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

The Genius of the Rashbam

Rashbam’s Torah Commentary: Creativity, Literalism and Peshat

JLE October – December 2012

Session 1: Introduction and BeReishit

Session 2: Rashbam and Peshat

Session 3: When Rashi opts for Derash

Session 4: Yishmael, Yitzchak and Akeidah

Session 5: Chevron and Yitzchak

Session 6: Adventures in Parashat Toldot

Session 7: The Avot and Mitzvot