The Essential Judaism

Jewish Year 5778 – Fall 2017 / Spring 2018

Rabbi Barry Leff
Temple Beth-El
Birmingham, Alabama

Course Description

What do Jews believe about God, Heaven & Hell, the Messiah?

What’s with all the rules?

What’s Jewish prayer about? How can I feel connected to God in prayer?

How do I find meaning in Shabbat (the Sabbath) and holidays?

What does Judaism have to say about contemporary issues such as alternative sexualities, medical ethics, the environment?

Why is Israel so important to the Jewish people? What about the Palestinians?

Join Rav Barry for a series of 21 classes exploring these and other questions. The course is aimed at both Jews and Gentles interested in learning more about Judaism. Whether your Jewish education stopped with your bar or bat mitzvah and you want to develop an adult relationship with Judaism, or if you have done some learning and just want to continue the discussion and deepen your knowledge, or are just curious about Judaism, there’s something for you here.

The course is free and open to the public.

Anyone not Jewish who completes the course will have completed Rav Barry’s educational requirements for conversion if they are interested.

A complete schedule will be posted on the Temple Beth-El website. You need not commit to the entire course; people are welcome to drop-in for any class session of interest.

It will also be possible to participate in the class via Zoom.

Classes will meet at Temple Beth-El, Thursday evenings at 6pm, starting September 14, 2017.

 Click here to for the Essential Judaism Course Curriculum.

Neshamah Minyan

“Neshamah” means soul in Hebrew.

neshamah-minyan-1

The Jewish prayer service is designed as a long guided meditation that connects your soul to God and the Jewish people. The goal of the Neshamah Minyan is to help people who do not understand Hebrew and who do not have an in-depth understanding of the structure and allusions in the Hebrew prayerbook experience that kind of soul connection. Of course, understanding Hebrew and the prayers does not preclude you from participating in the Neshamah Minyan!

The service will include silent meditation, chanting, singing, a discussion of the Torah portion, as well as traditional Jewish prayer. Each prayer will be introduced with a teaching on the essence of the prayer we are about to recite.

The “Neshamah Minyan” is an alternative service meeting in a separate space; the traditional Shabbat service will still occur in the Kimerling Chapel.

The service will begin at 10 am and finish by 11:45 am or noon so we can join the people participating in the traditional service for kiddush.

If you would like to help plan or lead the Neshamah Minyan, please contact Rav Barry.

 

Wednesday Morning Minyan Study Session

Congregants have the opportunity to do some learning over bagels with Rav Barry on Wednesday mornings after Minyan. The group decided to study halachah. Halachah is NOT just about WHAT we do – it’s also about WHY we do it. Halachah is the intersection of what we believe with what we do. It’s the process we use for weighing competing values which can include ritual issues, such as when we can say certain prayers or what we can eat, as well as moral issues, such as when is it appropriate to disconnect life support equipment from someone who is terminally ill.

Join us for at 7 am for Minyan, bagels and a study session with Rav Barry and TBE’s Minyanaires.

 

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