Season

New Season Starting
Monday, May 6 2024!

Hi!

These days, it seems like nothing has a shelf life longer than a week. Every day brings another superhero franchise, fashion trend, or dieting fad. News cycles shift by the hour, social media feeds and timelines by the second. With everything flickering, flashing, and constantly updating, it’s little wonder life sometimes feel so impermanent.

For me, there’s no better way to slow things down than to pull back, if only for short while, and try to see things from a more timeless perspective. Our own Jewish traditions are filled with so many breathtaking insights, and they won’t fade away into irrelevance in a few days. Connecting to our own heritage, and ultimately to a divine wisdom, makes the all very human things we do feel richer, more meaningful, and part of something longer lasting.

The Torah Studies program tries to make this happen every single week. Each class take a topic or idea in Jewish thought to explore, tease out, and bring into play with our own lives. Each one is built around texts that we’ll learn together so that you can see these ideas for yourself, argue over them, and apply them to life your own way. Below, you can see an outline of a few of the upcoming sessions, and I’d love if you could join me for what promises to be a fun, engaging, and deeply rewarding learning experience. They are open to everyone, of all abilities, so bring along a friend too!

Shalom, and have a great week,

Weekly Women's Parsha Class
Mondays 10:00 - 11:00 AM
To register and order a student book:  wwjewish.org/torahstudies

Monday, May 6 2024

Prosaic Holiness

Your Most Distant and Unholy Moment Is G‑d’s Greatest Opportunity

The reality of life for so many is a series of banal, mundane, and oftentimes downright unholy moments. What are we supposed to make of this frustrating situation? A lesson from the lifespan of a fruit in Jewish law teaches us that G‑d is best found in precisely these moments.

Monday, May 13 2024

A Jew Is a Jew, Is a Jew, Is a Jew

Appreciating the Untouchable Preciousness of Every Jew

The Four Species we shake on the Sukkot holiday famously represent four different types of Jews. From the way the Torah describes each plant, we learn a valuable lesson about the immutable value of every Jew–regardless of what they do, or do not do.

Monday, May 20 2024

You’re Never Alone

A Unique Solution to a Dreadful Societal Problem

Even in the age of connectivity and the proliferation of something called “social media,” people have never been more lonely. A niche law in the Torah’s treatment of a servant provides a poignant companion to anyone at any time: G‑d Himself.

Monday, May 27 2024

Gratitude Is Good for You

Saying “Thank You” Isn’t Just about Doing the Right Thing

The benefits of feeling and expressing gratitude are well explored. A somewhat obscure law about dedicating fields to the Temple brings us to a surprising perk: expressing gratitude can bring tangible goodness into your life.

Monday, June 3 2024

The Most Precious Thing in the World

Every Moment of Torah Study Is an Infinite Opportunity. Literally.

Is the Torah just a really nice moral code? A great history book? A book of laws? Can it, or will it, ever change? Discover the true value of our people’s defining book

Monday, June 10 2024

Portal to Infinity

Sinai: The Day That Changed Everything

The Jewish people have always treasured our sacred book, the Torah. But what does that mean for an average person who hasn’t the time or head to be a full-time academic? Is there value to just dabbling here and there? Discover the answer through a Sinaitic lens.

Monday, June 17 2024

There’s No Such Thing as an Antisemite

They Really Hate G‑d, Not Us

Antisemitism is the world’s oldest and strangest form of hate. No matter the reason or circumstance, people just can’t stop hating the Jews. It turns out that it’s really G‑d they hate. And if that’s the case, we’d do well to trust in G‑d and rely on Him to defend Himself.

Monday, June 24 2024

“Live Free or Die” Is What G‑d Wants

The Watershed Moment When Truly Choosing G‑d Was Born

It would seem that it’s a binary choice: doing what I want, or doing what G‑d wants. But G‑d’s ambivalent reply to the Jew’s request to send spies teaches us that if we work hard enough, we can get the best of both worlds.

Monday, July 1 2024

The Universe Begins with One Person: You

Navigating the Great “Universalism vs. Particularism” Debate

The pendulum of history has swung back and forth on this question: What’s more important: the collective, or the individual? Discover how the Torah’s original rabble-rouser, Korach, made a bold, ambitious claim that, one day, will be proven correct.

Monday, July 8 2024

As Metal Is Cast, So Is Our Mettle Forged

True Strength and Deep Commitment Emerge from the Smelting Pot of Life

Seldom do the Jews sing in the Bible. But when they do, it’s glorious. A closer look at the only two instances of such song and who led the cast brings us to a profound conclusion about the tzuros (sufferings) of life: they’re the best thing to ever happen to us.

Monday, July 15 2024

Do Not Negotiate

Sometimes It’s Best Not to Answer At All

Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where everyone engaged in honest dialogue, asking questions not to challenge or deride, but only to genuinely learn? Sadly, that isn’t our world (yet). A garish story in the Torah teaches us that when someone isn’t looking for an answer, it’s best not to engage at all.

Monday, July 22 2024

“Make Israel Here”

Discovering the Unique Meaning of Every Stage, Place, and Part of Life

Competing forces, people, and urges vie for your attention in every stage of life. A unique story of talking lottery pieces teaches us to stop, focus, and drill down into whichever stage you’re at right now. Tomorrow, you’ll focus on tomorrow.

 

 

 
 

YOUR WEEKLY DOSE OF JEWISH INSPIRATION

 

Torah Studies is a program of the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute