All Content © 2013 Nachman Fahrner
50. Suffering - in Jewish Philosophy and Mysticism
This seminar will include: Talmudic insights into Jewish attitudes concerning suffering o Why bad things happen to good people o Understanding the Rabbinic teaching: "A tzaddik who prospers and a tzaddik who suffers" (Berachot p. 7) o Reincarnation o Martyrdom o The Hidden face of God: Chaos theory and the secret of the shofar sounds o Sanctifying the moment o Paradox -- at the root of human experience o Does God suffer? o The dilemma of the Piezeczener Rebbe: Is there weeping in God's Inner Chambers or only joy? o Jewishness after the Holocaust o Making room for revelation. (one-time lecture, min 3 hrs)

51. Teachings of the Baal Shem Tov
Rabbi Yisrael ben Eliezer (1698 - 1760), known as the holy Baal Shem Tov, was the founder of the Chassidic movement. He infused Judaism with new life and spirit, opening up the hearts of people and showing them how to achieve higher levels of devotion. He combined deep Torah knowledge with emotional intensity, and taught a path of serving God with joy through all of one's activities. Through parables, he expressed unique insights into Torah. The Baal Shem Tov is known for teaching that anyone, including those with little education, can reach great spiritual heights through the channels of prayer, faith, love of God, and love of one's fellow Jews. However, he also stressed the importance of Torah study. He took the entire heritage of Torah, Talmud, Halakha and Kabbalah, and shed new light on it. Using the text, "Sefer Ha-Baal Shem Tov", we will delve into the profound Torah teachings of the Baal Shem Tov. (series of classes or one-time text-based class)

52. The Ten Commandments: Deeper Meanings
While everyone knows that the Ten Commandments are important in Judaism, and that they have inspired Western Civilization as a whole, how many of us have had an opportunity to learn about them in depth based on the teachings of our Sages? This seminar is be a thorough exploration of the 10 Commandments, including: What are the various ways of understanding the commandments? What is the reason for their order? o How are they interconnected? What are the primary ethical, moral and religious principles they deal with? Why these and no others? Why are these principles considered a synopsis of the whole Torah? Concepts from the Zohar about the hidden meanings of some of the commandments. (one-time lecture, min 2 ½ hrs)
Lecture topics 50-52
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