- A man wonders if his dying father should remain on life support.
What would you do?
- A parent wonders if they should tell their child he has a potentially serious genetic disorder.
What would you do?
- A woman wonders if she’s morally obligated to give a kidney to her cousin who has to undergo dialysis daily.
What would you do?
Chances are, like most people, you don’t know what you would do — or even where you would turn for guidance. But with medicine’s increasing role in our lives, most of us will have to face such issues at some point or another.
That’s why you’ll want to know about a remarkable new course called Medicine and Morals: Your Jewish Guide through Life’s Tough Decisions. It’s based on two premises: (1) that Jewish wisdom has much to say about these matters; and (2) that the best time to deal with them is now, while the pressure is off.
Actually, there’s a third premise: that today's complex medical issues are fascinating, profound, and likely to kick up amazingly lively classroom discussion.
No easy questions. No easy answers. Medicine and Morals, is your chance to get real with the subject of medical ethics —discuss actual case histories, and get a sense of direction to weather the toughest challenges you’ll ever face.
Medicine and Morals: Your Jewish Guide through Life’s Tough Decisions, coming this October to your local JLI chapter.
The first course of the 2008-2009 Semester will delve into the first chapter of Tractate Pesachim (folios 2a-5a). It will provide a profound study of the Mitzvot connected the holiday that celebrates our birth as a nation. This section represents the Talmud's wonderful blend of Jewish legal analysis, the practice of Mitzvot and Jewish values.
The Mitzvot associated with preparing for the holiday of Passover are classic examples where the Biblical commandments are closely interwoven with later Rabbinic enactments. As you study, you will learn to analyze the sages' thought processes as they sought to strengthen Torah observance. Lessons will focus on practical Halacha as you follow the Mitzvah from its Biblical roots to the Talmudic dialogue, to the verdicts of the codifiers.
Along the way, The Talmud's text meanders to touch on topics as varied as safe traveling, speaking with refinement, trusting strangers and performing Mitzvot with alacrity, among other subjects.
As you experience the Talmud's full depth, you will not only observe a 2000 year old intellectual debate, but will have the opportunity to add your own voice and apply your logic to the discussion. Regardless of your previous experience studying Talmud, classes are structured to make you feel at home with the topic.
Everybody loves a good story. A good story takes hold of the imagination and provides a window into the human soul.
The stories of the book of Genesis are the oldest stories in the world, yet they continue to inspire countless retellings and adaptations. They retain their power because they deal with the most powerful of human motives: the quests for love, purpose, identity, and redemption. They also explore the inner obstacles that threaten these goals: lust, greed, hatred and jealousy.
When you explore these stories, you will identify with characters who grapple with the feelings and dilemmas that are at the heart of the human experience. You will see how their stories are also the stories of YOUR life, reflecting your joy and your pain, your struggles and your victories. And you will learn how the Torah’s eternal values provide insight that helps you respond more thoughtfully as you face critical moments of your own.
How does an ancient system of law adapt to the modern world? See how Talmudic scholars respond to new advances in technology and society while remaining faithful to eternal principles. You Be the Judge II presents six new cases that invite you to pit your wits against some of the best minds in Jewish history.
Perhaps you havestruggled before with the elusive search for meaning, and wished you had a personal mentor to guide your growth. What if you had the chance to meet one of the greatest masters of Kabbalah and learn ancient proven strategies for self-realization and contentment?
This fall, you’ll have that chance. Soul Maps, a new course from the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute, investigates Tanya, the fundamental text of Chassidic thought. The course is structured as a six-session consultation with the author of the Tanya, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi. During each session, you will receive insight into your inner world and you will discover new strategies for overcoming obstacles to change and progress. You’ll learn to resolve guilt, conflict, and confusion, and to traverse life’s journey with joy, purpose, and direction.
Talmudic Ethics: Finding Your Way to Good Decisions
When your heart is pulled in two directions, how do you know which tug to follow? The Talmud lays down principles that can help you disentangle warring intuitions so that you can clearly discern right from wrong. In this course, we invite you to experience the fascinating application of law and logic as the rabbis struggle to determine what is just.
Beyond Belief: Reflections on Jewish Faith, Reason, and Experience
Our beliefs color the way we see the world and help us to make sense of the inevitable challenges that confront us. The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute's upcoming winter course, Beyond Belief: Reflections on Jewish Faith, Reason, and Experience, is designed to help students take a closer look at how Jewish beliefs can help bring meaning to their lives and guide their choices.
The Land and the Spirit: Why We All Care About Israel
Explore the spirit of a land that has pulsed with energy and mystery since the dawn of time, a land that has captured our imagination throughout history, a land that breathes with the glory of our past and the dreams of our future. Join us as we examine what Israel was meant to be, and what Israel means to us today.
MyShiur Explorations in Talmud: Tractate Ketubot
Tractate Ketuvot deals with obligations between spouses that are taken on through marriage. It investigates what these obligations require when the family unit is strained in various ways and in doing so, helps the marriage partners to consider their situation soberly and so rise to the challenge of meeting their difficulties.
Flashbacks In Jewish History: How our past informs our future
In his parting instructions to his people, Moses stresses the importance of historical perspective, for the present is an outgrowth of our past. By studying history, we are able to relate to current issues with greater understanding.
The story of the Jewish people is a story of a nation that has contributed to world history far more than might be expected from its small numbers. Indeed, it is remarkable how often the Jews have been found at the epicenter of world events. Many surveys of Jewish history have responded to this fact by considering the impact of Jews upon other nations and their contributions to history at large.
This course, however, looks at the Jewish encounter with other cultures in light of what these interactions have meant to us as Jews. The protean ability of the Jewish people to adapt to wildly different contexts has growing relevance to all of us as we enter an era of globalization and increasingly permeable borders.
This April, the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute is proud to launch a new course, “Flashbacks in Jewish History.” Each of the six lessons considers the Jewish people as they grapple with surrounding cultures. Rather than focus on the geopolitical, we have kept an eye towards themes that resonate with contemporary Jewish experience. We expect even those students who do not consider themselves history enthusiasts to find the readings compelling and relevant.
The Kabbalah of Character
You are unlike any person who has ever lived before. How can you make the most of the gifts you have been given?
The Kabbalah of Character, a new and expanded revision of our popular course "Soul Powers," is designed to help you understand the unique mix of qualities that define your individuality. Drawing on the organizational structure of the Kabbalah, this course examines the nature of the human soul created in the image of G‑d. The Kabbalah of Character is not a quick-fix. You won’t learn how to become a perfect person in eight easy lessons. But you will learn strategies for making changes that are lasting and real. Authored by Rabbi Moshe Miller, noted scholar of Kabbalah, the course invites you to choose from among a wealth of reflective approaches to chart your own path to personal growth. It includes wisdom to amaze you and stories to inspire you, as well as journal exercises and practical tools to help you apply the lessons to your own life.
So spend eight weeks learning the secrets that will help you unlock your inner potential.
Because you won’t know what you can be… until you hold a mirror to your soul.
You Be the Judge: Behind the Steering Wheel of Jewish Law
For over a thousand years, our mostimportant cultural activity has been the study of Talmud. It has sustained us through persecution and exile, shaping the discourse of our people and serving as the crowning achievement of our intellectual tradition. Perhaps you have been curious about the Talmud, but thought it was complex and inaccessible to anyone lacking extensive training. Not anymore. This fall, the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute is proud to launch “You Be the Judge,” an innovative introduction to this magnificent work. You need no prior knowledge of the Talmud and no formal legal training. There are no prerequisites other than an open mind. “You Be the Judge” presents you with real cases brought before Beit Din, the court system of Jewish law. We provide the primary source texts from Talmud and put you in the driver’s seat. You will have the opportunity to question, discuss, and argue, based on principle and precedent. You will experience firsthand the exhilarating mental exploration that characterizes traditional Talmud study. Join us this fall in the ancient study halls of Jerusalem and Babylonia. Add your voice to other voices that span the millennia. You take the lead. You Be the Judge.
From Sinai to Cyberspace: How Ancient Wisdom Guides a Modern World
A lot can change in 3,000 years. We’ve gone from camel backs to Cadillacs, and have entered a world of fast-paced technological advance. We’ve gone from a Jewish world marked by prophets and pilgrimages to a world where students study Torah in cyber-classrooms and rabbis address ethical question posed by organ transplants.Yet the elemental questions about our tradition remain the same. How do we know what G‑d wants of us in this world? Do we have any evidence that the Bible text is divine and true? How can we understand its cryptic passages? Why are the rabbis so concerned with minute details? Who has the right to interpret the Bible? How do we adapt its laws to modern times and changing influences?The answers to these questions are addressed in “From Sinai to Cyberspace,” the most popular course ever offered by the Jewish Learning Institute. Newly revised on the basis of feedback from students like yourself, this interactive course promises to intrigue and inspire as you explore the history and development of Jewish law and tradition.The journey “From Sinai to Cyberspace” represents the inner story of our lives and of our people. We invite you to join us for the ride.
The Kabalah of Time
Examine time and the Jewish calendar through the mystical lens of Kabbalah. Time is a profound organizing element of our existence, and the cycle of the Jewish calendar provides a powerful template for personal growth.Discover both a practical understanding of the structure of the Jewish calendar as well as mystical insights into recurrent patterns of time.
Beyond Never Again: The Holocaust - A View from the Soul
Explore the ways in which the Holocaust continues to affect our generation and colors what it means to live as a Jew today. The Holocaust forces us to grapple with the existence of evil and suffering. It challenges us to find faith and optimism in the face of devastation and despair. And it awes us as we encounter heroes of the spirit who fought for truth and decency in the darkest of times.
“Most of the people were amazed at how so many things presented hundreds and even thousands of years ago as solutions to various problems are so extremely relevant to today’s modern practice” - Dr. Howard Lazarus.
"Not only has taking a JLI course enhanced my knowledge about a subject I was not as familiar with, but it has allowed me to meet Jews in a setting that is friendly, fun and participant-driven. Rabbi Wilhelm delivers what can be an intimidating topic into a lesson that leaves one craving more." – Jason Kaufman
The JLI courses I took oozed meaning and purpose. The beautifully taught and presented material gives us a remarkably articulated greater awareness of who we are and before whom we stand. We become even more connected to G-d, Torah, and each other. We are deeply enriched by the experience in a way that enhances every moment of everyday life. – Linda Rothchild
“I was really unaware of the depth and differences of the Jewish/Halachic views regarding ethical decision making. It was a very eye-opening experience to see how so many ancient laws and not so ancient commentaries still could be applied to modern day medicine and medical issues that no one could have begun to envision at the time the Torah was written" - Dr. Barry Newman
"This course is extremely enlightening for anyone either interested in, or on, the path of self improvement. It is taught with vigor from a very solid base of knowledge in a very caring manner." – Ron Popkin
Rabbi Motti brings out questions and answers and conversations, I didn't experience in other classrooms" - Neil Benaroya