A survey of the Hebrew Bible, Jewish Liturgy, and Jewish Thought for their respective mentions and contexts of water. Attention will also be given to the role played by water in the composite of the human body, as well as the physical benefits of proper hydration.
We have been cultivated from childhood to understand idolatry as a “cardinal sin” for the Abrahamic faith community. But what is “Avodah Zarah” exactly, as it is called in Hebrew and what is at the core of its offense? And, what marks off real idol worship from other forms of deviant behavior? Finally, we shall examine the ways that Avodah Zarah infiltrates modern daily life and poses challenges to our wellness. Our study will draw from the Hebrew Bible, Midrash, Talmud, Medieval Jewish Literature and contemporary works. All texts will be studied in English translation, and ample time will be reserved for discussion and reflection.
This course explores the foundational idea of “Shabbat Menucha” (Sabbath rest) as a restorative tool for holistic wellness. Along the way, we shall examine the development of Shabbat rituals, track the evolution of new practices, and broach a discussion of the ultimate Sabbath portrayed in mystical thinking.
This course - in addition to being a primer on the major holidays of the Jewish calendar - is intended to provoke conversations about taking good care of our bodies and our souls, with multiple frames such as Kabbalah, the Seven Dimensions of Wellness, and the numerous confrontations of COVID-19.
An exploration of the lives and deeds of our ancestors Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, Rachel, and Leah, through a close reading of selected texts in the Book of Genesis, related passages from the Midrash, and four liturgical selections.
The Hebrew Bible prescribes Shemittah, that the land be given rest from sowing, tilling and harvesting every seven years. As we initiate the Sabbatical Year of 5782 on the Jewish calendar, we will (1) study in depth the parameters of Shemittah in classical and contemporary texts, (2) explore the applications of the ordinance to agriculture and commerce in the State of Israel, and (3) probe its values for greater comprehension of our roles in Creation Care, as stewards of Planet Earth.