Spring 2022 Learning Series

The Power of Emotion: Judaism and the Inner Life

Mondays starting January 24, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET 

Joy. Grief. Anger. Shame. Love. Emotional experience is often at the center of our lives. Join us for a series that explores perceptions of emotions in Jewish texts and offers surprising new insights for understanding the feelings that make up our inner worlds. 

The opening session, titled “The Importance of Shame in Rabbinic Tradition,” will be taught by Dr. David Kraemer, Joseph J. and Dora Abbell Librarian and Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics. 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. In this session, we will discuss this complicated emotion and how Jewish tradition “feels” about it.

The series will take place each Monday from January 24–April 4, 2022 (skipping Feb. 21), from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET. 

Sessions and Faculty

January 24:    

The Importance of Shame in Rabbinic Tradition

With Dr. David Kraemer, Joseph J. and Dora Abbell Librarian and Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics  

January 31:   

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

With Dr. Benjamin Sommer, Professor of Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages  

February 7:  

Unlocking the Gates of Heaven: The Transformative Power of Grief

With Dr. Rachel Rosenthal, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics

February 14: 

Love During the Holocaust  

With Dr. Edna Friedberg, JTS Fellow and historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

February 28: 

On Jealousy (session title forthcoming)

With Dr. Sarah Wolf, Assistant Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics

March 7:  

The ‘Burning Heart’: From the Book of Jeremiah to the Metropolitan Opera  

With Dr. Alan Cooper, Elaine Ravich Professor of Jewish Studies  

March 14: 

Compassion and Love in Jewish Mystical Sources

With Dr. Eitan Fishbane, Associate Professor of Jewish Thought 

March 21:  

On Loneliness (session title forthcoming) 

With Rabbi Mychal Springer, Manager of Clinical Pastoral Education at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City and Adjunct Professor, JTS 

March 28: 

Divine Rage 

With Dr. Amy Kalmanofsky, Dean, List College and Kekst Graduate School; Blanche and Romie Shapiro Professor, Bible 

April 4: 

On Joy (session title forthcoming)   

With Dr. Sarah Wolf, Assistant Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics

Sponsor a Session

Did you know that you can sponsor a learning session to honor a loved one, celebrate an occasion, or commemorate a yahrzeit? To learn more, contact learninglives@jtsa.edu