'Boundless Judaism' course at Temple Israel


Judaism is more than the sum of its parts. Judaism is hands-on, practical and detail-orientated faith. As Jews, we want to know what to do and how to do it. We love our history and rituals. Our culture and art are everywhere. However, this leads most us to learn our Judaism piecemeal. We learn about weddings before we have one. We learn about keeping kosher when we set up our kitchen. We read parts of the Torah each week, but rarely have the opportunity to take a step back to look at the big picture.

To provide this big picture, Temple Israel is presenting a 12-week course titled Boundless Judaism starting on Dec. 3. If you’ve ever felt lost in the beautiful woods of Judaism, the Boundless Judaism program will help. If you’ve ever wondered how it all fits together, this is for you. Judaism is a mosaic made up of millions of pieces but they are not placed randomly. Each and every piece fits perfectly according to the larger themes, values and goals of our faith. This course, by starting with a “God’s eye view” of these values during each session, brings all the pieces together more clearly. We’ll erase the borders between text, ritual, history, ethics and culture until Judaism becomes the seamless whole it was meant to be.

If you are new to Judaism or Jewish learning, this will give you a framework in which to sort all the new experiences and ideas you come across. If you are a lifelong learner looking for a little more structure, this will help you see the patterns and connections like never before. Each session is self-contained, but the more you attend, the more sense Judaism will make.

We have chosen the 10 Sephirot (The Tree of Life) from the Kabala as the unifying theme of the series. The tree represents the series of divine emanations of God’s creation itself, the nature of revealed divinity, the human soul, and the spiritual path of ascent by man. Kabalists used the symbol as a model of reality and as a map of creation. Following this map we will present an introduction, a lecture on each Sephira and a concluding lecture.

The course will begin on the Wednesday, Dec. 3, and will continue every Wednesday for 12 weeks. Each session will be one to one-and-a-half hours in length and will start at 7 p.m. in the Temple Israel Roth Social Hall, located at 50 S. Moss Rd., Winter Springs. For more information please call the Temple Israel office at 407-647-3055 or check Temple Israel’s website at http://www.tiflorida.org.

Each lecture will have five sections including a textual introduction, related liturgy, implied ethics/practices, historical example(s) and related holidays or life cycle events. The lectures will emphasize the connections among its sections and the relationship of all 12 lectures. Lectures will be presented on our new audio-visual system in the social hall and will be audio-taped and uploaded to our website for future study.

Cost to attend is free for TI members and $10 per session for nonmembers or $72 for the series.

Each participant will receive a binder in which to collect lecture handouts.


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