Every one knows that Jewish civilization rests on the bedrock of the education of children. However study of Jewish texts and values is not limited to children. It happens to be one of the fundamental behaviors that Jewish men and women of all ages are enjoined to practice throughout their lives: study is a lifelong aspiration and a primary goal for all Jews. Here in Montreal, we are fortunate that classes are held all week and every week at various venues, synagogues and community centers. We are blessed with exceptional teachers and can be busy with Jewish learning every day of the week. In addition Rabbi Steinmetz and Rabbi Jacobsen have been offering a full day of learning to the community every year for the last several years. The most recent day of learning took place last Thursday, June 25th, 2015. This time I recorded their classes and want to share them with you so that you too can taste the nature and scope of what we call Jewish learning. I videotaped these talks and share them with you here.
1) Hachnasat Orchim – Hospitality towards strangers in the Jewish tradition: What is its Source and Why is it Important? (Rabbi Steinmetz)
2) Why are the Jewish people called G-d`s witness. What does this mean and what are we being called upon to witness or to testify to? (Rabbi Jacobson)
3) Talmudic Study: “acquiring an accidental treasure, when unanticipated value emerges, who owns it?” Rabbis and class sharing one on one discussion. This is typical of the way Jews study texts via inquiry but difficult to video.
4) The Racist Murders in Charleston: Is Forgiveness possible? This talk was a response to the families of the murdered victims in the Charleston Church shooting offering the murderer forgiveness at the funeral of the victims. Rabbi Steinmetz argues that offering forgiveness without asking for any reflection from the perpetrator deprives the perpetrator of the opportunity for acknowledging his transgression and working through any personal responsibility abd regret that is involved in “asking for forgiveness? (Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz)
5) Quebec’s Bill 52 and the “right to die”: A Jewish perspective on this issue. 1,the obligation to avoid suffering and 2. the need to appreciate every life to its very end.