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.

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

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

Tisha B'Av 5773

The Massacre of the Jews at York, 1190

GGS 16/07/13

From the GGS Website

In 1190, early in the reign of Richard I, fuelled by Crusade fervour and unpaid debts to Jewish money-lenders, anti-Jewish rioting broke out in York.  The local Jewish community took refuge in the wooden keep of the royal castle on the night of Shabbat HaGadol.  As matters worsened, Yom Tov of Joigny, a famous rabbi and their spiritual leader, advocated suicide rather than face the impending pogrom...

In this presentation, Rabbi Belovski will examine the background to the Clifford’s Tower massacre in Jewish, liturgical and historical sources, and consider its ramifications for English Jewry.

Praying the Festivals

A Dynamic Study of Yom Tov Tefillot

LSJS Apr-Jun 2013

From the LSJS website:

WHAT DO YOU SAY TO GOD ON THE JEWISH HOLIDAYS AND WHY?

This course looks at central prayers that we say on Jewish festivals: Who wrote them? Why were they included in the Machzor? Do we appreciate and embrace the ideas they contain? Have their meanings changed over time? Are they still relevant?

Topics include:

The structure of the Amidah for Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot

Prayers and home rituals unique to these festivals

The complex structure of the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services

The nature of key prayers during these days

This course will enable you to get more out of your Machzor and develop your appreciation of each of the festivals.

And with Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur coming so early in the calendar this year, this course will also prepare you for these High Holy Days.

For the course on Shabbat prayer click here

Session 1: Shalosh Regalim 1: Kiddush and Amidah

Session 2: Shalosh Regalim 2: Hallel and Musaf Session 3: Yamim Norayim 1: Introduction and Changes to Regular Liturgy
Session 4: Yamim Norayim 2: Rosh HaShanah Amidah and Musaf (1)
Session 5: Yamim Norayim 3: Rosh HaShanah Musaf (2) & (3) & UNetaney Tokef
Session 6: Yamim Norayim 4: Yom Kippur Kol Nidrey and Viduy
Session 7: Yamim Norayim 5: Yom Kippur Amidah, Musaf and Ne'ilah