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A Taste of Maharat: Summer Learning 2024

July 9 - August 8

 

See what all the buzz is about, and spend five weeks learning Maharat Torah and thought with our esteemed faculty. All classes will be taught on Zoom, and some may have hybrid in-person learning options. Open to all. Everyone is encouraged to register.

 

More information, including course descriptions, is available below.

 

Schedule:

Tuesdays 9:30-11:00 am ET

The Lost Princess: An Introduction to the Chassidic stories of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

Sarah Beth Neville ‘27

Tuesdays 1:30-3:00 pm ET

Talmudic Magic and Miracles

Director of Academic Affairs Rabbanit Dr. Liz Shayne ‘21

Tuesdays 7:30-8:45 pm ET

Rise of Kings: A Study on the Power and Purpose in Shmuel Alef

Rabbanit Nomi Kaltmann ‘23 

Wednesdays 9:30-11:00 am ET

From Antiquity to Today: Are We Our Mothers' Daughters?

Yehudit Mazur-Shomi ‘27 

Wednesdays | 12:30-1:30 pm ET

Weekly Insights from the Me’or Eynayim (The Light of the Eyes)

Director of Spiritual Development Rabbi Dr. Erin Leib Smokler ‘18 

Thursdays 9:30-11:00 am

A Survey of Halakhic Literature: The Laws of Hand Washing

Lilinaz Evans ‘27

Thursdays 1:30-3:00 pm ET

Rabbinic Insults: Exploring Talmudic Tales of Snubs and Slights 

President and Co-Founder Rabba Sara Hurwitz 

Costs

General Community: $180 per class

Maharat Students & Alumnae: free

Students: 50% discount

Discounts are available for people who register for three or more courses.

Financial assistance is available. Please contact Rachel Zorbaron.

Course Descriptons

Course Descriptions

Tuesdays 9:30-11:00 am ET

The Lost Princess: An Introduction to the Chassidic stories of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

Sarah Beth Neville ‘27

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, the great-grandson of the Ba'al Shem Tov (the founder of the Chassidut movement), was famed for his deeply emotional Torah, which sought to understand the inner self, the world and the divine. Rebbe Nachman taught: “The world says that stories are useful for putting one to sleep. But I say that through stories, people can be woken from their sleep” (Chayei MohaRan 1:25). To wake the world up, Rebbe Nachman left behind a number of Chassidic stories. Join for an introduction to Rebbe Nachman and his Torah, an exploration of his story-telling as a modality for his Torah, and a multi-part learning of his story, “The Lost Princess.”

 

Tuesdays 1:30-3:00 pm ET

Talmudic Magic and Miracles 

Director of Academic Affairs Rabbanit Dr. Liz Shayne ‘21

The Talmud is filled with extraordinary stories, and sometimes we mean that quite literally. There are stories of rabbis working miracles, conversations about magical incantations, the first appearance of a Golem, and much more. In this class, we will look at different stories in the Talmud dealing with themes of magic and miracles and, in studying these magical narratives, understand a little more about the power of fantastical stories that shape our tradition.

 

Tuesdays 7:30-8:45 pm ET

Rise of Kings: A Study on the Power and Purpose in Shmuel Alef

Rabbanit Nomi Kaltmann ‘23 

Embark on a scholarly yet accessible five week exploration of Shmuel Alef. This series offers a nuanced examination of prophetic narratives, political dynamics, and enduring themes within Tanakh. Dive into the intricate tales of Shmuel, Saul, and King David, extracting lessons on leadership, political challenges, and the intersection of faith and power. 

 

Wednesdays 9:30-11:00 am ET

From Antiquity to Today: Are We Our Mothers' Daughters?

Yehudit Mazur-Shomi ‘27 

This course will explore the role of women in Jewish history from the heroines of the Tanakh to modern Jewish women born in Russian and Soviet empires. Each session will focus on a different pair of women throughout history, highlight the parallels between ancient and modern Jewish history, and between these women and ourselves. Come learn about the connections between women like the biblical Deborah and Golda Meir, Talmudic heroine Bruriah and Nechama Leibowitz, and more.

 

Wednesdays | 12:30-1:30 pm ET

Weekly Insights from the Me’or Eynayim (The Light of the Eyes)

Director of Spiritual Development Rabbi Dr. Erin Leib Smokler ‘18 

Learn the weekly parsha through the eyes of the Me’or Eynayim (the Light of the Eyes), the work of Menachem Nachum Twersky of Chernobyl (1730-1797), a student of the Baal Shem Tov and the Maggid of Mezritch. Gain spiritual and emotional strength from its profound insights. New and continuing students are welcome to join.

Thursdays 9:30-11:00 am

A Survey of Halakhic Literature: The Laws of Hand Washing

Lilinaz Evans ‘27

Washing your hands–simple, right? Well, maybe not as simple as you think! Join us on a journey through the history of halakhic literature, using the ritual of netilat yadayim to see how the Jewish legal system has evolved through time. What could have kept our Rabbis talking about such a simple thing for thousands of years? Each session, we will explore a conceptual aspect of handwashing in Judaism and a different era of halakhic literature.

 

Thursdays 1:30-3:00 pm ET

Rabbinic Insults: Exploring Talmudic Tales of Snubs and Slights 

President and Co-Founder Rabba Sara Hurwitz 

Throwing insults at your chevruta, friend, or guest is as ancient as the Gemara itself. But are these insults harmless, and meant in jest, or do they have irreparable consequences?  Together we will study five stories that will explore this question. And who knows, maybe you will learn some useful Talmudic slurs to toss around today!

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