Jealousy and Gender in Rabbinic Literature

Jealousy and Gender in Rabbinic Literature

Feb 28, 2022 By Sarah Wolf | Public Event video

“Men are more likely to have anger issues.” “Women are more sensitive than men are.” We are all familiar with gendered beliefs and stereotypes about emotion in today’s world. Presumptions about gender and emotion also existed in the time of the rabbis, though not necessarily the ones we’d expect. Join Dr. Sarah Wolf to look at rabbinic texts about jealousy and other emotions that are portrayed as negative or dangerous, noticing how gender roles function in these texts, and to reflect on how rabbinic ideas about gender and emotions can help us shed light on our own.

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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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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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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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The “Burning Heart”: <br>From the Book of Jeremiah to the Metropolitan Opera

The “Burning Heart”:
From the Book of Jeremiah to the Metropolitan Opera

Mar 7, 2022 By Alan Cooper | Public Event video

In Jeremiah 20:9, the prophet compares the divine word to “a burning fire in my heart, shut up in my bones.” This powerful image of irresistible passion constrained has long been interpreted in both positive and negative ways.  Dr. Alan Cooper examined how the image has been used by Jewish authors and also glance at the way it has come to prominence as the title of both Charles M. Blow’s memoir and Terence Blanchard’s pioneering opera based on the memoir. Dr. Alan Cooper examined how the image has been used by Jewish authors and also glance at the way it has come to prominence as the title of both Charles M. Blow’s memoir and Terence Blanchard’s pioneering opera based on the memoir. 

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Compassion and Love in Jewish Mystical Sources

Compassion and Love in Jewish Mystical Sources

Mar 14, 2022 By Eitan Fishbane | Public Event video

Through study of Kabbalistic texts ranging from 13th-century Spain to 16th-century Tzfat, Dr. Eitan Fishbane, associate professor of Jewish Thought, JTS, explored how the related themes of love and compassion were central to the spiritual and ethical thinking of key Kabbalists. For these mystics, compassion and love were simultaneously ideals in relation to other people and in relation to God; what is more, many understood interpersonal compassion and love as actual manifestations of Divinity in the earthly realm. Our createdness in the image of God brings the ideals of emotion and virtue to life in the physical world.

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Loneliness as a Spiritual Crisis

Loneliness as a Spiritual Crisis

Mar 21, 2022 By Mychal Springer | Public Event video

Rabbi Mychal Springer explores the existential issues related to belonging and abandonment, drawing on Jewish spiritual resources that help foster a loving embrace, divine and human, even when we must carefully balance distance and proximity in the face of contagion. 

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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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