I want to formally introduce to you a new Torah learning program that I’ve recently begun offering: Rabbi’s Lunch & Learn. Following occasional Shabbat morning services, we convene in the social hall for lunch gathered around a horse-shoe shaped table where learn Torah together. Using both traditional and modern commentaries, we delve into a particularly challenging or thought provoking section from the parsha. The turnout for our first two pilot sessions has been tremendous.
For our first session in October, we looked at the origin of violence in the Cain and Abel story, a timely conversation given the outbreak of stabbings by Palestinians against Israelis. A few weeks later, we examined the theologically disturbing Akedah or Sacrifice of Isaac. The engaging discussions and even friendly arguments between congregants generated by these texts is incredibly exciting—all in the name of Torah! No text experience or knowledge of Hebrew is necessary to participate, just an open and inquisitive mind.
Our next Lunch & Learn is scheduled for Saturday morning, December 26th. The parsha that week is Va-Y’hi, the final days of Jacob and the blessings he bestows to each of his sons. We’ll look specifically at the issue of family strife and reconciliation. Our Lunch & Learns will continue once or twice a month, with two more in January 2016, the 16th and 30th.
Subsequent sessions in 2016 are scheduled for March 12th, April 16th, May 21st, and June 4th & 18th.
I hope you will join us for lunch and learning.
Rabbi, Dr. Larry Bazer