Shabbat HaGadol Derashah 5777

Chametz, Erev Pesach and Transformational Authority

To be delivered at GGS after Minchah, Shabbat HaGadol, 5777

Primary Sources:

Devarim 17:8-13
Selections from Pesachim 6a; 87a
Selections from Yad, Hilchot Mamrim 1:1-2; 3:4; 4:1 (with commentaries of Kesef Mishneh & Ribdaz)
Rambam, Sefer HaMitzvot Shoresh 1, with Hasagot HaRamban
Kuntres Divrey Sofrim 1:32-33; 41-42
Meshech Chochmah to Devarim 17:11

Charedi Zionism and Reinventing the Oral Law

The Life and Works of Rabbi Moshe Shmuel Glasner

LSJS Feb - Apr 2017


From LSJS Website

Rabbi Moshe Shmuel Glasner (1854-1924) came from rabbinic aristocracy and was rabbi of Klausenberg in Romania. Remarkably, he was also a friend of Rav Kook, a fierce champion of independent Torah creativity and a charedi Zionist who saw in the return to the Land an opportunity to reinvent the Oral Law.

In this course we will study his influential essay on the future of Jewish Law, Dor Revi’i, as well as evaluating his views on rabbinic authority and his influence on thinkers such as Rabbi Professor Eliezer Berkovits and Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo.

 Session 1: Rabbi Glasner: Charedi Zionist, Rabbinic Critic



From Proof to Passion

Changing Interpretations of the Akeidah

LSJS Nov - Dec 2016


From LSJS Website

This course will explore one of the most well-known and widely interpreted biblical episodes – the Binding (Akedah) of Isaac. Using classical Jewish sources, revisionist Hasidic ideas, Islamic and Christian texts, song lyrics and more, we will build a broader picture of this beloved but deeply troubling story.


Session 1: The Akeidah Story as Read by the Sages
Session 2: A Mediaeval Shift - It's all About Potential
Session 3: Later Interpreters and Early Chassidic Approaches Session 4: Kierkegaard and 19th-Century Chassidic Revisionism
Session 5: The Akeidahs of Yishmael, Music, Art and Drama Session 6: Was Avraham Right? Rav Kook and the 20th Century

Shabbat Shuvah 5777

As the Gates Close: The Timing and Purpose of Ne'ilah

To be delivered at GGS after Minchah, Shabbat Shuvah 5777

Primary Sources:

Ta'anit 26a
Yerushalmi Brachot 4:1
Yoma 87b with Rashi, Rosh, Ran, Ba'al HaMa'or and Me'iri ad loc.
Selections from Yad Hilchot Tefillah U'Nesi'at Kapayim Chapters 1, 3 & 14
Tur OC Siman 623 with Bet Yosef and Bach ad loc.
Shulchan Aruch OC Siman 623:2 with Magen Avraham and Taz ad loc.

Shabbat HaGadol Derashah 5776

A Song in Two Parts: Hallel at the Seder

To be delivered at GGS after Minchah, Shabbat HaGadol 5776

Primary Sources:

Selections from Mishnah Pesachim: 9:2; 10-5-7
Selections from Bavli Pesachim: 85b; 109a; 117a; 118a (with commentary of Ran)
Tosefta Pesachim 10:9
Tosefot Yom Tov to Pesach 10:6
Yerushalmi Megillah 2:1
Teshuvot HaGaonim Sha'arey Teshuvah 120
Yad Hilchot Chanukah 3:6 with notes of Ra'avad and Magid Mishneh
Chiddushey Griz HaLevi ad loc.
Tosefot Rid Pesachim 116b

The Patchwork Bible

Responding to Bible Criticism in an Age of Reason

October - December 2015

From the LSJS Website

In this course, Rabbi Belovski will explore some of the thorniest challenges to traditional Judaism of the past 200 years since the rise of Biblical Criticism. Issues considered will include: Divine authorship of the Torah. The Documentary Hypothesis (Higher Bible Criticism) as well as Lower Bible Criticism and Textual Integrity. This course will involve the study of Maimonides, Ibn Ezra and other commentators to understand responses to these challenges.

Session 1: Introduction

Session 2: Alternative Approaches to the Rambam Session 3: Selected Bases for the Documentary Hypothesis
Session 4: Responses from Classical Sources
Session 5: Responses from Later Sources (1): Cassuto and Hertz
Session 6: Responses from Later Sources (2): Breuer and Bazak
Session 7: Responses from Later Sources (3): Weiss Halivni, Berman, Sarna and Katz