Melton Core 1

Rhythms & Purposes of Jewish Living

There is a syncopation in Jewish life that marks the passing of time for the Jewish people as a community, as families, and as individuals. Through Rhythms of Jewish Living, discover the meaning and importance of these rituals, practices, and moments as you take a 25-lesson journey through the year-cycle, lifecycle, traditions, and practices that bind us together. Explore not just the what’s and how’s of Jewish living, but the why’s that go with them.

Purposes of Jewish Living explores both ancient and modern responses to many of the major issues of Jewish thought and theology. Why do Jews believe as they do? What are the big questions of life and how do Jewish thinkers answer these questions? This course explores both ancient and modern responses to many of the major issues of Jewish thought and theology.

Rhythms of Jewish Living Table of Contents

Lesson 1 – A Time for Every Purpose under the Heaven: What is “Jewish Time?” .
Lesson 2 – Introducing the Jewish Calendar
Lesson 3 – Rosh HaShannah
Lesson 4 – Yom Kippur
Lesson 5 – Sukkot
Lesson 6 – Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah
Lesson 7 – Jewish Reminders and Symbols
Lesson 8 – Beit HaKnesset (Synagogue)
Lesson 9 – Berakhot (Blessings)
Lesson 10 – Tefillah (Prayer) and Tzedakah (Charity)
Lesson 11 – Shabbat and Its Messages
Lesson 12 – Shabbat and Its Observance
Lesson 13 – Laws and Customs of Kosher Observance
Lesson 14 – Chanukah
Lesson 15 – Purim
Lesson 16 – Tu BiShevat
Lesson 17 – Birth and Berit
Lesson 18 – Bar and Bat Mitzvah
Lesson 19 – Marriage
Lesson 20 – Divorce
Lesson 21 – Mikveh
Lesson 22 – Rituals of Death and Burial
Lesson 23 – Rituals of Mourning
Lesson 24 – Conversion and Adoption
Lesson 25 – Pesach (Passover)
Lesson 26 – The Pesach Seder
Lesson 27 – Yom HaShoah and Tishah B’Av
Lesson 28 – Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzma’ut
Lesson 29 – Shav’uot
Lesson 30 – Reflecting on the Rhythms of Jewish Life

Purposes of Jewish Living Table of Contents

Lesson 1 – What is Jewish Learning?
Lesson 2 – Yetziat Mitzrayim (The Exodus from Egypt)
Lesson 3 – Creation
Lesson 4 – Humankind: Male and Female
Lesson 5 – God
Lesson 6 – Not in Heaven: What are Jewish Texts?
Lesson 7 – Mitzvot: What are they?
Lesson 8 – Mishkan / Mikdash (The Sanctuary)
Lesson 9 – From Service of the Heart to Synagogue Services
Lesson 10 – Is the Torah the Revealed Word of God? Part I
Lesson 11 – Is the Torah the Revealed Word of God? Part II
Lesson 12 – Theology in Practice: Driving on Shabbat
Lesson 13 – Purposes of Kosher Observance
Lesson 14 – Miracles
Lesson 15 – Prophecy
Lesson 16 – Eretz Yisrael (The Land of Israel)
Lesson 17 – What does it mean to be the “Chosen People”?
Lesson 18 – Gender in Judaism
Lesson 19 – Intermarriage
Lesson 20 – Hashgachah (Divine Providence)
Lesson 21 – Free Will and Sin
Lesson 22 – Why Do People Suffer?
Lesson 23 – What Happens After We Die?
Lesson 24 – Mitzvot: Meaning and Purpose
Lesson 25 – Churban (Destruction) and Galut (Exile)
Lesson 26 – Yemot Hamashiach (The Messianic Era)
Lesson 27 – Seeking Understanding after the Holocaust
Lesson 28 – The Israel-Diaspora Relationship
Lesson 29 – The Purposes of Judaism
Lesson 30 – What Have We Learned?

The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning, a project of Hebrew University in Jerusalem supplies the curriculum for a two year course of study, taught by local area Rabbis and Jewish educators that provides adults with a comprehensive understanding of Jewish thought, practice and history. No prerequisite learning is required.

Core 1 Cost: $300 per person, per year (25 sessions), includes all books and materials. (Generously subsidized by the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning Endowment Fund of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.)

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