The Latest from BZBI

BZBI Tikkun Lael Shavuot Recordings Available

May 30, 2020

Tikkun Lael Shavuot at BZBI took place from 8:00 PM to Midnight on Thursday, May 28. Click on the topic heading to view each 50 minute recording.

Session 1: Radical Religious Humanism: Sefer Nefesh HaHayyim with Rabbi Ira Stone

We were introduced to the Kabbalistic theology of Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin. It articulates a radical responsibility for human beings for the maintenance of the Cosmos; exercising this responsibility through ethical behavior is the very meaning/reason for the existence of human beings, providing a full-blown humanism derived from a profound Religious world view.

Rabbi Ira Stone is Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel

Session 2: #prayfromhome with Anne Albert, Ph.D.

Before the nineteenth century, the lines between home and synagogue (like those between home and work) were much less clearly drawn than they are today. Anne looked at the widespread phenomenon of synagogues located within private homes in premodern Europe and, through a close look at the Sephardi community of Amsterdam, talked about what it meant for a congregation to have a freestanding public building instead.

Anne Albert, PhD, is a historian of Jewish culture in early modern Europe, specializing in Spinoza’s Amsterdam. She is the Klatt Family Director for Public Programs at Penn’s Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies.

Session 3: Faces, Masks & Divine Light with Rabbi Annie Lewis

We are told that God speaks to Moses face-to-face and that Moses must wear a mask in the aftermath of this revelation. In this study session, we will explore the symbolism of faces in the Torah, human and Divine, hidden and revealed, and what this can teach us about connecting to the presence of God in our world.

Rabbi Annie Lewis is Associate Rabbi of Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel

Session 4: Visions of Redemption with Rabbi Abe Friedman

Jewish tradition produced some of its most compelling visions of redemption not through triumph and glory but in times of profound dislocation and upheaval. We looked at a selection of texts and explored what they can teach us about the unprecedented times we find ourselves living through.

Rabbi Abe Friedman is Senior Rabbi of Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel