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

What Should a Jew Believe?

The Challenge and Reality of Faith in the 21st Century

Jan - Mar 2015

From the LSJS website: 

What does it mean to believe in God and what happens when someone has ‘doubts’?

How central is faith to Jewish practice?

Learn how Jewish law, thought and tradition approaches this issue.


Session 1: Introducing the Jewish God

Session 2: Believe vs. Practice

Session 3: I am God: The First Commandment

Session 4: Does Belief Change as we Grow Older? Session 5: Heresy in Judaism
Session 6: How have Psychology and Modern Science Affected Belief? Session 7: Talking to God

Tisha B'Av 5774

Jews and the Black Death

GGS 05/08/14

From the GGS Website

One of the most destructive pandemics in history, the Black Death raged in mid-14th-century Europe, killing close to half of its population.  In many places, sometimes encouraged by church leaders, Jews were blamed for spreading the disease, resulting in widespread persecution and the destruction of hundreds of Jewish communities.

In this presentation, Rabbi Belovski will examine the social and political context of these attacks, explore the role of Pope Clement VI, who tried to prevent them and consider their ramifications for European Jewry.

Please note that this recording begins a few seconds into the class.