On Love and Judaism: Summer Course with Rabbi Shai Held
On Love and Judaism: Summer Course with Rabbi Shai Held

Online Summer Course with Rabbi Shai Held

Mondays and Thursdays, June 28-July 22, 8:00-9:15 PM Eastern



Prepare to encounter Torah, mitzvot, and the Jewish tradition in a whole new way during a special 4-week course this summer at Hadar. Rabbi Shai Held, President and Dean of Hadar and author of the forthcoming book Judaism Is About Love (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux), will explore an array of core issues in Jewish ethics, theology, and spirituality through the lens of love.

Topic: On Love and Judaism

How should we live? Jewish tradition offers a powerful but daunting answer: given how complex we are -- given that we are violent but also gentle, competitive but also cooperative, cruel but also kind -- we are invited to choose love. The book of Deuteronomy explains that we are faced with the fateful choice between “life and good,” on the one hand, and “death and destruction,” on the other, and bids us to “choose life” (Deuteronomy 30:15). Since a life devoid of love is scarcely different from death, to choose life is to choose love. Learn with us this summer as we explore the idea that Jewish theology tells us that we are, all of us, created by a God of love who summons us to lead lives of love.


All sessions will be held on Zoom

Session 1: Monday, June 28 -- We Are Loved: Judaism's View of the Human Being

Session 2: Thursday, July 1 -- The Gifts of God Flow Through You; Grace, Gratitude, and Generosity in Judaism

Session 3: Monday, July 5 -- Judaism's "Great Principle": But What Does It Mean to Love Our Neighbor?

Session 4: Thursday, July 8 -- Loving the Stranger: The Bible's Moral Revolution

Session 5: Monday, July 12 -- Bringing God's Love to Other People: Judaism's Vision of Hesed

Session 6: Thursday, July 15 -- Judaism's God of Love: Undoing Pernicious Stereotypes

Session 7: Monday, July 19 -- Are the Jews the Chosen People, and What Does that Mean?

Session 8: Thursday, July 22 -- How Do We Love God?

About Rabbi Shai Held

Rabbi Shai Held -- theologian, scholar, and educator -- is President, Dean, and Chair in Jewish Thought at Hadar. Previously, he served for six years as Scholar-in-Residence at Kehilat Hadar in New York City, and taught both theology and Halakhah at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He also served as Director of Education at Harvard Hillel. He holds a doctorate in religion from Harvard; his main academic interests are in modern Jewish and Christian thought, in biblical theology, and in the history of Zionism. Rabbi Held's first book, Abraham Joshua Heschel: The Call of Transcendence, was published by Indiana University Press in 2013; The Heart of Torah, a collection of essays on the Torah in two volumes, was published by JPS in 2017.