Ongoing Classes

Learning with Rabbi Bolton will resume this fall. Check the calendar for dates.

Talmud Class with Rabbi Bolton
Wednesdays, 7:30 – 9:00 pm
Who Can Be Judged? Who Can Bear Witness? Kings, Judges, And the Great Men and
Women Of Israel. (Chapter 2 of Masekhet Sanhedrin)
Some chapters of Talmud go deep into questions that resonate in our times. Are the High Priest and Kind above the law? The Rabbis inquire about those who hold high office as well as everyday
as everyday souls. Their explorations connect us with biblical personalities and the men and women of the Talmudic era. What are the limits that the Torah imposes on leaders? Did that legislation stick? What are the checks and balances in the Divine law and discerned laws of the Sages that help society manage its way forward and for human beings to serve in holy ways as leaders? Exploring our past through this dynamic chapter means getting a sense of the legal systems the Rabbis designed as well as their philosophical implications for our era. Can a High Priest be a judge or a witness? Does a King stand trial? Who deserves to be a law-giver or a law-maker? Join our class for every meeting or come into the learning when you can! We read the texts in the original and in translation. Rabbi Bolton explicates the passages and he brings to bear research that extends the topical material that appears in the Babylonian Talmud. Purchase Volume 1 of Sanhedrin in the Artscroll Hebrew/English edition. While it is not required to have the volume for class it is highly recommended. Copies of the pages are not distributed. Talmudic study, even for those who  have never had exposure, can be a delight for the mind and a wonderful Jewish experience. For those with background the investigations of the content of the Gemara coupled with the research extensions invites a fresh read and look at well-known Talmudic material.

No previous Talmud study, nor knowledge of Hebrew or Aramaic, is required.

Siddur Class with Rabbi Bolton
Thursdays, 8:40-9:40 am
When Prayer and Remembering Meet: Yizkor, Funeral Rites, Daily Psalms and Reminders.
Join the Siddur Class in 5780 for explorations of the themes and language of our Yizkor prayers, as well as funeral liturgies. In general the class explores the history, forms, content and meaning of Jewish liturgy and prayer rites, and members of the learning community deliberate about the prayer experience (t’fillah) and encounters with the Jewish liturgy. Translating the language of the prayerbook helps gain access to the poetry and Biblical passages that are included in service of t’fillah. After an exploration of Yizkor and funeral liturgies (psalms and memorial prayers), the Psalms of the Day will be studied. Beyond being reminders about what day of the week is ahead of us each day they help us recall and focus upon important themes for our lives and our world. Finally, the class will turn to passages that remind us about key lists in our tradition. Among those lists included in certain siddurim are: the Rambam’s 13 Principles, the Ten Commandments and a list of ten special moments in Jewish history. Why those? What challenges do they offer at the end of a prayer service? Opportunities? What makes this class so dynamic is a combination of the study of our prayers and the engaging, open conversation among participants. There is a dynamic culture of learning to be part of on Thursday mornings, so plan to join in after the High Holidays and Sukkot. Put it on your calendar; make time for Jewish learning in the year ahead.