The Book of BaMidbar

In Pursuit of Perfection

May - July 2014

From the LSJS website:

Spies, Korach, Zimri – this book is full of rebellion. Or maybe it’s the story of a community on the cusp of perfection but haunted by self perception clashing with reality. We will explore themes of leadership and the dangers of self-denial through the lens of the chassidic School of Przysucha – the Rebbes of Ishbitz, Kotzk, Lublin and Sochaczew.

Session 1: Torah in the Desert: On the Cusp of Perfection?

Session 2: Manna: Food of the Gods?

Session 3: Spies: Desire for the Desert

Session 4: Tzelophchad: Sinning for the Sake of Heaven
Session 5: Korach:  A Man Before his Time?
Session 6: Striking the Rock and Predestiny
Session 7: Zimri and the Lure of the Desert


Pleasure and Aesthetics the Jewish Way

Are Beauty and Pleasure Jewish Ideas or Evils?

Jan - Mar 2014

From the LSJS website:

It’s often said that Judaism is interested in action rather than form, but is that really true? What do Jewish sources really have to say about beauty, visual and physical pleasure and the wonders of art? In this innovative course, Rabbi Belovski will explore classic texts and contemporary Jewish writings on aesthetics and form. As well as major themes, we will look specifically at Jewish approaches to art, music, poetry, language, food, aroma, and, of course, the pleasures of wine and sex.

Session 1: Pleasure and Aesthetics in Traditional Jewish Sources
Session 2: Art
Session 3: Music
I am frustrated to report that the recording failed.  I hope to have a chance to repeat the class soon.

Session 4: Literature and Poetry
Session 5: Taste and Smell
Session 6: Wine Session 7: Sex

The Genius of the Abarbanel

Abarbanel's Torah Commentary: Rationalism, Creativity and Systematic Analysis in the Pursuit of Truth

JLE Oct - Dec 2013

Session 1: Introduction

Sessions 2-5: Sin in the Garden

Session 4 was misrecorded
Sessions 6-8: Blessings and the Rainbow

Elu V'Elu: The Development of a Multifaceted Halachic System

The Midrasha

October - December 2013

Session 1: Elu V'Elu in Halachic Sources (Intro 1)

Session 2: Elu V'Elu in Agaddah and History (Intro 2)
Session 3: 'Forgotten' Halachot
Session 4: The Rambam's Approach to the Development of Machloket
Session 5: Elu V'Elu in Theory and Process (1) - Ran et. al.
Session 6: Elu V'Elu in Theory and Process (2) - Maharshal and Avodat HaKodesh
Session 7: The Merging of Opposites in the Divine
Session 8: Process, Truth and the Genius of the Oral Torah