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 SUMMER 2021 COURSE 

Judaism Decoded is a unique exploration of the inner workings of Judaism, shedding light on the mysteries surrounding the origins and evolution of Jewish tradition. 

  • Is there any evidence supporting the veracity of Judaism as we practice it today?

  • What in Jewish tradition was invented by the rabbis, and what can be traced back to ancient biblical texts?

  • If our tradition is Divine, why is it subject to differences of opinion?

  • How do contemporary rabbis know how to adapt biblical law for modern times?

Discover the sheer elegance of the "source code" on which Torah law is built; enjoy the razor-sharp reasoning, intelligent debate, and compelling arguments of the Talmudic dialectic; and get a fascinating, behind-the-scenes glimpse of the most intellectually sophisticated religion in existence.

This course is dedicated in loving memory of Zelic and Yetta Green and Martin and Judith Herman.

By their children Alex and Barbara Green.

WHEN

Six Wednesdays, beginning July 7.
Morning option: 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Evening option: 7:30-9:00 pm
Classes will be offered in person, with the option to join virtually via Zoom.

WHERE

The Farber Soul Center
5586 Drake Rd, West Bloomfield, MI 48322
INSTRUCTOR
Rabbi Levi Dubov
Director, Chabad of Bloomfield Hills 
FEE
$80 (textbook included)
Couple's discount: 15% off | Bring a friend: 50% off (contact us for the promo code)
Scholarships available. Contact us for more info.
Join the first class commitment free.
MORE INFO
248-949-6210
rabbi@bhchabad.org
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LESSON OUTLINE

Lesson 1

The Dynamic Duo

If we have a written law, why do we need tradition? And if we have a tradition, what's the point of a written law? Discover the brilliance of this binary system, and how it has kept Jewish tradition intact for millennia.

LESSON OUTLINE

Lesson 2

A Formula for Eternity

Circumstances change, and, in most cases, so do the rules--unless, that is, the rules were created as principles with a unique formula to make them apply to any situation that may arise. Explore the systematic formula through which Jewish law is applied to solve new, modern-day dilemmas.

LESSON OUTLINE

Lesson 3

Rabbis Making Rules

Is my rabbi allowed to change the law when he deems it necessary? When do rabbis have the power to legislate new laws? And what prevents a rabbi from unilaterally changing the face of Judaism?

LESSON OUTLINE

Lesson 4

Debating the Divine

The Talmud is filled with all kinds of debates. If the law is Divine, should there be any room for discussion? When there are differences of opinion, how do we determine the law? And why does the Talmud record opinions that were ultimately overruled?

LESSON OUTLINE

Lesson 5

Laws that Expire

While most Jewish practices are as relevant today as ever, some laws have reasons that no longer apply. When does a law expire? How is it revoked? And why might we choose to continue a practice even once its rationale is no longer relevant?

LESSON OUTLINE

Lesson 6

Evidence for Sinai

Judaism encourages us to question. How do we know the Torah is true? Why was Maimonides so convinced about the historic truth of the revelation at Sinai? Is there any empirical evidence to support his claim?

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Dr. Eugene Kontorovich
Professor of Law, Northwestern University

An extraordinarily sophisticated examination of Talmudic methodology, tackling the toughest questions about the nature and legitimacy of rabbinic law, combining high academic rigor with fundamental rooting in Jewish tradition.

Dr. Susan Handelman
Professor of English, Bar-Ilan University

This superb course will enable each participant to enter into the fascinating world of Talmud, sharpen his or her mind, and understand the foundations of Jewish law and its application to critical contemporary issues.

Dr. Jeremy Rabkin
Professor of Law, George Mason University

Anyone with an interest in legal reasoning should engage with the Talmud, which records some of the oldest and most subtle interpretations of fundamental law. Judaism Decoded offers a fine introduction to Talmudic methods.