ScholarStream 5782 Series Descriptions

Posted on: Friday September 3, 2021

Cultivating Our Relationships

Biblical stories can inform our understanding of our own relationships. The life lessons of our ancestors influence our personal, communal, and world values.

Series 1: Torah Relationships

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Wednesdays, 8 PM ET / 5 PM PT

Date

Teacher

Institution

Class Title

Oct 6, 2021

Dr. Alan Cooper

JTS

God, Abraham and Isaac: Who is the ‘Hero’ of the Akeidah?

Description: The story of the “binding of Isaac” (Akeidah) in Genesis 22 is a tale of problematic relationships, those among the characters as well as the reader’s relationship with a troubling and alienating story. How can God issue such a shocking and callous command to Abraham, a faithful follower? Why does Abraham comply without objection, in contrast to previous interactions with God? And why does Isaac remain passive and apparently acquiescent with his life at stake? Is there a hero in this story, in the sense of a character who is to be celebrated for his actions, and what are we supposed to learn from him? We will take up those questions in the light of both traditional and modern Jewish commentary.

 

Oct 13, 2021

Liza Bernstein

Conservative Yeshiva

Gendered Gaps: Remembering Sarah Where She is Most Erased

Description: When we study the Akeidah, the binding of Isaac, we often focus on the dynamics between Abraham, Isaac, and God. We rarely ask: where was Sarah? In this session, we will use traditional sources and gender theory to open up questions of gender, community, and parenting. Through our questioning, we will remember Sarah's story and re-member Sarah, in all her complexities, as a full part of our tradition.

 

Oct 20, 2021

Rabbi Bradley Artson

Ziegler

Loving Peace, One Person at a Time

Description: We often think of the pursuit of peace as a task for nations, communities, and public figures. And it is all that. But the work of peace is also private and individual. In the person of Aaron, first High Priest and brother to Moses, the ancient sages imagine what an integrated approach to making peace might look like.

 

Oct 27, 2021

Rabbi Elliot Dorff

Ziegler

The Dysfunctional Families of Genesis: What They -- and Later Jewish Law -- Tell Us About How *Not* to Treat Our Parents, Siblings, and Children

Description: We have all read the stories of Genesis many times over and have interpreted them in sermons and lessons. The goal of this session is to examine them in the context of family ethics.  What bad practices do they exemplify, and what does Jewish law tell us about how to form better family relationships and avoid family violence?

 

Series 2: Ethics

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Tuesdays, 1 PM ET / 10 AM PT

Date

Teacher

Institution

Class Title

Nov 2, 2021

Rabbi Prof. David Golinkin

Schechter

Risking One’s Life to Save Another: Required or Forbidden by Jewish Law?

Description: If you see someone drowning in a raging river – are you required or forbidden to try to save that person? If a mountain climber sees another climber lying in the snow – how far must he go to save the other climber? Must a doctor endanger her life to save another, or is this forbidden? In this session we shall study the main rabbinic sources regarding these moral dilemmas, which have been debated by rabbis for the past 2,000 years.

 

Nov 9, 2021

Rabbi Dr. Reb Mimi Feigelson

Schechter

Moral Dilemmas in the Teachings of the Mei Hashiloah, Reb Mordechai Yosef Lainer of Ishbitza

Description: What does it mean that halakha is not one and the same for all? Was it ever meant to be? And can we wrap our minds around a situation in which our moral sensibilities are challenged “in God's name”? Challenged in the name of what is presented as “God’s Will”? Join me in debating some of the more controversial teachings of the Ishbitzer Rebbe.

 

Nov 16, 2021

Rabbi Avi Novis Deutsch

Schechter

Can a Halakha be Immoral?

Description: In this session, we will try to define the relationship and the tensions between “halakha” and “ethics” as concepts, and examine how different rabbis dealt with this dilemma. We will also see how this dilemma still plays a major role in many contemporary Jewish debates, both in Israel and the Diaspora.

 

Nov 23, 2021

Rabbi Chaya Rowen Baker

Schechter

“Leshon Hara” (Gossip and Slander): an age-old ethical challenge

Description: The prohibition of Leshon Hara is one of the most difficult mitzvot to observe. How can we “guard our tongues from evil” in our personal and professional lives? What can we learn from the Biblical stories of Joseph, Miriam and the Spies? Are there ever occasions when it’s permissible to speak Leshon Hara?

 


Defining Our Sacred Spaces

Understanding how Conservative Judaism developed helps us form our own theology and practice. As a movement guided by Torah and modern interpretation, we embrace diversity as we gather in holy community.

Series 3: The Roots of Conservative Judaism

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Tuesdays, 8 PM ET / 5 PM PT

Moderator: Alex Friedman (JTS)

Date

Teacher

Institution

Class Title

Dec 7, 2021

Chancellor Shuly Rubin Schwartz

JTS

Conservative Judaism: Origins, History, Assets and Opportunities

Description: Conservative Judaism provided a compelling vision for a Judaism—traditional in orientation and embracing of evolutionary change—that captured the hearts and minds of so many twentieth century American Jews. What were its origins? Why/how did JTS serve as its incubator and disseminator? And why am I convinced that Conservative Judaism is well poised to meet the religious needs of North American Jews in the current moment?

 

Dec 14, 2021

Rabbi Elliot Dorff

Ziegler

The Theological Grounding of Conservative Judaism

Description: Historical and sociological factors played important roles in the creation of the Conservative movement in both Germany and the United States. This session will focus on the theological commitments that created the movement and still ground its approach to text study, law, Israel, and God.

 

Dec 21, 2021

Rabbi Gordon Tucker

JTS

The Torah of Conservative Judaism

Description: From its inception, Conservative Judaism has stood for a particular way of approaching, studying, and even defining Torah. The energizing encounter between the academic and the religiously committed has characterized The Jewish Theological Seminary, the Conservative Movement’s flagship institution, since its founding. In this session, we will consider the notable contributions to this special culture of Torah made by some of the significant figures in the history of JTS and our Movement.