Rabbinic Yeshiva Intensive

Immersive Program
 | 
In Person
Date
-
Location
Cost
$400-650

Hadar’s Rabbinic Yeshiva Intensive (RYI) provides a unique opportunity for rabbis from around the country and across the denominational spectrum to immerse themselves in deep, nourishing Talmud Torah with Hadar’s stellar faculty.

RYI enables rabbis who love to learn Torah to step away from their daily commitments and responsibilities to nurture their passion for learning while engaging with their rabbinic colleagues.

Below is the schedule for this year's RYI:

5:30 PM - 6:00 PM

Arrive and Schmooze

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Dinner, Introduction, and Orientation

7:00 PM - 8:15 PM

The Torah is in the Details
Dena Weiss
Traditionally, the fabric of Jewish observance is composed of 613 mitzvot and many many more granular instructions. To some of us, these small details are a core piece of what it means for us to serve God, while for others of us these details seem like both an abstraction and a distraction. Does God really care about ounces and inches?!
In this class we'll take a look at the question of the minutiae of the mitzvot through the lens of Hassidic thought. We'll ask whether it's possible to integrate a detail-oriented language of Halakhic practice with an approach that is equally or even more concerned with broad ethical principles and the goals of spiritual attunement. 

8:15 PM - 8:30 PM

Arvit

8:00 AM - 8:45 AM

Shaharit

8:45 AM - 9:30 AM

Breakfast

Morning Nigun Circle (optional)
R. Deborah Sacks Mintz

9:30 AM - 12:45 PM

Morning Shiur

Fire, Damages, and Moral Responsibility 
R. Avital Hochstein

"Whole and Broken Tablets": Aging in Rabbinic Literature 
R. Micha’el Rosenberg

In this shiur, we'll study passages from the Bavli and classical midrashim about old age. Beyond the general reverence for the elderly that the Rabbis demanded, what did they think about the actual experience of aging? What are its gifts and challenges? We will consider the implications of the Rabbis' thinking about old age both from the perspective of those aging, and from that of those who love and care for them.

Lament, Rebuke, Laughter?
R. Aviva Richman
How do we find expression in a time of upheaval? How do we navigate the difficulty of tragedy and the twin feelings of grief and guilt?   Our early rabbis engaged with these kinds of questions in the form of midrash on the book of Lamentations.  Their Torah of grief yielded a wide range of expression, from lament to rebuke, and even riddles probing the unknowable.  As we face great loss, we will study this poetic and poignant rabbinic masterpiece, alongside scholarly perspectives that integrate insights from folktale and literary studies.

Pidyon Shevuyim
R. Ethan Tucker
We will explore the core sugyot on the redemption of captives, along with competing medieval interpretations of some of their conflicting messages.  We will aim to identify central values that run through the material, even as practical conclusions can be difficult to come by.  We will conclude with some of R. Ovadiah Yosef's reflections on the Entebbe raid and explore how the contexts of sovereignty and war alter our application of ancient and medieval sources

12:45 PM - 1:30 PM

Lunch

1:30 PM - 2:15 PM

Minhah

2:15 PM - 3:30 PM

Afternoon Shiur Electives

"Do Moshe's Hands Really Make War"? Thoughts on the Conduct of War
R. Avital Hochstein
Since October 7 the word "Amalek" has often been invoked in regard to present circumstances.  Ancient responses to discomfort occasioned by the biblical verses about Amalek-- the sense that they are in a sense outdated-- invite us to learn these verses anew, to engage them in a way that can shed light on present realities, and through engagement with the present to revisit the foundational ideas that underlie the verses

Four Beasts, Four Kingdoms, Four Powers Within: Maharal's Philosophy of History as Read Into The Book of Daniel
R.
 David Kasher
Rabbi Yehudah Loew (1512-1609), known as the Maharal of Prague, serves as a bridge between rationalism and mysticism in Jewish philosophy. He was extremely prolific, writing on nearly every topic in Jewish thought - but the arc of Jewish history was one of his central concerns, and especially the question of why the Jewish people have endured so much suffering. He finds answers hidden in the visions of Daniel.

And Job Answered God
R. Avi Killip
Tamar Biala strives to always be honest about God. The scholar, writer, and editor of two collections of modern Israeli Women's midrash has written a series of painful and moving midrashim about the story of Job. We will focus on a midrash that offers a new understanding of teshuva, of God, and of how we might approach the torment of suffering. 

3:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Break

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Seder: Preparation for Shiur Electives

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Dinner

7:00 PM - 7:15 PM

Arvit

7:15 PM - 8:45 PM

Evening Shiur Electives

"A Different Religious Zionism: Israel in the Thought of Rav Yehuda Amital" 
R. Tali Adler

Is the state of Israel a miracle? What religious meaning might it have if it is not messianic? What religious language do we have to make sense of a state in which Jews and non-Jews live side by side as equal citizens? What are the state's obligations to God, the Jewish people, and the world? Join us as we study how Rav Amital, a leading twentieth century Religious Zionist thinker, answered these questions in his attempts to create an alternative way of understanding the Jewish state, and discuss how those attempts might help us grapple with its meaning in 2024.

Praying Against Our Enemies
R. Elie Kaunfer
In this session with two parts, we will look at two of the most controversial - and censored - prayers in our tradition: the curse in the Amidah against heretics (and others) and Alenu. How are we meant to understand the lines in these prayers? Who are the enemies and how might we relate to those concepts today? Who censored the prayers - and how? We will explore all these questions together through various textual traditions of these prayers.

8:00 AM - 8:45 AM

Shaharit

8:45 AM - 9:30 AM

Breakfast

Morning Nigun Circle (optional)
R. Deborah Sacks Mintz

9:30 AM - 12:45 PM

Morning Shiur

Fire, Damages, and Moral Responsibility 
R. Avital Hochstein

"Whole and Broken Tablets": Aging in Rabbinic Literature 
R. Micha’el Rosenberg

In this shiur, we'll study passages from the Bavli and classical midrashim about old age. Beyond the general reverence for the elderly that the Rabbis demanded, what did they think about the actual experience of aging? What are its gifts and challenges? We will consider the implications of the Rabbis' thinking about old age both from the perspective of those aging, and from that of those who love and care for them.

Lament, Rebuke, Laughter?
R. Aviva Richman
How do we find expression in a time of upheaval? How do we navigate the difficulty of tragedy and the twin feelings of grief and guilt?   Our early rabbis engaged with these kinds of questions in the form of midrash on the book of Lamentations.  Their Torah of grief yielded a wide range of expression, from lament to rebuke, and even riddles probing the unknowable.  As we face great loss, we will study this poetic and poignant rabbinic masterpiece, alongside scholarly perspectives that integrate insights from folktale and literary studies.

Pidyon Shevuyim
R. Ethan Tucker
We will explore the core sugyot on the redemption of captives, along with competing medieval interpretations of some of their conflicting messages.  We will aim to identify central values that run through the material, even as practical conclusions can be difficult to come by.  We will conclude with some of R. Ovadiah Yosef's reflections on the Entebbe raid and explore how the contexts of sovereignty and war alter our application of ancient and medieval sources

12:45 PM - 1:30 PM

Lunch

1:30 PM - 2:15 PM

Minhah

2:15 PM - 3:30 PM

Afternoon Shiur Electives

Manna and Manipulation: The Psychology of Prayer
Dena Weiss
In this class we'll look at different texts that hint to or explicitly address the psychological and emotional impacts of prayer. What does prayer mean to us and how does it affect us? Do we truly want our prayers to be answered or believe that they will be? If not, what is the value of an unanswered prayer? We'll explore how prayer can affect our hearts and our minds, in ways that can feel both sustaining and essential and in ways that can feel alienating and dangerous.

Expanding the Circle of Believers
R. Avi Strausberg

Belief is core to any sort of religious experience but many people in our communities don't quite believe with conviction or don't know what it means to say that they do.  In this session, we'll turn to the Torah of Rebbe Nachman as well as a modern midrash by Rivka Lubitch to unpack what's at the center of belief.  What do we mean when we say that we believe, who gets to call themselves a believer, and can we find new definitions of faith that allow us to expand the circle of belief?

A Deeper Look at Birkat HaMazon
R. Elie Kaunfer

We recite praise to God after every meal. In this class, we will look closely at those words – birkat hamazon – with an eye toward a deeper interpretation of familiar phrases. Why are so many other themes (redemption from Egypt, rebuilding Jerusalem, circumcision) included in these blessings? What might they mean today?

Midrashic Moves: What are the Limits?
R. David Kasher

The genre of midrash has a reputation for taking creative license. In midrash, we come across the wildest stories the rabbis ever told, and it sometimes feels like they can say anything. Yet the midrashic method was guided by precise rules of interpretation as well as general norms of discourse. But who keeps track of the rules and who monitors the discourse? Can a midrashic interpretation ever be deemed beyond the limits? We will consider several examples of extreme midrash, and enter into the debate over what constitutes a "legitimate" midrashic move.
 

3:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Break

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Afternoon Shiur Electives

The Grammar and the Poetry of Torah: Malbim and Netziv Bring Parshanut Into Modernity
R. David Kasher
The 19th century brought with it serious challenges to traditional Jewish thought, including the scientific, secular study of the Bible, unbounded by the rabbinic tradition of interpretation. In reaction, many of the rabbinic Torah commentaries of the period set out to defend the tradition, to prove the divinity of the Torah and the wisdom of the sages using the tools of modern linguistics and literature. We will study two of the most impressive examples of this attempt to synthesize the old and the new, and consider their legacy for the study of Torah today. 

Miriam’s Journey: An Exploration through Text and Song
R. Aviva Richman and R. Deborah Sacks Mintz
We often picture the prophet Miriam as a vibrant and joyful dancer, tambourine in hand, embodying confidence—even exuberance—in redemption.  Yet reflecting on the arc of her life, Miriam surely experienced much anxiety, doubt, even bitterness. Through an exploration of Miriam’s journey as brought to life through text and music, we’ll tease out the vibrancy of her fleeting moments of inner clarity—in her youth and old age—and also linger on the decades of doubt and uncertainty that filled most of her life. This session will interweave learning, song, and reflection.

Netivot HaHesed
R. Avi Strausberg

Hesed is the foundation of the world but in order for there to be hesed, there also has to be need.  Any act of hesed brings with it the potential for complicated dynamics around power.  In this session, we'll turn to the writings of 20th century mussar thinker R. Natan Zvi Finkel and explore the power dynamics embedded in acts of giving.  We'll ask: what does a complete act of hesed look like and how can we best bring true hesed into the world? 

8:00 AM - 8:45 AM

Shaharit

8:45 AM - 9:30 AM

Breakfast

Morning Nigun Circle (optional)
R. Deborah Sacks Mintz

9:30 AM - 12:45 PM

Shiur Klali: Can Amalekites Convert?
R. Ethan Tucker
Through the prism of this esoteric thought experiment, and as we approach Purim, we will explore the deeper question of the extent and limits of personal self-transformation.  Can one doomed to death because of their association with a society beyond redemption nonetheless upend their faith and join the community of Israel?  Can individuals always overcome their communal origins?  How do we hold a tradition that claims that the descendants of Haman were some of our greatest teachers of Torah?

12:45 PM - 1:30 PM

Lunch and Reflections

1:30 PM - 2:15 PM

Minhah

2:15 PM - 3:30 PM

"To Hold Opposites in Your Heart: Rav Yitzhak Hutner on Belief and Despair”
R. Tali Adler
Does being a believer mean eternal optimism? What does it mean to be a religious individual and still believe that the worst is possible? In this session we will study an excerpt from the Pachad Yitzchak that discusses the intersection between belief and despair in religious life.

 

Rabbi Tali Adler

Rabbi Tali Adler

R. Tali Adler is faculty at Hadar. A musmekhet of Yeshivat Maharat and alumna of Stern College for Women, R. Adler has studied at a number of institutions including Hadar, Drisha, and Midreshet HaRova.
Rabbi Elie Kaunfer

Rabbi Elie Kaunfer

Rabbi Elie Kaunfer ​​is President and CEO of Hadar. He received semikhah from his longtime teacher, R. Daniel Landes, and is currently completing a book on the weekday Amidah. He received a doctorate in liturgy from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he was also ordained, and is a graduate of Harvard College.
Rabbi Avi Killip

Rabbi Avi Killip

Rabbi Avi Killip is Executive Vice President of Hadar. A graduate of Hebrew College Rabbinical School, R. Killip was a Wexner Graduate Fellow and a Schusterman Fellow. She is host of the Hadar podcasts Responsa Radio and Ta Shma.

Rabbi Deborah Sacks Mintz

Rabbi Deborah Sacks Mintz serves the Hadar Institute as Director of Tefillah and Music. An educator, facilitator, and composer, she has collaborated on over two dozen albums of new Jewish music through Rising Song and beyond, including two albums of her own original music: The Narrow and the Expanse (2020) an Yetzira (2023).
Rabbi Aviva Richman

Rabbi Aviva Richman

Rabbi Aviva Richman is Rosh Yeshiva at Hadar. She was ordained by R. Daniel Landes and has a doctorate from New York University in Talmud. R. Richman also studied in the Pardes Kollel and the Drisha Scholars’ Circle.

Rabbi Micha'el Rosenberg

R. Micha’el Rosenberg is a member of the Hadar faculty. He holds rabbinic ordination both from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and from his teacher, R. Elisha Ancselovits, and has a doctorate in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary. He is the author of Signs of Virginity: Testing Virgins and Making Men in Late Antiquity (2018), and, with Rabbi Ethan Tucker, of Gender Equality and Prayer in Jewish Law (2017).
Rabbi Ethan Tucker

Rabbi Ethan Tucker

R. Ethan Tucker is President and Rosh Yeshiva at Hadar. He was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and earned a doctorate in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, he was a co-founder of Kehilat Hadar. He is the author, along with R. Micha’el Rosenberg, of Gender Equality and Prayer in Jewish Law (2017).
Dena Weiss

Dena Weiss

Dena Weiss is Rosh Beit Midrash and Senior Faculty at Hadar, where she teaches Talmud, Midrash, and Hasidut. Dena earned an MA in Theology from Harvard Divinity School. She has studied and taught in a variety of Jewish educational settings including Drisha, Midreshet Lindenbaum, and Pardes.

Rabbi Avital Hochstein

Dr. Rabbi Avital Hochstein is President of Hadar in Israel. Avital has done research and taught at many institutions, including the Shalom Hartman Institute, where she was a research fellow, and the Pardes Institute, where she was the Rosh Kollel. She is one of the founders of Shira Hadasha in Jerusalem. Along with Prof. Chana Safrai, she is the co-author of Women Out, Women In: The Place of Women in Midrash (Yediot Aharonot, 2018). Her PhD focuses on the 8th chapter of Tractate Sanhedrin and utilizes a literary read of halakhic material combining tools from gender studies. She received ordination from Rabbi Daniel Landes and from the Beit Midrash Le'Rabbanut Yisraelit.

Rabbi David Kasher

Rabbi David Kasher is the Director of Hadar West Coast. After graduating from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, he served as Senior Jewish Educator at Berkeley Hillel, a part of the founding team at Kevah, and Associate Rabbi at IKAR. R. Kasher completed a translation of Avot d'Rabbi Natan for Sefaria and is the author of ParshaNut: 54 Journeys into the World of Torah Commentary.
Rabbi Avi Strausberg

Rabbi Avi Strausberg

Rabbi Avi Strausberg is Senior Director of National Learning Initiatives at Hadar, and is based in Washington, D.C. She received her rabbinic ordination from Hebrew College in Boston, and was a Wexner Graduate Fellow.

If you are a rabbi who loves to learn Torah, then this program is for you!  At RYI, you’ll explore a broad range of texts on a variety of topics; classes are offered for participants with widely differing  text skills and from a diverse array of backgrounds.

If you have any questions about whether this is the right program for you, please reach out to us at [email protected].

March 3-6, 2024

Yeshivat Hadar (212 West 93rd St, New York, NY 10023)

Before January 1, the early bird registration fee is $550. After January 1, the registration fee for this intensive is $650.

We are also offering a scholarship rate of $400. If you are a 2020-2023, rabbinical school graduate, we invite you to participate this year for $100.

If the fee poses an obstacle to participation, please feel free to make use of the reduced rate or email us at [email protected] or, if you prefer, you can email Rabbi Shai Held at [email protected]. We do not turn away participants because of funds.

All fees are fully refundable until two weeks before the program (February 18, 2024).

Hadar’s immersive programs are opportunities to step out of your day-to-day routine and fully immerse yourself in Talmud Torah. We strongly encourage all participants to attend the entire program.

Please reach out to [email protected] with any additional questions.

Hadar's 2024 Rabbinic Yeshiva Intensive




















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The general registration fee for this intensive is $650. If the fee poses an obstacle to participation, please feel free to make use of the reduced rate or email us at [email protected]. We will do our best to accommodate, and no one will be turned away due to lack of funds. All fees are fully refundable until two weeks before the program (February 18, 2024).

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Overview

Hadar’s Rabbinic Yeshiva Intensive (RYI) provides a unique opportunity for rabbis from around the country and across the denominational spectrum to immerse themselves in deep, nourishing Talmud Torah with Hadar’s stellar faculty.

RYI enables rabbis who love to learn Torah to step away from their daily commitments and responsibilities to nurture their passion for learning while engaging with their rabbinic colleagues.

2024 Schedule

Below is the schedule for this year's RYI:

5:30 PM - 6:00 PM

Arrive and Schmooze

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Dinner, Introduction, and Orientation

7:00 PM - 8:15 PM

The Torah is in the Details
Dena Weiss
Traditionally, the fabric of Jewish observance is composed of 613 mitzvot and many many more granular instructions. To some of us, these small details are a core piece of what it means for us to serve God, while for others of us these details seem like both an abstraction and a distraction. Does God really care about ounces and inches?!
In this class we'll take a look at the question of the minutiae of the mitzvot through the lens of Hassidic thought. We'll ask whether it's possible to integrate a detail-oriented language of Halakhic practice with an approach that is equally or even more concerned with broad ethical principles and the goals of spiritual attunement. 

8:15 PM - 8:30 PM

Arvit

8:00 AM - 8:45 AM

Shaharit

8:45 AM - 9:30 AM

Breakfast

Morning Nigun Circle (optional)
R. Deborah Sacks Mintz

9:30 AM - 12:45 PM

Morning Shiur

Fire, Damages, and Moral Responsibility 
R. Avital Hochstein

"Whole and Broken Tablets": Aging in Rabbinic Literature 
R. Micha’el Rosenberg

In this shiur, we'll study passages from the Bavli and classical midrashim about old age. Beyond the general reverence for the elderly that the Rabbis demanded, what did they think about the actual experience of aging? What are its gifts and challenges? We will consider the implications of the Rabbis' thinking about old age both from the perspective of those aging, and from that of those who love and care for them.

Lament, Rebuke, Laughter?
R. Aviva Richman
How do we find expression in a time of upheaval? How do we navigate the difficulty of tragedy and the twin feelings of grief and guilt?   Our early rabbis engaged with these kinds of questions in the form of midrash on the book of Lamentations.  Their Torah of grief yielded a wide range of expression, from lament to rebuke, and even riddles probing the unknowable.  As we face great loss, we will study this poetic and poignant rabbinic masterpiece, alongside scholarly perspectives that integrate insights from folktale and literary studies.

Pidyon Shevuyim
R. Ethan Tucker
We will explore the core sugyot on the redemption of captives, along with competing medieval interpretations of some of their conflicting messages.  We will aim to identify central values that run through the material, even as practical conclusions can be difficult to come by.  We will conclude with some of R. Ovadiah Yosef's reflections on the Entebbe raid and explore how the contexts of sovereignty and war alter our application of ancient and medieval sources

12:45 PM - 1:30 PM

Lunch

1:30 PM - 2:15 PM

Minhah

2:15 PM - 3:30 PM

Afternoon Shiur Electives

"Do Moshe's Hands Really Make War"? Thoughts on the Conduct of War
R. Avital Hochstein
Since October 7 the word "Amalek" has often been invoked in regard to present circumstances.  Ancient responses to discomfort occasioned by the biblical verses about Amalek-- the sense that they are in a sense outdated-- invite us to learn these verses anew, to engage them in a way that can shed light on present realities, and through engagement with the present to revisit the foundational ideas that underlie the verses

Four Beasts, Four Kingdoms, Four Powers Within: Maharal's Philosophy of History as Read Into The Book of Daniel
R.
 David Kasher
Rabbi Yehudah Loew (1512-1609), known as the Maharal of Prague, serves as a bridge between rationalism and mysticism in Jewish philosophy. He was extremely prolific, writing on nearly every topic in Jewish thought - but the arc of Jewish history was one of his central concerns, and especially the question of why the Jewish people have endured so much suffering. He finds answers hidden in the visions of Daniel.

And Job Answered God
R. Avi Killip
Tamar Biala strives to always be honest about God. The scholar, writer, and editor of two collections of modern Israeli Women's midrash has written a series of painful and moving midrashim about the story of Job. We will focus on a midrash that offers a new understanding of teshuva, of God, and of how we might approach the torment of suffering. 

3:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Break

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Seder: Preparation for Shiur Electives

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Dinner

7:00 PM - 7:15 PM

Arvit

7:15 PM - 8:45 PM

Evening Shiur Electives

"A Different Religious Zionism: Israel in the Thought of Rav Yehuda Amital" 
R. Tali Adler

Is the state of Israel a miracle? What religious meaning might it have if it is not messianic? What religious language do we have to make sense of a state in which Jews and non-Jews live side by side as equal citizens? What are the state's obligations to God, the Jewish people, and the world? Join us as we study how Rav Amital, a leading twentieth century Religious Zionist thinker, answered these questions in his attempts to create an alternative way of understanding the Jewish state, and discuss how those attempts might help us grapple with its meaning in 2024.

Praying Against Our Enemies
R. Elie Kaunfer
In this session with two parts, we will look at two of the most controversial - and censored - prayers in our tradition: the curse in the Amidah against heretics (and others) and Alenu. How are we meant to understand the lines in these prayers? Who are the enemies and how might we relate to those concepts today? Who censored the prayers - and how? We will explore all these questions together through various textual traditions of these prayers.

8:00 AM - 8:45 AM

Shaharit

8:45 AM - 9:30 AM

Breakfast

Morning Nigun Circle (optional)
R. Deborah Sacks Mintz

9:30 AM - 12:45 PM

Morning Shiur

Fire, Damages, and Moral Responsibility 
R. Avital Hochstein

"Whole and Broken Tablets": Aging in Rabbinic Literature 
R. Micha’el Rosenberg

In this shiur, we'll study passages from the Bavli and classical midrashim about old age. Beyond the general reverence for the elderly that the Rabbis demanded, what did they think about the actual experience of aging? What are its gifts and challenges? We will consider the implications of the Rabbis' thinking about old age both from the perspective of those aging, and from that of those who love and care for them.

Lament, Rebuke, Laughter?
R. Aviva Richman
How do we find expression in a time of upheaval? How do we navigate the difficulty of tragedy and the twin feelings of grief and guilt?   Our early rabbis engaged with these kinds of questions in the form of midrash on the book of Lamentations.  Their Torah of grief yielded a wide range of expression, from lament to rebuke, and even riddles probing the unknowable.  As we face great loss, we will study this poetic and poignant rabbinic masterpiece, alongside scholarly perspectives that integrate insights from folktale and literary studies.

Pidyon Shevuyim
R. Ethan Tucker
We will explore the core sugyot on the redemption of captives, along with competing medieval interpretations of some of their conflicting messages.  We will aim to identify central values that run through the material, even as practical conclusions can be difficult to come by.  We will conclude with some of R. Ovadiah Yosef's reflections on the Entebbe raid and explore how the contexts of sovereignty and war alter our application of ancient and medieval sources

12:45 PM - 1:30 PM

Lunch

1:30 PM - 2:15 PM

Minhah

2:15 PM - 3:30 PM

Afternoon Shiur Electives

Manna and Manipulation: The Psychology of Prayer
Dena Weiss
In this class we'll look at different texts that hint to or explicitly address the psychological and emotional impacts of prayer. What does prayer mean to us and how does it affect us? Do we truly want our prayers to be answered or believe that they will be? If not, what is the value of an unanswered prayer? We'll explore how prayer can affect our hearts and our minds, in ways that can feel both sustaining and essential and in ways that can feel alienating and dangerous.

Expanding the Circle of Believers
R. Avi Strausberg

Belief is core to any sort of religious experience but many people in our communities don't quite believe with conviction or don't know what it means to say that they do.  In this session, we'll turn to the Torah of Rebbe Nachman as well as a modern midrash by Rivka Lubitch to unpack what's at the center of belief.  What do we mean when we say that we believe, who gets to call themselves a believer, and can we find new definitions of faith that allow us to expand the circle of belief?

A Deeper Look at Birkat HaMazon
R. Elie Kaunfer

We recite praise to God after every meal. In this class, we will look closely at those words – birkat hamazon – with an eye toward a deeper interpretation of familiar phrases. Why are so many other themes (redemption from Egypt, rebuilding Jerusalem, circumcision) included in these blessings? What might they mean today?

Midrashic Moves: What are the Limits?
R. David Kasher

The genre of midrash has a reputation for taking creative license. In midrash, we come across the wildest stories the rabbis ever told, and it sometimes feels like they can say anything. Yet the midrashic method was guided by precise rules of interpretation as well as general norms of discourse. But who keeps track of the rules and who monitors the discourse? Can a midrashic interpretation ever be deemed beyond the limits? We will consider several examples of extreme midrash, and enter into the debate over what constitutes a "legitimate" midrashic move.
 

3:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Break

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Afternoon Shiur Electives

The Grammar and the Poetry of Torah: Malbim and Netziv Bring Parshanut Into Modernity
R. David Kasher
The 19th century brought with it serious challenges to traditional Jewish thought, including the scientific, secular study of the Bible, unbounded by the rabbinic tradition of interpretation. In reaction, many of the rabbinic Torah commentaries of the period set out to defend the tradition, to prove the divinity of the Torah and the wisdom of the sages using the tools of modern linguistics and literature. We will study two of the most impressive examples of this attempt to synthesize the old and the new, and consider their legacy for the study of Torah today. 

Miriam’s Journey: An Exploration through Text and Song
R. Aviva Richman and R. Deborah Sacks Mintz
We often picture the prophet Miriam as a vibrant and joyful dancer, tambourine in hand, embodying confidence—even exuberance—in redemption.  Yet reflecting on the arc of her life, Miriam surely experienced much anxiety, doubt, even bitterness. Through an exploration of Miriam’s journey as brought to life through text and music, we’ll tease out the vibrancy of her fleeting moments of inner clarity—in her youth and old age—and also linger on the decades of doubt and uncertainty that filled most of her life. This session will interweave learning, song, and reflection.

Netivot HaHesed
R. Avi Strausberg

Hesed is the foundation of the world but in order for there to be hesed, there also has to be need.  Any act of hesed brings with it the potential for complicated dynamics around power.  In this session, we'll turn to the writings of 20th century mussar thinker R. Natan Zvi Finkel and explore the power dynamics embedded in acts of giving.  We'll ask: what does a complete act of hesed look like and how can we best bring true hesed into the world? 

8:00 AM - 8:45 AM

Shaharit

8:45 AM - 9:30 AM

Breakfast

Morning Nigun Circle (optional)
R. Deborah Sacks Mintz

9:30 AM - 12:45 PM

Shiur Klali: Can Amalekites Convert?
R. Ethan Tucker
Through the prism of this esoteric thought experiment, and as we approach Purim, we will explore the deeper question of the extent and limits of personal self-transformation.  Can one doomed to death because of their association with a society beyond redemption nonetheless upend their faith and join the community of Israel?  Can individuals always overcome their communal origins?  How do we hold a tradition that claims that the descendants of Haman were some of our greatest teachers of Torah?

12:45 PM - 1:30 PM

Lunch and Reflections

1:30 PM - 2:15 PM

Minhah

2:15 PM - 3:30 PM

"To Hold Opposites in Your Heart: Rav Yitzhak Hutner on Belief and Despair”
R. Tali Adler
Does being a believer mean eternal optimism? What does it mean to be a religious individual and still believe that the worst is possible? In this session we will study an excerpt from the Pachad Yitzchak that discusses the intersection between belief and despair in religious life.

 

Faculty

Rabbi Tali Adler

Rabbi Tali Adler

R. Tali Adler is faculty at Hadar. A musmekhet of Yeshivat Maharat and alumna of Stern College for Women, R. Adler has studied at a number of institutions including Hadar, Drisha, and Midreshet HaRova.
Rabbi Elie Kaunfer

Rabbi Elie Kaunfer

Rabbi Elie Kaunfer ​​is President and CEO of Hadar. He received semikhah from his longtime teacher, R. Daniel Landes, and is currently completing a book on the weekday Amidah. He received a doctorate in liturgy from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he was also ordained, and is a graduate of Harvard College.
Rabbi Avi Killip

Rabbi Avi Killip

Rabbi Avi Killip is Executive Vice President of Hadar. A graduate of Hebrew College Rabbinical School, R. Killip was a Wexner Graduate Fellow and a Schusterman Fellow. She is host of the Hadar podcasts Responsa Radio and Ta Shma.

Rabbi Deborah Sacks Mintz

Rabbi Deborah Sacks Mintz serves the Hadar Institute as Director of Tefillah and Music. An educator, facilitator, and composer, she has collaborated on over two dozen albums of new Jewish music through Rising Song and beyond, including two albums of her own original music: The Narrow and the Expanse (2020) an Yetzira (2023).
Rabbi Aviva Richman

Rabbi Aviva Richman

Rabbi Aviva Richman is Rosh Yeshiva at Hadar. She was ordained by R. Daniel Landes and has a doctorate from New York University in Talmud. R. Richman also studied in the Pardes Kollel and the Drisha Scholars’ Circle.

Rabbi Micha'el Rosenberg

R. Micha’el Rosenberg is a member of the Hadar faculty. He holds rabbinic ordination both from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and from his teacher, R. Elisha Ancselovits, and has a doctorate in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary. He is the author of Signs of Virginity: Testing Virgins and Making Men in Late Antiquity (2018), and, with Rabbi Ethan Tucker, of Gender Equality and Prayer in Jewish Law (2017).
Rabbi Ethan Tucker

Rabbi Ethan Tucker

R. Ethan Tucker is President and Rosh Yeshiva at Hadar. He was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and earned a doctorate in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, he was a co-founder of Kehilat Hadar. He is the author, along with R. Micha’el Rosenberg, of Gender Equality and Prayer in Jewish Law (2017).
Dena Weiss

Dena Weiss

Dena Weiss is Rosh Beit Midrash and Senior Faculty at Hadar, where she teaches Talmud, Midrash, and Hasidut. Dena earned an MA in Theology from Harvard Divinity School. She has studied and taught in a variety of Jewish educational settings including Drisha, Midreshet Lindenbaum, and Pardes.

Rabbi Avital Hochstein

Dr. Rabbi Avital Hochstein is President of Hadar in Israel. Avital has done research and taught at many institutions, including the Shalom Hartman Institute, where she was a research fellow, and the Pardes Institute, where she was the Rosh Kollel. She is one of the founders of Shira Hadasha in Jerusalem. Along with Prof. Chana Safrai, she is the co-author of Women Out, Women In: The Place of Women in Midrash (Yediot Aharonot, 2018). Her PhD focuses on the 8th chapter of Tractate Sanhedrin and utilizes a literary read of halakhic material combining tools from gender studies. She received ordination from Rabbi Daniel Landes and from the Beit Midrash Le'Rabbanut Yisraelit.

Rabbi David Kasher

Rabbi David Kasher is the Director of Hadar West Coast. After graduating from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, he served as Senior Jewish Educator at Berkeley Hillel, a part of the founding team at Kevah, and Associate Rabbi at IKAR. R. Kasher completed a translation of Avot d'Rabbi Natan for Sefaria and is the author of ParshaNut: 54 Journeys into the World of Torah Commentary.
Rabbi Avi Strausberg

Rabbi Avi Strausberg

Rabbi Avi Strausberg is Senior Director of National Learning Initiatives at Hadar, and is based in Washington, D.C. She received her rabbinic ordination from Hebrew College in Boston, and was a Wexner Graduate Fellow.

FAQs

If you are a rabbi who loves to learn Torah, then this program is for you!  At RYI, you’ll explore a broad range of texts on a variety of topics; classes are offered for participants with widely differing  text skills and from a diverse array of backgrounds.

If you have any questions about whether this is the right program for you, please reach out to us at [email protected].

March 3-6, 2024

Yeshivat Hadar (212 West 93rd St, New York, NY 10023)

Before January 1, the early bird registration fee is $550. After January 1, the registration fee for this intensive is $650.

We are also offering a scholarship rate of $400. If you are a 2020-2023, rabbinical school graduate, we invite you to participate this year for $100.

If the fee poses an obstacle to participation, please feel free to make use of the reduced rate or email us at [email protected] or, if you prefer, you can email Rabbi Shai Held at [email protected]. We do not turn away participants because of funds.

All fees are fully refundable until two weeks before the program (February 18, 2024).

Hadar’s immersive programs are opportunities to step out of your day-to-day routine and fully immerse yourself in Talmud Torah. We strongly encourage all participants to attend the entire program.

Please reach out to [email protected] with any additional questions.

Hadar's 2024 Rabbinic Yeshiva Intensive




















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The general registration fee for this intensive is $650. If the fee poses an obstacle to participation, please feel free to make use of the reduced rate or email us at [email protected]. We will do our best to accommodate, and no one will be turned away due to lack of funds. All fees are fully refundable until two weeks before the program (February 18, 2024).

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