This coming week, Rabbi Aryeh Klapper, the Dean of the Center for Modern Torah Leadership and Rosh Beit Midrash of its Summer Beit Midrash Program, begins a three-part series on:
Torah Political Theory: How to Organize and Run a Jewish Community
Our appreciation of the beauty of Halakhah can be marred, or even shaken, when Torah leaders abuse their positions, when religious disagreements become “political,” and when formal religious observance fails to produce ethical excellence. What resources do Torah and Halakhah have for addressing the challenging interactions of religion, power, and self-interest?
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
The Role of Charisma in Torah Education and Torah Society
Charisma is the claim to authority because one bears a Divine message that others cannot access accept through you. A series of recent scandals have demonstrated the practical dangers posed by powerful charismatics, and yet charisma seems to be an inevitable component of effective politics and pedagogy. Plato argued that there is an essential and eternal struggle for power between poets, who represent charisma, and philosophers, who represent reason. How should a Torah society navigate this tension?
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Is the Torah a Constitution or a Code?
The contemporary Sefardi Chakham Jose Faur argues that the Torah seeks to create a structure of values for Jewish life, rather than a specific set of detailed regulations. Halakhah, as we have it, is just one of the many ways the Torah could have been implemented. We will explore this contention and its implications, in the specific context of the powers of the Davidic monarchy in the hypothetical Messianic state.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Lifnim Mishurat HaDin: Exploring the Difference between Halakhic and Religious Obligation
Is everything that G-d wants you to do a halakhic chiyyuv (obligation), and everything G-d wants you not to do a halakhic issur (prohibition)? If not, why not? Can religious and halakhic obligations ever conflict?
All of the classes will take place at 8:30 p.m., at the Young Israel of Sharon, 100 Ames Street, Sharon, MA. In order that we can ensure we have sufficient materials available, please RSVP to Ami Blaszkowsky, Young Israel of Sharon Director of Education, at email@example.com.+ More... - Less...