Outrageous Introductions

Radical Rabbinic Ideas in Great Introductions

LSJS May – June 2012

From the LSJS Website

On this intriguing course, Rabbi Dr Harvey Belovski will investigate the often surprising and always challenging contributions made to modern Jewish thought by little-known introductions to classic works.

Discover how Rabbi Yitzchak Abarbanel rocked the boat by considering whether Devarim is a full part of the Torah.

See how Rabbi Avraham Bornstein – the founder and first Rebbe of the Sochatchover Hasidic dynasty – set tongues wagging by stating that learning Torah should be both pleasurable and enjoyable.

Explore how Rabbi Aryeh Leib Heller discussed how halachah has developed as the world around it changed.

You will also delve into other iconoclastic introductions by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato, Rabbi Shimon Shkop and Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman (Ramban) and ask how these redefined the parameters of traditional Jewish thought.

Course Outline

Session 1: The Ramban's Introductions to the Books of the Torah

Session 2: The Abarbanel's Introduction to Devarim

Session 3: The Ramchal's Introduction to Mesilat Yesharim & Derech HaShem

Session 4: Rabbi Aryeh Leib Heller's Introduction to the Ketzot HaChoshen

Link to Benedict Roth's working translation here

Session 5: Rabbi Avraham Bornstein's Introduction to Egley Tal

Session 6: Rabbi Shimon Shkop's Introduction to Sha'arey Yashar

The translation used in this class is not available on-line. An excellent alternative, by Rabbi Micha Berger, appears here.

Session 7: The Piaseczno Rebbe's Introduction to Chovat HaTalmidim

The translation used in this class is a copyrighted text and not available on-line.  It is available here.