Learning Links

Watch/Listen to our clergy teaching about everything from mishna to parsha to the holidays.

  • The Study of Justice
  • Parsha
  • How's and Why's of Prayer
  • High Holy Days 2021
  • Mishna
  • Biblical Poetry
  • Passover
  • A Few of My Favorite Things
  • IKAR Limited Series

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It is clear that ‘Justice’ is one of Judaism’s central concerns. But how exactly has the concept of Justice been defined in our tradition? What is the Torah’s vision for a just society? What sorts of legal and governmental structures are needed to implement that vision? Who will hold power, and how is that power checked? And how will the vulnerable be protected? Join Rabbi Brous for a monthly exploration and investigation of the philosophy, laws and ethics that make up the Jewish Justice System.

Fall 2021 

  • Public Grief: An Act of Love, a Path to Justice. November 2, 2021. Watch. [source sheet]

Spring 2021 

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In anticipation of his forthcoming book, ParshaNut, Rabbi Kasher is devoting this spring’s study of the weekly Torah portion to his very favorite genre of Jewish literature: Torah commentary. Come get to know Rashi, Ibn Ezra, and other legendary commentators in the grand tradition known as parshanut.

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Jewish prayer (Tefilah) is a paradox. It is at once the central practice of the Jewish people, and one of the most inaccessible. It is at once an intimate, personal conversation with God and a formal, ritualistic reenactment of ancient Temple rites. In this class, we will study prayer in both theory and practice – learning the core components of the Siddur and how they are performed as well as the theology that underlies the Jewish prayer experience – and attempt to resolve some of its inner tensions.

Our Word for Prayer: תפילה. November 1, 2021. Watch here [source sheet]

The Great Prayer Debate. November 8, 2021. Watch here [source sheet]

The Shema & The Word Revolution. November 15, 2021. Watch here [source sheet]

Hassidic Text Studies for the High Holy Days

This year Rabbi Kasher created three Hassidic text studies, one for each of the three days of Yom Tov.

Rosh Hashanah Day 1: Baal Shem Tov [source sheet]

Rosh Hashanah Day 2 (leading into Aseret Yemei Teshuvah): Kedushat Levi [source sheet]

Yom Kippur: Sefat Emet [source sheet]

The Psychology of the High Holy Days Prayers

Part I: The Psychology of the Shofar. August 11, 2021 Watch here. [source sheet]

Part II: The Psychology of the Mahzor. August 18, 2021 Watch here. [source sheet]

Learnings From Last Year:

Rosh Hashanah Prayer Bootcamp. September 15, 2020. Watch here. [source]

Yom Kippur Prayer Bootcamp. September 22,  2020. Watch here. [source: Mahzor Lev Shalem]

Maimonides’ Guide to the High Holidays with Rabbi David Kasher

Part I: Intro. August 11, 2020. Watch here. [source]

Part II: – What is “Teshuvah,” anyway? August 18, 2020. Watch here. [source]

Part III: – The Righteous, The Wicked & The Rest of Us. August 25, 2020. Watch here. [source]

Part IV: – You are Free to Sin. September 4, 2020. Watch here. [source]

Holy Heresy: The Very Strange Yom Kippur Service with Rabbi David Kasher

Part I: The Avodah Service. August 17, 2020. Watch here. [source]

Part II: Enter The Goats. August 24, 2020. Watch here. [source]

Part III: The Scapegoat. August 31, 2020. Watch here. [source]

Mishna Mondays – Led by Rabbi David Kasher

Rabbinic Judaism emerged like a phoenix out of the ashes of the destruction of the Great Temple in Jerusalem. The writing down of the Mishna marked the beginning of a new era in Jewish civilization, one centered in books instead of buildings, in laws instead of land. Reading this ancient code of conduct is the best way to get to know the nuts and bolts of the Judaism we have inherited.

Biblical Poetry – Led by Rabbi David Kasher

The first words uttered by a human being in the Hebrew Bible are given in verse form. This startling fact tells us that there is something fundamentally human about the act of composing poetry. Indeed, poetry will become one of the primary forms of literature in the Bible: from the Prophets to the Psalms, from Wisdom Literature to Songs of Love, the study of verse will take us across the whole span of our sacred scriptures. This class will be run seminar-style, with opportunities for all participants to analyze and interpret the sacred words that have been chanted by our people for millennia.

The IKAR (Essence) of the Haggadah, with Rabbi Kasher:

Passover, the Holiday of Justice, with Rabbi Brous:

Poetry as a Form of Liberation, with Rabbi Kasher:

Hillel Tigay’s Behind the Music: Passover Edition

HAGGADAH SLAM 2021 with IKAR, Temple Beth Am, and B’nai-David Judea Congregation
With a bonus: Full podcast (including breakout sessions) here.

Learn with Rabbi Brous about some of the Rabbinic texts that offer her the greatest inspiration, shaping and challenging her worldview and our community practice over the years.

Holiday Bootcamps

Purim Bootcamp: Misogyny, Anti-Semitism and Intersectionality in the Book of Esther. February 25, 2021. Watch here. [source sheet]

A Bissel Shtisel, Hassidic Thought with Rabbi David Kasher

  • Dangerous Torah: The Fiery Waters of the Mei HaShiloah. July 14, 2020. Watch here. [source]
  • The Psychological Turn: The Breakaway School of Peshiskha. July 7, 2o20. Watch here. [source]
  • Letters Flying Through the Air: Hassidic Readings of the Torah. June 30, 2020. Watch here. [source]
  • The Philosopher of Hassidism: Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi. June 23, 2020. Watch here. [source]
  • The People’s Defense Attorney: Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev. June 9, 2020. Listen here. [source]
  • The Hassidic Approach to Prayer. June 2, 2020. Listen here. [source]
  • Eat Like a Hassid. May 26, 2020. Listen here. [source]
  • The Danger of the Righteous Man: The Torah of Rabbi Elimelekh of Lizhensk. May 12, 2020. Listen here. [source]
  • The Kabbalistic Foundations of Hassidism. May 5, 2020. Listen here. [source]
  • Introduction: The Master of the Good Name. April 21, 2020. Listen here. [source]

The Pirkei Avot Collective with Rabbi David Kasher

Regenerative Change: Compost as Climate Action & Ritual in These Times, with Devorah Brous – Watch Dev Brous’ new TEDx talk on Regenerative Change. Then, buckle down and learn a foolproof method to compost! Sheltering-in-Place affords us a laboratory to up our commitment to the climate, reduce consumption patterns, and transform waste into food for the soil and the soul. Learn composting and deepen into a reciprocal relationship: feed the land that feeds us. Watch here.