Bringing the Heart of Torah to Life - September 12, 2017
Bringing the Heart of Torah to Life - September 12, 2017

Bringing The Heart of Torah to Life
A Book Launch and Celebration
with R. Shai Held

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 from 7:15 - 9:00 pm
New York City
 

Event Description

Listen to the Recordings

 

Event Description

Join us as we celebrate Rabbi Shai Held's widely acclaimed new book, The Heart of Torah: Essays on the Weekly Torah Portion. At 7:15 pm, four prominent leaders in the Jewish community will offer shiurim engaging with key ideas of the book, followed by a lecture by Rabbi Held.

Presenters include Rabbi Jill Jacobs, Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, Rabbi Shmuel Hain, and Rabbi Ethan Tucker

 

Schedule:

7:15-7:25 - Formal Program, Introduction by R. Elie Kaunfer
 
7:30-8:20 - Shiurim in Parallel:
 
R. Shmuel Hain - Cautionary notes on “Turning Memory into Empathy” in the Bible
 
R. Jill Jacobs - In the Image of God: Judaism's insistence on human rights
 
R. Sharon Kleinbaum - "The Torah of Despair and Hope"
 
R. Ethan Tucker - God and Torah: Do they need each other?
 
8:25 - Introduction to Keynote by Tali Adler
 
8:30 - Keynote by R. Shai Held
 
9:00 - Book Signing
 

Shiurim Descriptions

R. Ethan Tucker - God and Torah: Do they need each other?
 

In his essays on the Torah, Rabbi Shai Held asks us: Is it possible to have an unmediated connection with God without being immersed in Torah and mitzvot?  And conversely: Can Torah and mitzvot threaten to become a self-absorbed enterprise emptied of the divine presence?  As he often does, Rabbi Held calls our attention to the dialectic tension at work in this discussion.  We will study his analysis of two major figures in the Tanakh, Rivkah and Ezra, and reflect on the ongoing role of God and Torah in our lives.

 

 
With Rabbi Held's essay, "Do Not Murder: Shedding Innocent Blood and Polluting the Land," as a starting point, we will explore biblical, rabbinic, and modern texts relating to the concept of tzelem elohim/the image of God, and consider the implications for contemporary human rights.
 
 
R. Sharon Kleinbaum - "The Torah of Despair and Hope"
 
One of the streams that runs through Rabbi Shai Held's magnificent torah commentary is the response to despair and the pathways of hope.  We will explore some of his commentaries that struggle with one or the other or both. How is it possible to find God's presence in moments of profound despair ? What possible pathways toward hope could exist in a non-pollyana, deep spiritual way even when God's absence feel more present  than God's presence.
 
 
R. Shmuel Hain - Cautionary notes on “Turning Memory into Empathy” in the Bible
 
One of the leitmotifs of Rabbi Shai Held’s essays is the Torah's ethical charge to transform memory into empathy. This class will examine this theme from three perspectives: a careful literary analysis of the Torah’s treatment of Israelite slavery in Egypt; a cautionary tale of victimhood leading to victimizing others; and a model for the therapeutic transformation of memory from callousness to compassion.
 
 

Registration:

$36 - includes signed copy of the book; $5 - preregistration online; $5 - for students; $10 - register at the door 

Additional copies of The Heart of Torah: Essays on the Weekly Torah Portion will be available for purchase onsite.