortable. The more students prepare the texts between classes the more skills they will gain, but there are no expectations– come as you are and we’ll learn at our own pace. We will also read portions of the book, Hebrew Roots, Jewish Routes: A Tribal Language in a Global World, by Jeremy Benstein. Excerpts will be distributed by the instructor.

Hebrew College Open Circle Jewish Learning classes are for learners of all backgrounds.

Canadian and other registrants from outside the US: please email Cindy Bernstein to complete your registration. We apologize for the inconvenience.

 

Faces of the Goddess: exploring images of the divine feminine in medieval kabbalah

Title: Faces of the Goddess: Exploring Images of the Divine Feminine in Medieval Kabbalah
(6 sessions)
Instructor: Rabbi Sarah Gershuny
Program: Open Circle Jewish Learning Texts and Traditions
Day and Time: Wednesdays, 8:00-9:30 pm Eastern; 6:00-7:30 pm Mountain
Dates: 2/21, 2/28, 3/6, 3/13, 3/20, 3/27, 2024
Location: Online via Zoom
Fee: $240

Many people think that Goddess-worship is a 20th or 21st century Jewish reclamation. However, our mystical tradition has always held a complex picture of divinity, and the kabbalistic Tree of Life explicitly designates certain sefirot, or aspects of the godhead, as “female.” In this class we will dive deep into Shaarei Orah, Gates of Light, a 13th century kabbalistic text written by Rabbi Yosef Gikatilla. Explaining how different Biblical names of God give us clues about the very fabric of reality, Shaarei Orah contains history’s first systematic exposition of the sefirot in text. Through it, we will explore several faces of the Goddess, including the Garden, the Well, the Bride, the Foundation Stone, the Ocean, the Ark, the Mother, the Grapevine, the Moon and of course, the Shechina. Together we will unpack these images of divine presence in the world, discussing how we relate to them and to our understanding of God. All source materials will be provided in a new English translation as well as in the original Hebrew.

Hebrew College Open Circle Jewish Learning is for learners of all backgrounds.

Canadian and other registrants from outside of the US: please email Cindy Bernstein to complete your registration. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Radical Judaisms: Paths Not Taken

Radical Judaisms: Paths Not Taken (5 sessions)
Program: Open Circle Jewish Learning Texts and Tradition
Instructor: Aron Wander
Day and Time: Sundays, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. Eastern
Dates: 2/25, 3/3, 3/10, 3/17, 3/31, 2024
Location: Online via Zoom
Fee: $200 Scholarships available
Register:
A Kabbalistic Communist, an Orthodox anarchist, a Chabad pacifist — these are some of the characters we’ll meet in “Radical Judaisms: Paths Not Taken.” Each of them sought, in their own way, to blend traditional Jewish text, ritual, and law with a commitment to a dramatically different world. The integrations they proposed may be hard to imagine today, but they were once possible, if perhaps unlikely, paths the Jewish people might have taken. Each week, we’ll look at how one of these thinkers (re)interpreted a Jewish holiday in order to see the ways in which they wove together tradition and utopia, Talmud and revolution, halacha and humanism. What light do their proposals shed on the political choices and compromises Jewish communities have made in the past century? Are there elements of their visions that might still be possible to actualize? What new paths for Judaism will we forge?

Hebrew College Open Circle Jewish Learning is for learners of all backgrounds.

Hebrew College Open Circle Jewish Learning classes are for learners of all backgrounds.

Canadian and other registrants from outside of the US: please email Cindy Bernstein to complete your registration. We apologize for the inconvenience.