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Torah Studies 5774

Torah Studies 5774

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Wednesday, April 30
The Perils of Perfectionism
Why Half-Measures Can Be Good Enough
The motivational books shout, "Only the best will do! Do it right or don’t do it at all!" Is this the healthiest approach? Is it OK to be happy with second best? The Jewish calendar has a built-in mechanism that balances our dreams of perfection with our imperfect reality.

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Wednesday, May 7
Positive Thinking
Three Reasons Why It’s So Powerful
Does positive thinking produce real results or is it simply a placebo? We put it to the test by looking at biblical episodes where positive thinking is in the spotlight. Does it work? Why? And where do we draw the line between positive thinking and wishful, dangerous thinking?

 

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Wednesday, May 14
The World Is a Wedding
How Marriage Explains Our Universe
How do a man and a woman, so fundamentally different, marry and become one? In Jewish thought a death anniversary, as well as life itself, is called a wedding. Why? A look at the true drama of marriage explains why it is the model for creation.

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Wednesday, May 21
Durable, Diverse, and Detailed
Three Ways Judaism Thrives
This class argues that the Jewish future lies precisely in its alleged weaknesses: its refusal to change, its lack of consensus, and its obsession with details. A cutting look at the packing materials of the ancient Jews tells us why conventional wisdom has it wrong.

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Wednesday, May 28
How Do Blessings Work?
Closing the Gap Between Hope and Reality
Can a blessing change reality? If the hard facts tell us one thing, how can a blessing—for children, for health, for income—tell us another? To find the answers, this class zeroes in on the fascinating history of the Priestly Blessing, one of Judaism’s most cherished traditions.

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Wednesday, June 11
The King of the Jews
An Inside Look at the Life of King David
King David has been assured his place in history, but at the time he ruled, he faced vicious opposition, mutiny, and relentless slander. Find out how the father of Jewish monarchy salvaged his reputation and built a model for benevolent kingship.

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Wednesday, June 18
The Strange Case of the Stick Gatherer
Real Lessons from the Bible's Mysterious Dissident 
If you’ve ever struggled with balancing your hectic work life with peaceful personal development, study the tale of the lone man caught gathering sticks on Shabbat in the Sinai Desert. We dig deep behind the mysterious story to learn how to build an oasis in time.

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Wednesday, June 25
Dignified Debate
Respecting Other Opinions While Maintaining Our Own
Too often, disagreements turn into battles. Still, some people manage to “agree to disagree.” What’s their secret? This class analyzes Korach’s historical rebellion to discover how to engage in constructive debate without sparking conflict.

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Wednesday, July 2
Curious Tales of the Talmud
Messages Behind the Magic and the Mystery
The Talmud has puzzling stories: a Sage arguing with G‑d and winning, bizarre debates about red cows, and legal wrangling about leprosy. This class traces the common thread that runs through these stories and discovers that it is all part of the broader question: Can we ever break free of our material moorings?

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Wednesday, July 9
Dreaming of Redemption
Why Moshiach Makes a Difference to Our Lives
Judaism believes in monotheism, social justice, and developing our world. So why are we obsessed with Moshiach? Is it the anticipation of reward? Of utopia? Something far more fundamental must lie at the heart of the great Jewish hope.

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Wednesday, July 16
Master a Mitzvah
Finding Our Niche in Judaism
Are you a charity champion? A kashrut connoisseur? Passionate about prayer? Destiny has granted each of us one particular mitzvah which we must embrace and make our own. Discover how to identify your unique calling and why it so important to who you are.

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Wednesday, July 23
How to Heal Hatred
The Psychology of Animosity
Some people drive us mad, while others don’t bother us at all. Why? What makes us angry? The ancient animosity between the Israelites and Midianites serves as a paradigm for all conflicts—and how to resolve them.

 
 

 

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