Prayer and Spirituality

Organization: Hadar Institute

Jews often take great comfort in reciting chapters of Tehillim (psalms), but we rarely study them carefully. In these sessions, we will explore the religious world of the book of Psalms.

Through close literary and theological readings of an array of Psalms—reflecting diverse genres, moods, experiences, and emotions—we will deepen our understanding of the texts and the worldviews they express. We'll encounter texts that are theologically profound, spiritually audacious, and literarily breathtaking. Along the way, we'll consider what it means to pray a text as opposed to merely reading or studying it.

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Organization: HaMidrasha at Oranim

We customarily mark milestone events and important stages of our lives by holding ceremonies. The ceremony is a condensed and symbolic expression of personal and public ideas and moods and is conducted in festive and elevated spirits.

The ceremony allows both individuals and society to shape time, endowing it with personal, social and cultural significance. It is a way for people to gain a sense of control over time. The ceremonies we choose to hold and the forms these take allow us to express our cultural identity.

Throughout this course, we have chosen to discuss ceremonies that mark the circle of life – birth, coming of age, marriage and mourning. We will observe these ceremonies from a personal, social and cultural perspective.

The learning process will proceed with studying the Jewish origins of each ceremony, their respective structures, which have taken shape over the course of innumerable generations, and contemporary and relevant perspectives and the possibilities for reshaping our life cycle ceremonies.

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Organization: Hadar Institute

Food is a powerful force at the center of ritual, community and ethics. This class will explore all of these aspects of food by studying passages on food found across the six Orders of the Talmud. How can the act of eating become a practice of gratitude? Who should receive food as charity, and how much? What rights do field-workers have?

Jumping into the lively debate of Talmud will pave the way for rich discussion to affirm, challenge and transform our own approaches to food.​

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