Explore biblical secrets, in person or via Zoom, at JLI


October 9, 2020

Rabbi Yanky Majesky

Beginning at the end of the month, Chabad in Metro Orlando will be offering a new six-session course from the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute, titled Secrets of the Bible: Iconic Stories, Mystical Meanings, and Their Lessons for Life.

Chabad of North Orlando's classes will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 27 from 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m., and held at Nate's Shul, 1701 Markham Woods Rd., Longwood FL, 32779. Interested students may visit www.myJLI.com to find the closest class, for registration and for other course-related information. Due to COVID-19, students will have the option to join in person with social distancing or to join via zoom. 

"People tend to read biblical stories as they do primitive mythology," Rabbi Yanky Majesky of Chabad North Orlando, and local JLI instructor in Longwood told Hertitage Jewish News. "Our course invites participants to look deeper and discover the underlying themes and relevant life lessons that these stories were designed to convey."

The course presents a whole new way of reading the stories of Adam and Eve and the Tree of Knowledge, Noah and the great flood, the lifelong feud between Jacob and Esau, Joseph's multicolored coat, the golden calf, and Korah's rebellion. For each of these stories, it seeks to answer the questions: What is the deeper meaning behind the story? How does it shape the Jewish worldview? And what wisdom does it hold for us today?

Throughout its six sessions, Secrets of the Bible explores major life themes, including human subjectivity and bias, the underpinnings of relationships, negotiating spiritual growth with practical impact, why inspiration is fleeting and how to make it last, understanding equality and privilege, and navigating parallel spiritual and material life paths.   

"Secrets of the Bible presents wonderful ancient biblical stories in fresh and modern ways that deal with universal human dilemmas," explained Dr. Erica Brown, director of the Mayberg Center for Jewish Education and Leadership at George Washington University. "The wisdom it shares should not remain a secret."

"Secrets of the Bible brings to an intelligent lay readership texts so formative to so many cultures worldwide that they cannot be ignored even by cultures looking on from without," commented Dr. Joel Rosenberg, a professor of biblical literature at Tufts University. "By embracing post-biblical Jewish tradition, the course recognizes an interpretative process that begins with the Bible itself (interpreting its own past) and goes on to awaken the interpretive impulse in later readers exploring the experience of their own era."

Like all JLI programs, this course is designed to appeal to people at all levels of knowledge, including those without any prior experience or background in Jewish learning. All JLI courses are open to the public, and attendees need not be affiliated with a particular synagogue, temple, or other house of worship.

JLI, the adult education branch of Chabad-Lubavitch, offers programs in more than 800 locations in the U.S. and in numerous foreign countries, including Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Panama, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Venezuela. More than 400,000 students have attended JLI classes since the organization was founded in 1998. 


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