It’s no secret that one of my dearest friends is an Orthodox rabbi with whom I have studied for years. I’ve learned A LOT from him, including the fact that one should ignore all the prejudices that are directed at the Orthodox. Rabbi Judah Dardik (previously rabbi of Beth Jacob in Oakland) is one of the kindest people I know and NO he has never turned away from a non-Jewish person or a patrilineal Jew. So it was a personal loss to me when he made aliyah.
I loved getting a traditional perspective on topics. Having belonged to a Reform congregation for more than 30 years I am well versed in Reform teachings. But I needed to stretch myself.
THE GOOD NEWS is that Rabbi Gershon Albert, who is now the rabbi at Beth Jacob is running a series of classes that are right up my (and your) alley.
Judaism’s Big Questions
“Ask good questions.” This piece of advice has fostered a thirst for knowledge in the Jewish people for generations. This year, we have compiled some of the most important and interesting Jewish questions; let’s engage in the study of some answers (and of course more questions) together!
With Rabbi Gershon Albert
Date and Time: Tuesday Evenings at 7:15 – 8:15pm
Location: Beth Jacob Congregation, 3778 Park Blvd, Oakland, Main Sanctuary
Tentative Schedule (Subject to Change – contact Beth Jacob at 510-482-1147 for up to the minute details.)
November 8: Introduction: A brief history of Jewish history and thought
November 22: Is the world actually 5777 years old? And other contradictions between science and tradition?
November 29: What is the soul?
December 6: Evil Part 1: What is evil and why does it exist?
January 10: Evil Part 2: why did God create man with an evil inclination?
January 17: Does Judaism believe in the afterlife and reincarnation?
January 24: What is the Messiah? What do we believe about the end of days?
January 31: Does Judaism believe in free will?
February 7: Do Jews need to believe? (Do we need to believe in God?)
February 14: Why do Jews call themselves the “Chosen People”?
February 21: What does Judaism think about other religions and cultures?
February 28: What are Jewish attitudes towards work?
March 7: Kashrut, Shatnez, Mikvah, and more. Are there reasons behind the laws I can’t wrap my head around?
March 21: Why do observant Jews dress funny? Modesty in the Jewish tradition.
March 28: What is Torah and what is the significance of its study?
May 2: Philosophical Responses to the Holocaust.
May 9: What is Halacha and how did it develop?
May 16: It’s just a hug! What does Halacha say about interactions with the opposite gender?
May 23: What is the value of Israel in traditional Judaism?
June 6: What is Judaism? A nation, ethnic group, religion, or culture?
June 13: It’s your turn – send in your big questions about Judaism!