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Upcoming Course: Great Debates

Upcoming Course: Great Debates

Fall 2017

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Debate is not only encouraged within Judaism but resides at the very heart of our history and theology. Great Debates in Jewish History explores six fundamental conflicts that pitted the greatest Jewish minds against each other—six instances of divergent perspectives, including several that are still debated today.
Discover stirring and surprising accounts that span two millennia of Jewish disputation, reflecting the panorama of Jewish history and its monumental political, ethical, and spiritual challenges. Encounter the gripping narratives of six fascinating eras, the intellectual tension and points of view they unearth, and the light they shed on the most fundamental of Jewish beliefs.
 
  • Dead Sea Scrolls - Dead Sea Sect vs Rabbinic Interpretation:Unlock the secret of the Dead Sea Scrolls by contrasting their writings with Talmudic texts, and unearth a fundamental debate about rabbinic authority and interpretation. 
  • Suicide at Masada - Militant Nationalism vs Religious Institutionalism: What role does nationalism play in Judaism? What is the Jewish perspective on taking up arms when defeat is inevitable?
  • The Maimonidean Controversy - Faith vs Reason: Is rationalism an acceptable approach to Divine worship? What role does reason play in Judaism?
  • Renewal of The Sanhedrin - Active Messianism vs Passive Messianism: Can we force the Divine hand to hasten the redemption? Should we? And what about recent attempts at renewing the Sanhedrin?
  • Chasidism - Divine Transcendence vs Divine Immanence: In the 1700s, the Ba’al Shem Tov introduced a focus on joy, prayer, and the simple Jew’s relationship with G‑d. But this endeavor was met with resistance. What motivated Chasidism’s opponents?
  • Separation of Church and State - Religion in Public vs Religion as a Private Affair: A 1989 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, permitting public menorah displays, deeply divided the Jewish world. Is religion designed to be a personal and private affair, or one to be paraded in the public domain? 

 
 
We look forward to greeting you and enjoying Great Debates of Jewish History together with you.
There are four options:
  • 6 Sundays, Oct 29th - Dec 10th 2017
    10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
  • 6 Sundays, Oct 29th - Dec 10th 2017
    7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • 6 Thursdays, Nov 2nd - Dec 7th 2017
    10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
  • 6 Thursdays, Nov 2nd - Dec 7th 2017
    8:00 PM - 9:30 PM 
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