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Jewish Practice and Mitzvot with Rabbi Brian Strauss

Wednesday, April 10, 2024 2 Nisan 5784

12:00 PM - 1:30 PMZubowksi A

The Foundations for a Thoughtful Judaism curriculum is a sophisticated introduction to deep philosophical questions about Judaism related to four pillars of Jewish life: Ethics, Practice, Faith, and Peoplehood.  Last program year we examined Ethics; this year we engage with the volume on Practice.

Why do we Jews do what we do?  Why do we have so many rituals and obligations?  What is the point?  This volume explores questions that are fundamental to Jewish practice: What is the system of mitzvot trying to accomplish? Why the need for ritual action at all beyond belief? How have Jewish thinkers conceived of the meaning of mitzvot in an age of radical human autonomy? What are our obligations to others, to God, and to the collective? How does the sanctification of time, space, and body lead to holiness?

Let's explore the answer to these and many more questions together through text study and discussion.


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UNIT 1 BELIEF AND ACTION

  • Understanding Mitzvah – 10/11/23
  • Sincerity and Ritual – 11/8/23
  • Obligation and Autonomy – 12/13/23

 UNIT 2 SUSTAINING RELATIONSHIPS

  • Caring for Others – 1/10/24
  • Connecting with God – 2/7/24
  • Identifying with the Collective – 3/20/24
  • Refining Oneself 4/10/24

UNIT 3 IMBUING SANCTITY

  • Understanding Holiness – 5/8/24
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Tue, April 23 2024 15 Nisan 5784