Torah Studies

Season THree

New Season Starts April 27, 2022

These days, it seems like nothing has a shelf life longer than a week. Every day brings another superhero franchise, fashion trend, or dieting fad. News cycles shift by the hour, social media feeds and timelines by the second. With everything flickering, flashing, and constantly updating, it’s little wonder life sometimes feel so impermanent.

For me, there’s no better way to slow things down than to pull back, if only for short while, and try to see things from a more timeless perspective. Our own Jewish traditions are filled with so many breathtaking insights, and they won’t fade away into irrelevance in a few days. Connecting to our own heritage, and ultimately to a divine wisdom, makes the all very human things we do feel richer, more meaningful, and part of something longer lasting.

The Torah Studies program at  Chabad Lubavitch Doylestown tries to make this happen every single week. Each class take a topic or idea in Jewish thought to explore, tease out, and bring into play with our own lives. Each one is built around texts that we’ll learn together so that you can see these ideas for yourself, argue over them, and apply them to life your own way. Below, you can see an outline of a few of the upcoming sessions, and I’d love if you could join me for what promises to be a fun, engaging, and deeply rewarding learning experience. They are open to everyone, of all abilities, so bring along a friend too!

Weekly on Wednesday evenings at 7:45 pm
Zoom Link: HERE Meeting ID: 505 696 6329

 

Wednesday, April 27 2022

Leave the Past Behind

The Case against the Apology Tour

You did something wrong. Of that, you’re sure. Does that mean you must forever publicly beat your chest to be accepted in polite society? A closer look at the High Priest’s confession on Yom Kippur tells an empowering story about how we ought to look at our past—and our future.

Wednesday, May 4 2022

When You Love Enough to Care

Seeing Another Person for Who They Really Are

When you love them, you love them, that’s it. But what happens when you don’t? There’s no love switch, is there? A deep look into the soul of another Jew and what she really wants reveals that yes, indeed there is.

Wednesday, May 11 2022

Do It Because It’s The Right Thing to Do

Give Selflessly, Even If You Get Nothing out of It

Suppose you accidentally left a twenty-dollar bill outside and only after the fact you realized that someone who really needed it found it and bought lunch. Do you deserve any credit? From an awkwardly placed verse in a discussion about sacrifices we learn that yes, such a donation may just be the most noble of all.

Wednesday, May 18 2022

The Divine Is in the Details

Discovering the Majesty of the Minutiae in Judaism

Do it this way. Not larger than an ounce, not smaller than the size of your fist. Check for the kosher symbol, and make sure you eat before this time and make Kiddush after that time. Judaism is hyper-detail-oriented, and some find it more devilish than divine. But that’s a simple misunderstanding of just how great a mitzvah really is.

Wednesday, May 25 2022

You’re Feeling Uninspired? Great. Now’s Your Chance

Discovering the Spiritual Opportunity of a Human Moment

When things are clicking and you’re feeling inspired, well, it’s just great. But here’s the problem: that’s not reality. Life is messy, challenging, and often leaves you exhausted and uninspired. What to do then? It is precisely then that you have a real chance to finally do what G‑d always wanted you—and the entire world—to do.

Wednesday, June 1 2022

The Indomitable Power of Torah

Whatever Your Reason, Keep at It. Eventually It’ll Rope You In

Conventional wisdom would say that if you’re studying something for the wrong reasons, you shouldn’t study it at all. But that’s not what the Torah says. And that’s because there’s a unique dynamic at play: the Torah is G‑d’s wisdom; eventually, it’ll awaken something inside of you.

Wednesday, June 8 2022

The Case against Passive Parenting

You Can’t Control the Result, but You Can Certainly Control the Process

In one the Bible’s most rousing stories, a weeping childless woman makes a solemn vow to consecrate her son to G‑d, should she be so blessed. The woman is Chanah, and the son the prophet Samuel. From what would appear to be a dubiously legal move, we learn that parents must do their utmost to guide their children along the proper path.

Wednesday, June 15 2022

Good Is Good, Better Is Better, and Best Is Best

Why Jews Spend So Much on Their Religion

Jews do Judaism with grandeur. Thousands on an etrog, fine china for Shabbat dinner, and gilded synagogues that match the finest architecture anywhere. But why? Because we understand that when it comes to our relationship with G‑d, only the best will do. Anything less may not be lacking, but it is wanting—and we’ll have none of that.

Wednesday, June 22 2022

You Matter. Yes, Even You

G‑d Doesn’t Only Pay Attention to Big Things and Important People

“Omnipresent” is a word thrown around as a name for G‑d, which is a fancy way of saying, “He’s everywhere and always paying attention.” It’s a great name: G‑d really is paying attention to everything He created, and He cares very much about what they do—including you.

Wednesday, June 29 2022

Different, Yet Equal

“We’re All the Same!” Is Tempting. It’s Also Premature

Korach’s rebellion that saw him yelling, “We’re all equal, why do you, Moses, get the fancy title?!” can be mistaken for a romantic everyman’s struggle. In a way, Korach really was on to something, but ultimately, he was mistaken. Walk the tightrope of “different but equal” through the lenses of our nation's first uprising of the proletariat.

Wednesday, July 6 2022

“It’s Not My Thing” Is Not an Excuse

When the Hour Demands, Rise to the Occasion

We all have our comfort zones. You’re forgiven for wanting to stay there. But remember this: If you do, you will never grow. Worse yet, when someone else needs you, they’ll receive no answer. A curious plot twist in an ancient desert story with clouds of glory and heavenly mann calls us to get uncomfortable and be there for someone else—even if it’s not “your thing.”

Wednesday, July 13 2022

The Making of a Nation

Determining the Precise Moment the Jewish Nation Was Born

Avraham was the first Jew, right? But wait. What about the events at Mount Sinai, when everyone received the Torah: Wasn’t that the moment of nationhood? Come to think of it, were the Jewish people not born at the Exodus from Egypt? An enthralling roller-coaster ride through the literature explores this important question.