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.

The Genius of the Haggadah Season 2

The Haggadah with the Abarbanel’s Commentary

JLE March 2012

Session 1: Ha Lachma

Session 2: Dayenu

Session 3: Rabban Gamliel & Pesach

Stealing from the Internet

Discover how Jewish Law is meeting the Challenges of Cyberspace

LSJS Jan – Mar 2012

From the LSJS Website:

The Internet and the inexorable growth of modern technology have produced some fraught and fascinating dilemmas for Jewish law.

Just what exactly do modern halachists have to say about issues of copyright law in cyberspace?

What are their sometimes controversial rulings on software pirating, downloading music and surfing the Net using a neighbour’s connection?

Find out what the law is about automated commerce on Shabbat and shared ownership in shady businesses.

Explore the possibilities when it comes to balancing religious obligations with the modern realities of Internet commerce.

On this course you will:

Consider whether halachah recognises intellectual property and other intangibles

Examine an acrimonious copyright dispute that made Jewish legal history

Discuss how halachah views the ‘pirating’ of music, videos and software

Wrestle with the ‘eBay dilemma’ – the auction that ends on Shabbat

Compare a man convicted of ‘piggy-backing’ on a Wi-Fi connection with his 3rd-century counterpart

Course Outline

Session 1: Introduction to Copyright and Intellectual Property

Session 2: More Copyright, Software Piracy and Intellectual Property

Session 3: Erasing God's Name from a Disk, Screen or Website

Sessions 4 & 5: Internet Commerce & Shabbat

Session 6: 'Piggybacking' on a WIFI Connection

Session 7: Electricity on Shabbat: Rabbi S.Z. Auerbach v. Chazon Ish