Shabbat: Prayer and the Soul

A Dynamic Study of Shabbat Tefillot

LSJS Jan – Mar 2013

From the LSJS website:

How do we talk to the God of Creation on the Day of Rest?

This course looks at seven sections of the siddur that we encounter every Shabbat: Who wrote them? Why were they included in the siddur? Do we appreciate and embrace the ideas they contain? Have their meanings changed over time? Are they still relevant?

“The Shabbat is given unto you, not you unto the Shabbat” (Mechilta 31:13).

This course will enable you to get more out of your siddur prayer and develop your appreciation of God’s great gift to us, the Shabbat.

For the course on Yom Tov prayer, click here

Session 1: Introduction and Kiddush

Session 2: Kabbalat Shabbat

Session 3: Friday Night Amidah and Zemirot

Session 4: Shabbat Morning

Session 5: Shabbat Musaf and Lunch

Session 6: Shabbat Minchah and Seudah Shelishit

Session 7: Havdalah and Motzo'ey Shabbat

21st-Century Halachah

How does Jewish Law Stay Relevant and Meaningful for Today and Beyond?

LSJS Nov – Dec 2012

From the LSJS website:

Halachah is the architecture of Jewish life. It guides our daily routine from what we eat and how we dress to what we say and how we treat others.

Yet surely the greatest modern challenge of Halachah has been its response to the dramatic and irreversible changes in society while staying true to our tradition.

This course takes on three cutting-edge modern concerns and shows how ancient sources and modern responsa address them in sensitive, coherent and innovative ways.

Session 1: Tekhelet and the Discovery of the Murex Snail

Session 2: Spontaneous Generation

I am indebted to Rabbi Natan Slifkin for his excellent material on this topic

Sessions 3 & 4: Using Electricity on Shabbat

Session 5: The Shabbat iPad

Session 6: Teaching Torah to Women


19th-Century Existential Angst - Dostoevsky and Ishbitz

The Quest for Authenticity, Contemplating the Abyss and the Value of Laughter

LSJS October – November 2012

Dostoevsky, whose ‘Crime and Punishment’ defines the psychological novel, and Rabbi Mordechai Yosef Leiner, the controversial Rebbe of Izbica, were contemporaries from entirely different worlds.  Yet surprisingly, their writings address similar issues, reflecting the existential angst of their time.  In this short series, Rabbi Belovski will compare the approaches of these two writers in areas such as death, laughter and the pursuit of authenticity.


Class 1: The Quest for Authenticity

Class 2: Contemplating the Abyss

Class 3: The Value of Laughter