Jewish learning Rabbi Arthur Green:
Productive & Prolific at 80

By Sydney Gross
rabbi art green

When Hebrew College Rector Rabbi Art Green turned 70, he asked himself, “What do you still want to get done? 

The answer, he said, was a whole lot.  

I began working harder than ever, and it’s been very rewarding, both in terms of writing and teaching,” he said. “It’s been a very prolific decade for me, and as long as I have the strength I will keep going.”  

On March 21, Hebrew College Rector Rabbi Art Green celebrated his 80th birthday — and his most productive and prolific decade thus far. Since he turned 70, he has published or edited five books. His new translation of the Hasidic Classic  Meʾor ʿEynayim, “The Light of the Eyes,” will be published by Stanford University Press this spring, and he is preparing to teach his second 8-week-Hebrew College Me’ah Select community education online course, ”Old Wine, New Vessels: A Hasidic Master Addresses Today’s Seekers,” based on the book, beginning April 12. 

Rabbi Green describes the Meʾor ʿEynayim as “a guide to the cultivation of spiritual awareness and the implications of such awareness and the implications of such awareness of one’s emotional and moral life.” His “Old Wine, New Vessels” Zoom courses explore how Hasidism can spiritually re-invigorate Judaism in today’s contemporary world and help students connect with the deep spiritual wisdom and healing powers of Hasidic teachings. The first semester of the course focused on the first two books of the Torah. The second semester will focus on the later three books of the Torah. The first class is not a prerequisite for the second.  

Rabbi Green is an expert on this 18th Century spiritual revival movement of Jews in Eastern Europe, and is the leading figure within Neo-Hasidism, the attempt to apply Hasidic teachings to life in the contemporary world. Over the course of his career, he has published more than a dozen works on Hasidism and Neo-Hasidism. To celebrate his birthday, which was March 21, Rabbi Green is hosting two evenings of teaching for his students, one in English on April 5 and one in Hebrew on April 19 

“My life is very much about the project of creating a contemporaryJewish mysticism or a neo-Hasidic Judaism, which I have written about many times,” Green said. “Everything I do is part of that projectthe teaching at the rabbinical school is part of that, the books that I write, the translations of Hasidic sources, and my own teachings—the project of what a contemporary vision of Hasidism would look like.”  

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Register here for Rabbi Art Green’s Special Hebrew College Me’ah Select Spring Seminar: “Old Wine, New Vessels: A Hasidic Master Addresses Today’s Seekers (Part Two),” which will be held Mondays, 12:30–2 p.m. (EST), April 12–June 14 (8 sessions).  

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