“God looks into the Torah and created the world. Human beings look into Torah and sustain the world.”
How can we look into Torah to help us try to make sense of the world?
Come join a deep text study community over Chagigah. Using methods such as chavrutah (partner study), we will sit in a beit midrash (house of study) environment, surrounded by books to support our study.
The sessions will build on each other, creating a layered journey through Torah by exploring different classical commentators on Torah, as well as Rabbinic literature such as Talmud, Midrash, and Chasidut.
Biblical Beginnings: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ – what does it mean?: The meaning of Torah is never as simple as it seems at first. As soon as the text is read, it opens up in multiple interpretations. This session will explore this verse from the perspective of the medieval commentators who surround the page of Torah in traditional editions. Rashi and his friends do a great job of showing us where interpretation is invited and having a go at it themselves. Delve into these revelatory textual complications and see what emerges… with Rabbi Shulamit Ambalu.
‘Loving your neighbour’; love the rabbis: The rabbis, the founders of our Judaism, developed the genious interpretative methodology and the beautiful poetic literature known to us as Midrash, preserved in midrashic collections and the Talmud. This session will take our verse into the rabbinic context: how is it interpreted?; what other moments in Tanakh do the rabbis connect it to?; what can they teach us? Join for this comparative Midrashic study with Rabbi Daniel Lichman.
Chasidut, Kabbalah: the spiritual practice of loving: Chasidic teachings preserve kabbalistic/mystical interpretations of Torah from eighteenth and nineteenth century Eastern Europe. They ask us to feel the text alive within our emotional and embodied experience. What does it mean to love the other? Come and explore the inner dimension of loving your neighbour with Yael Roberts.
Loving your actual neighbour: contemporary applications: How do we take all of these teachings into our contemporary world? How can we act in the world with love? What practical steps can we take? How can we support one another along the way? This closing session will bring in contemporary philosophy and rabbinic thinking as we seek to apply this learning in our lives – with Rabbi Robyn Ashworth-Steen
Embark on a journey together with other Reform Jews, of skill building and of deepening your personal relationship with Torah, each other, and the world.
Who should come along?: Anyone who is eager and willing to throw themselves into an immersive text environment, no matter your background, skills, or experience. No Hebrew necessary!