Jews in a Non-Jewish World:Idol Worship and Living With Others – Masekhet (Tractate) Avodah Zarah Chapter 1
Throughout history, Jews have maintained strong religious beliefs and cultural ties. The Talmudic Sages, through the paradigm of exploring the mitzvah of refraining from and even abolishing idol worship, confront us with questions: how do we, as Jews, navigate living in a non-Jewish world? How much interaction and integration is acceptable, when it comes to business or socializing with neighbors? Should there be any limits? The Rabbis’ discussions and debates about the prohibition against idol worship is engaged as a framework of thought concerning the Jewish People’s place among the nations of the world. From the beginning of Tractate Avodah Zarah (Idol Worship) the Sages expand on laws that seem black and white on their face but move us into discussions about living in the complex world of kaleidoscopic humanity. Come join the learning no matter what your background. Students may bring either the Artscroll Schottenstein Vol. 1 Avodah Zarah to class or the Koren Talmud Bavli Avoda Zara – Horayot volume. Class meets at 7:30 pm on Wednesday evenings throughout the year, after the holiday season.
No previous Talmud study, nor knowledge of Hebrew or Aramaic, is required.
Siddur Class with Rabbi Bolton
Thursdays, 8:40-9:40 am (check calendar for updates)
“I Thought the ServiceWas Over!” Readings, Songs and Passages of Study After the OfficialMorning Prayers
The Siddur is not only a prayer book but a repository for passages of study, hymns to sing, and glorious, poetic songs. We will study passages from the Rambam like the Thirteen Principles of Faith, collections of Torah verses prepared for the worshipper who wanted to go right to study after prayers and other materials that were inserted into the post-service sections of printed siddurim stemming from manuscripts of the Middle Ages. Of course, already in the Talmud, certain Sages would add personal prayers and pleas of their own after their recitations of the Amidah. Those personal prayer passages have made their way into some prayer rites, as well, at the end of morning services. They stand on their own as petitionary poetry, and we will study them as stand alone liturgy. In this class we sing, listen to the music of prayer, discuss prayer life and examine prayer language closely. Come gain understandings and add meaning to prayer life. Join us at 8:40 am on Thursdays after the holiday season.