Love During the Holocaust

Love During the Holocaust

Feb 14, 2022 By Edna Friedberg | Public Event video

The Holocaust was one of the most profound ruptures in Jewish history. And yet, the foundational human emotion of love persisted—and even blossomed—in the most devastating circumstances. Dr. Edna Friedberg explores the varied manifestations of love—romantic, parental, platonic—at a time of terror and loss. Each of these forms of deep affection and connection offered psychological sustenance and sometimes spurred life-saving acts of courage and altruism. The session will draw from primary sources including diaries, oral testimonies, artifacts, and historical photographs.

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Unlocking the Gates of Heaven: The Transformative Power of Grief

Unlocking the Gates of Heaven: The Transformative Power of Grief

Feb 7, 2022 By Rachel Rosenthal | Public Event video

Grief is a primal emotion, often associated with paralysis, but sometimes it has the power to generate great change in the face of loss. In this session, we will study some rabbinic sources that focus on grief and the ways that the rabbis use it to transform their circumstances and their communities.  

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Emotions and Reason, Experience and Intellect: Two Views of the Book of Psalms

Emotions and Reason, Experience and Intellect: Two Views of the Book of Psalms

Jan 31, 2022 By Benjamin D. Sommer | Public Event video

What sort of religious experience does the Book of Psalms reflect and encourage? Does the book primarily appeal to our emotions, or is it first and foremost a work to be studied on an intellectual level? Join Dr. Benjamin Sommer to see how the Book of Psalms provides its own answers to these questions. By addressing these questions, we will have an opportunity to think about the relative places in Judaism of emotion and reason, heart and mind, and to explore the relationship between prayer and text-study in the Bible and rabbinic Judaism.

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Between the Lines: When I Grow Up

Between the Lines: When I Grow Up

Jan 26, 2022 By The Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary | Public Event video

Author Ken Krimstein discussed his book, When I Grow Up, a graphic narrative based on newly discovered, never-before-published autobiographies of Eastern European Jewish teens on the brink of WWII—found in 2017 hidden in a Lithuanian church cellar.

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The Importance of Shame in Rabbinic Tradition

The Importance of Shame in Rabbinic Tradition

Jan 24, 2022 By David C. Kraemer | Public Event video

We often think of shame or embarrassment as an experience to be avoided, and, to be sure, rabbinic tradition considers shaming someone else in public to be a grievous sin. But the Talmud also teaches that the capacity to feel shame is important, for the fear of shame will keep one from sin. Join Dr. David Kraemer to discuss this complicated emotion and how Jewish tradition “feels” about it.

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Between the Lines: Sanctified Sex

Between the Lines: Sanctified Sex

Jan 24, 2022 By The Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary | Public Event video

Author Noam Zion when he discusses his book, Sanctified Sex, which draws on 2,000 years of rabbinic debates addressing competing aspirations for loving intimacy, passionate sexual union, and sanctity in marriage. Noam Sachs Zion guides us chronologically and steadily through fraught terrain: seminal biblical texts and their Talmudic interpretations; ultra-Orthodox rabbis clashing with one another over […]

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Between the Lines: Embers of Pilgrimage

Between the Lines: Embers of Pilgrimage

Jan 11, 2022 By The Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary | Public Event video

Dr. Eitan Fishbane talks about his book, Embers of Pilgrimage (Panui Publications), a collection of original poems incorporating imagery from the Zohar and other Jewish mystical works.

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Between the Lines: Remember KHURBM: The Forgotten Genocide

Between the Lines: Remember KHURBM: The Forgotten Genocide

Jan 10, 2022 By The Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary | Public Event video

Author Alexander Gendler shared his book, KHURBM 1914-1922: Prelude to the Holocaust. The Beginning, a collection of eyewitness testimonies and other sources that reveal the destruction of Jewish life by the Russian army during World War I. During World War I, as a part of its strategy against Kaiser’s Germany and to keep itself a united empire, […]

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“It is not up to you to finish the work” (Pirkei Avot 2:21): On Striving for the Unattainable

“It is not up to you to finish the work” (Pirkei Avot 2:21): On Striving for the Unattainable

Dec 13, 2021 By Alan Cooper | Public Event video

Some of the most dramatic moments in the Tanakh describe the completion of work—the creation of the world (Genesis); the fabrication of the Tabernacle (Exodus); and the construction of the Temple (Chronicles).  In contrast, at the end of chapter 2 of Pirkei Avot, Rabbi Tarfon admonishes us that while we are under pressure with much work, a tight deadline, a penchant for laziness, and a demanding boss, nevertheless “it is not up to [us] to finish the work.”

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When Matzoh Bakers and Tallis Weavers Went on Strike: The Jewish Workers’ Movement in Eastern Europe

When Matzoh Bakers and Tallis Weavers Went on Strike: The Jewish Workers’ Movement in Eastern Europe

Dec 6, 2021 By David Fishman | Public Event video

The grandparents or great grandparents of most American Jews were poor wage-earning workers from Eastern Europe. This session will explore the world of Jewish workers in Tsarist Russia, in particular the Jewish labor movement that arose at the end of the 19th century. The movement organized strikes, underground trade unions, classes, and cultural activity for workers in Yiddish, and a Jewish socialist party known as the “Bund.” Its ideas and practices migrated to the United States and left a powerful imprint on American Jewish life.

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Maimonides at Work: A Rabbi’s Workday in Medieval Egypt

Maimonides at Work: A Rabbi’s Workday in Medieval Egypt

Nov 29, 2021 By Tamar Marvin | Public Event video

Toward the end of his life, Maimonides received a request from his translator and admirer in France: to come and visit the great rabbi and discuss with him the important matter of translating his most sensitive work, The Guide of the Perplexed. In response, Maimonides waves off Samuel Ibn Tibbon, the translator, recounting how busy he is. The correspondence between Maimonides and his translator is rich in detail, providing insight into Maimonides’ life.

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How to Make Work Meaningful for Us: Exploring the Value of Work in Biblical and Rabbinic Sources

How to Make Work Meaningful for Us: Exploring the Value of Work in Biblical and Rabbinic Sources

Nov 22, 2021 By Eliezer B. Diamond | Public Event video

Work can be uplifting; it can also be draining and demoralizing. This depends not only on what we do but on how we do it. We’ll look at Jewish sources that offer us different ways of thinking about work and some wisdom about how to make the work we do work for us.

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If There Is No Bread, There Is No Torah: The Other Careers of the Talmudic Rabbis

If There Is No Bread, There Is No Torah: The Other Careers of the Talmudic Rabbis

Nov 15, 2021 By Rachel Rosenthal | Public Event video

We often think of the rabbis in the Talmud as having careers as full-time rabbis. However, numerous narrative traditions tell us about their other jobs and their financial struggles. If one cannot make a living learning Torah, how should we balance Torah with more mundane concerns? We’ll study some of these stories together and look at some models for lives that are enriched both by Torah and by work.

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Abraham Joshua Heschel: A Life of Radical Amazement

Abraham Joshua Heschel: A Life of Radical Amazement

Nov 10, 2021 By The Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary | Public Event video

Author and historian Julian E. Zelizer when he talks about his book, Abraham Joshua Heschel: A Life of Radical Amazement, which chronicles the life of Heschel as a symbol of the fight to make progressive Jewish values relevant in the secular world.

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We Refuse to Be Enemies

We Refuse to Be Enemies

Oct 26, 2021 By The Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary | Public Event video

Authors Sabeeha Rehman and Walter Ruby talk about their book, We Refuse to Be Enemies, a manifesto that offers experience and guidance on the rise of intolerance, bigotry, and white nationalism in the United States.

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The Jewish Middle Class in an Age of Social Justice

The Jewish Middle Class in an Age of Social Justice

Oct 25, 2021 By Nancy Sinkoff | Public Event video

his session will explore the historian Lucy S. Dawidowicz’s challenging essay, “The Business of American Jews: Notes on a Work in Progress” (1992), which called for a reassessment of Jewish economic social mobility as a positive value in Jewish life.

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Even God Makes Time for Leisure: Rabbinic Narratives About God’s Work, Play, and Rest Schedule

Even God Makes Time for Leisure: Rabbinic Narratives About God’s Work, Play, and Rest Schedule

Oct 11, 2021 By Sarit Kattan Gribetz | Public Event video

Genesis 2:2-3 announces that, after working hard to create the world and humanity over the course of six days, God took a day off to celebrate the Sabbath. Other passages in the Bible build upon God’s day of rest to mandate that all created beings rest, and that heads of households ensure that everyone under their control be allowed to rest on the seventh day. Divine time, we learn, alternates between periods of creative work and deliberate rest.  But what does God’s work entail, how does God manage divine time, does God make time for leisure, and does God have a schedule?

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Six Days Shall You Labor: Shabbat and the Meaning of Work

Six Days Shall You Labor: Shabbat and the Meaning of Work

Oct 4, 2021 By David C. Kraemer | Public Event video

Shabbat, a day on which “work” is forbidden, also offers a commentary on work—on its place in our lives, its importance, and its limitations. Notably, the rabbinic Sabbath—that is, the “traditional” Sabbath—offers a perspective that differs from that of the Torah, both original and unique. Join Dr. David Kraemer to explore biblical and rabbinic views of the Sabbath as commentaries on the significance of work.

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Traveling to Babylon—For Good

Traveling to Babylon—For Good

Aug 23, 2021 By David C. Kraemer | Public Event video

The first time Jews traveled to Babylon, it was part of a great exile. But when the rabbis returned to Babylon many centuries later, joining a now “native” Jewish community there, they found themselves very much at home. Some did indeed claim Babylon as home, while others traveled back and forth between Babylon and Palestine as rabbinic messengers to ensure that the teachings of each were available to the other. Two confident centers of Jewish life developed, not unlike modern New York and Jerusalem. In this session, Dr. David Kraemer explores the legacy of those rabbis and how their work continues to impact Jewish life today.

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A Journey Without End—<br>The Explusion From Spain and the Age of Perpetual Jewish Migration

A Journey Without End—
The Explusion From Spain and the Age of Perpetual Jewish Migration

Aug 16, 2021 By Jonathan Ray | Public Event video

In the summer of 1492, the Jews of Spain were expelled from their homeland by royal decree. The dispossessed embarked on a series of journeys in search of new homelands – a process that would last generations and transform Sephardic society and culture.

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