Judaism Decoded sheds light on the mysteries surrounding biblical interpretation. How do we know our interpretation is true? If it is true, why is it subject to differences of opinion? And with so many interpretations to choose from, how do we know which one reflects its original intent?
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.
Join us for Six Mondays
Starting Monday, December 5th, 2016
Location: Chabad of Irvine
5010 Barranca Pkwy
15% Couples discount!
Join the first class free (with no obligation to continue)
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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.
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.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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.