The lay-led Torah Study group began in October 1998, and marks its 18th (chai) birthday in October. The group meets monthly on a Saturday morning at 10:30. We started with "In the beginning..." and over the past 18 years have delved into the first three books of the Torah. These gatherings are very much cooperative and stimulating (ad)ventures in learning - new participants are welcome at any time, and members can attend one or many sessions.
The Torah portion we study always sparks lively discussion that unfolds on several levels, from the literal meaning to multiple interpretations from our tradition to associations that we in the 21st century bring to the text. At our October 15, 2016, meeting we continue with Numbers 31. The fascinating journey continues.
Genesis and Exodus were more or less familiar territory; nevertheless, more than a decade was spent reading and talking about the stories, miracles, lessons, puzzles, inconsistencies, revelations, and inspirations contained therein. Leviticus, by contrast, was “all those boring laws,” to quote one participant. We were so wrong. With its detailed descriptions of sacrifices and proscriptions, among other things, Leviticus offered fascinating insights into the lives and thoughts of the ancient Hebrews; its verses have stimulated some of the most interesting discussions ever. Now we continue with Numbers!
We use several different English translations, keeping the Hebrew text close at hand. Our pace is slow and our discussions lively as we discuss the various levels of meaning, and in particular how the text does or does not relate to us today. We have no set objective or time frame, and proceed as the discussion requires. No preparation is necessary - we read and we discuss. Please join us; new participants are always welcome. The study dates for 2016-2017 can be found on the Calendar.
Rabbi's Class - A Close Reading of the Book of Judges
Enjoy three Sunday morning study sessions from 10:30-11:55 led by Rabbi Dr. Dubin:
As the political climate of our world continues to confuse, anger, delight, and excite (depending on the day and your perspective), we
Jews know that such highs and lows are nothing new to the world of national leadership. Rabbi Dubin will lead participants through a
close reading of Sefer Shoftim (The Book of Judges), one of the most fascinating treatises ever written about the benefits and pitfalls of living under the political rule of other human beings.
There are no prerequisites for this class, other than to please bring with you a Bible of your choice. All members – as young as post-b’nei mitzvah teenagers and as old as the vacuum cleaner (invented, 1901) – are encouraged to attend.
Adult Programs Elsewhere
For the most up-to-date information on programs, including films, check the Web sites below:
Public Programs at the Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life (Rutgers University)
The Shimon and Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center (Bridgewater)