Starting on February 28th, four groups of 15 young adults will meet in homes throughout Brookline, Cambridge and Newton to discuss the following Top Ten Jewish Innovations in the Eser series. Find more information and register on our website.
1. Machloket – A debate or disagreement, usually but not only between Talmudic rabbis, often taken to be a valuable expression of the many sides of a complex truth.
2. Shabbat – A day to “unplug,” a respite from electronics and social media turns out not only to be possible, but as vital and meaningful as a “day of rest” for our ancestors.
3. Education – Jewish culture puts its faith — and a tremendous amount of its resources — into education, for Jews at every age.
4. Israel/Zionism – How many cultures lose their land for two millennia, dwell successfully in exile, and then return?
5. Ability to Question Faith – The Torah and the Talmud have a good number of stories of rabbis questioning, and even once or twice besting, God—not something commonly found in other religions.
6. Monotheism – The Jewish concept of a single, or universal God.
7. Shiva – A week to mourn: centuries of human wisdom, distilled into a set of simple but powerful practices to comfort mourners.
8. Minyan – Judaism doesn’t exist in a vacuum – it exists between people and in communities.
9. Humor – Being able to laugh at yourself. Jokes and humor abound in Jewish life and texts… a researcher in England found, using an objective test protocol, that Ashkenazi Jews had the funniest culture on the planet…why?
10. The Role of Food – What purpose does the symbolic food at every holiday serve and how did food become such a large part of Jewish culture?
Eser leaders at work selecting this year’s Top Ten Topics