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Limmud NY 2019 has ended
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Saturday, Sunday, and Monday: Congregation Rodeph Sholom, 7 W. 83rd Street, New York, NY 10024

Friday night: Romemu, 165 W. 105th Street, New York, NY 10025



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Textual Perspectives [clear filter]
Saturday, February 16
 

9:40pm

Bribed Police Officers, Houses on Wheels, and the 1904 World's Fair: The Halachic Controversy on Building Eruvs in America
An Eruv makes public land into shared Jewish space -- so how can you build one in the middle of a non-Jewish metropolis? The first attempt sent shockwaves through the Torah world, as two American rabbis squared off in an international fight about pedestrian rights, newfangled technology, and whether Talmudic precedents still apply in the age of democracy.

Presenters
avatar for Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield serves as the Rabbi of Bais Abraham Congregation, in Saint Louis, MO. Originally from Los Angeles, Ben was trained at Yeshivat Har Etzion, Yeshiva University, Oxford, and Johns Hopkins, and was awarded Tikvah Fund and Wexner Graduate fellowships. Ben is a founder of... Read More →


Saturday February 16, 2019 9:40pm - 10:40pm
Room 11 (5th Floor)

9:40pm

Justice, Justice, You Shall Pursue
A look at the California Juvenile Justice system, and how the Advot project uses Jewish values and the arts to heal, empower, and take action.

Note: This session will be repeated on Sunday morning.

Naomi Ackerman's participation was made possible with generous support from The Covenant Foundation.

Presenters
avatar for Naomi Ackerman

Naomi Ackerman

Naomi Ackerman, the founder and executive director of The Advot Project is an experienced actress, consultant and facilitator creating curricula that use drama techniques to deal with social, gender, and educational issues as well as exploring identity and promoting tolerance and... Read More →


Saturday February 16, 2019 9:40pm - 10:40pm
Room 9 & 10 (5th Floor)
 
Sunday, February 17
 

8:45am

Confronting Death through the Zohar: Brutal and Comforting Kabbalistic Myths of Mortality
Death is a shocking and yet inescapable feature of the human condition. Like all profound religious texts, the Zohar, kabbalah’s central work, deeply engages with human mortality -– doing so with its distinctive combination of visionary fantasy and primal myth, gods and demons, idealism and materiality. The comfort its myths bring never fail to confront death’s brute reality. We will explore key Zoharic texts, as well as undertake an exercise to “see” the “shadows” that always accompany us.

Presenters
avatar for Nathaniel Berman

Nathaniel Berman

Nathaniel is the Rahel Varnhagen Professor of International Affairs, Law, and Modern Culture at Brown University. He also teaches kabbalah in a wide range of settings in NYC. He is currently completing a book, entitled, The 'Other Side' of Kabbalah: Divine and Demonic in the Zohar... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 8:45am - 9:45am
Eisner Auditorium (6th Floor)

10:00am

Nothing But the Truth? Balancing Personal Integrity with the Pull of Tradition
How do we balance our own personal “truths” with the the inherited claims of Jewish tradition? What is the place of “personal integrity” in religious life? What do we do when our own experience of the world seems so different from those who shaped Jewish law and tradition? Discover a surprising radical text from the Babylonian Talmud (Tractate Yoma 69b) that reveals how the Rabbis themselves struggled with these same questions.

Presenters
avatar for Leon Morris

Leon Morris

Leon Morris is the President of Pardes and is the first alumnus to head the institution (Year Program alumnus ’94-’95; Summer Program alumnus ’93 and ’94). Leon made aliyah with his wife Dasee Berkowitz and their three children in June 2014, after serving as the rabbi of Temple... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am
Hahn Chapel (2nd Floor)

10:00am

Was Esau Jewish?
Esau, Jacob's brother, has often been understood as an archetype of the enemies of Israel. Even those who read him more charitably still generally see him as the head of a non-Jewish branch on the ancient family tree, a side of the family that is no longer a part of Israel. Why wouldn't Esau be Jewish? Doesn't he have the same parents as Jacob? We will explore surprising rabbinic texts that may confirm this suspicion, as we explore the possibilities and limits of ancestry in constructing our faith communities.

Presenters
avatar for Ethan Tucker

Ethan Tucker

Ethan Tucker is President and Rosh Yeshiva at Hadar. Ethan was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and earned a doctorate in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, he was a co-founder of Kehilat Hadar and serves on the board of the H... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am
Eisner Auditorium (6th Floor)

11:15am

The Talmudic Story of Shimon b. Shetah and King Yannai: Rabbinic Perspectives on Judicial and Executive Conflict
The Talmud recounts a conflict between Shimon b. Shetah, a leading rabbinic judge, and King Yannai of the Hasmonean dynasty (Sanhedrin 19a-b). The story, which ends in disaster, relates to key questions of political philosophy, including the importance of an independent judiciary, the separation of powers, and interpretive authority. The story is surprisingly relevant to political tensions between the executive and judicial authority we witness today.

Presenters
avatar for Jeffrey Rubenstein

Jeffrey Rubenstein

Jeffrey L. Rubenstein is the Skirball Professor of Talmud in the Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies of NYU. He received his B.A. in Religion from Oberlin College, his M.A. in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he also received rabbinic ordination, and his Ph.D... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 11:15am - 12:15pm
Room 5 (5th Floor)

12:45pm

The Queen and the Spymaster: Uncovering the Hidden Story of Purim
There are gaps in the Esther narrative and we have many questions. What happened to Vashti? Did she escape the royal hangman? What was the pur that Haman consulted? What was the relationship between Esther and Mordechai? Join us for a conversation between intellectual historian Aaron Koller and award winning author Sandra E. Rapoport as they discuss Sandra's new book, The Queen and the Spymaster, a historical novel based on the Scroll of Esther.

Presenters
avatar for Aaron Koller

Aaron Koller

Aaron Koller is associate professor of Near Eastern and Jewish Studies at Yeshiva University, where he is chair of the Robert M. Beren Department of Jewish Studies, and also Core Faculty and Coordinator of Adult Educational Programming at Drisha. His books include Esther in Ancient Jewish Thou... Read More →
avatar for Sandra E. Rapoport

Sandra E. Rapoport

Sandra E. Rapoport is an attorney, Bible teacher and award-winning author. Sandra was Resident Scholar at Harvard University in Law and Bible, and her third book, Biblical Seductions, won a National Jewish Book Awards Finalist prize. Sandra has taught Bible at the Drisha Institute... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 12:45pm - 1:45pm
Room 11 (5th Floor)

2:15pm

The Good, the Bad and the Holy: What is Holiness and Why Does it Matter?
While the notion of holiness is embedded in the very fabric of religion itself, it remains a difficult concept to define. Instead, we default to quantitative descriptions of the sacred: this specific time, these particular people, and this place over here are holier than that other time, those other people, and that place over there. This session will explore different conceptions of holiness in Jewish literature and offer suggestions of their importance to contemporary Jewish life.

Presenters
avatar for Yonah Hain

Yonah Hain

Yonah Hain is the Campus Rabbi of Columbia University, where he directs the educational, religious and interfaith initiatives of Columbia/Barnard Hillel's robust pluralistic Jewish community. A yeshiva trained talmudist, Yonah serves as faculty for YCT Rabbinical School and the Shalom... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 2:15pm - 3:15pm
Room 5 (5th Floor)

3:30pm

Lying Rabbis: Between Policy and Integrity
We will explore a Talmudic passage that seems to endorse rabbinic dissembling and prevarication in order to achieve desired policy outcomes. As fascinating as the Talmudic passage is, so are the medieval responses to it. We will consider how the different models offered can help us reflect on leadership and responsibility more broadly.

Presenters
avatar for Ethan Tucker

Ethan Tucker

Ethan Tucker is President and Rosh Yeshiva at Hadar. Ethan was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and earned a doctorate in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, he was a co-founder of Kehilat Hadar and serves on the board of the H... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Room 7 (5th Floor)

4:45pm

Tanya: Heart, Mind and Joy in Not Being Perfect
Tanya is perhaps the most creative book of Jewish thought in modernity and can be appreciated by all of us who are definitely not Chabad Hasidim. We shall tackle a few themes of the book and allow its teachings to touch our hearts, minds and finally give us permission for Not Being Perfect.

Presenters
avatar for Isaac Landes

Isaac Landes

Isaac Landes learns and teaches at YASHRUT which builds civil discourse through a theology of integrity, justice, and tolerance. An alumnus of Yeshivat Har Etzion Hesder, he does graduate work at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, writing about birth control, abortion and infanticide... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 4:45pm - 5:45pm
Eisner Auditorium (6th Floor)

4:45pm

Torah Lishmah: When Less is More
While all Torah learning is considered valuable, why does Torah Lishmah, study for its own sake hold pride of place in Jewish thought? In a creative reading of the story of Sarah and Hagar, the great Hasidic master and grandson of the Ba'al Shem Tov, the Degel Mahaneh Ephraim, reflects on the tension between quantity and quality in the quest for Torah learning. He exposes the dangers of learning Torah for the wrong reasons and offers strategies for removing our egos from our quests for spiritual growth.

Presenters
avatar for Dena Weiss

Dena Weiss

Dena Weiss is the Rosh Beit Midrash at Hadar, an institution for higher Jewish learning based in NYC, where she teaches Talmud, Midrash, and Hasidut. Dena earned her BA in Religious Studies from NYU and a MA in Theology from Harvard Divinity School. She has also studied at Midreshet... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 4:45pm - 5:45pm
Room 7 (5th Floor)