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& Virtual Art Tour
With Rabbi Chaim
"A Remembrance of the Exodus from Egypt זכר ליציאת מצרים”
On the Confluence of the Sabbath and the Exodus:
Morality and Justice as the Pillars of Jewish Religiosity
Wed. March 3, 5:00 - 6:30pm PST
In Deuteronomy we are taught that Shabbat is a commemoration of the Exodus. How so? What is the essential connection between menuchat Shabbat (cessation from creative labor on Shabbat) and the liberation from slavery in Egypt? And why is God introduced in the Aseret HaDibrot (the Ten Utterances) as the Liberator and not as the Creator?
The answer to these questions will help us understand the fundamental significance of the frequently repeated refrain “a remembrance of the Exodus from Egypt” and it will establish that justice and morality are the organizing principles of the Jewish religion and its telos.
"Pour Out Your Wrath שפוך חמתך"
Seeking Vengeance and Reaching Out to Repair the World:
The Paradox of the Passover Seder
Wed. March 10, 5:00 - 6:30pm PST
Following the Seder meal we open the door for Elijah and forthrightly call upon God to wreak vengeance upon all those who have denied God and oppressed Israel. We do so in the context of a broad ritual performance that is invoked as a source for the Jewish commitment to universal social justice. How can we explain the apparent inconsistency and clash of values?
This session attempts to address this paradox by promoting an awareness that God’s absence from history in the wake of the Exodus and conquest of the Land inspires a radical programmatic shift by the rabbis away from theology to anthropology. Consequently we humans are tasked with filling the gap by pursuing our God-given ability to respond to the cry of society’s vulnerable and thus gradually generating healing in our world.
"Beautifying the Mitzvah הידור מצוה"
A Virtual Journey Through Jewish Ritual Art
Mon. March 15, 5:00 - 6:30pm PST
A virtual tour of the Seidler-Feller collection of objects of Jewish material culture from Alsace and Iran, from India and Italy and from the US and Israel. Items include an 18th Century embroidered Italian tallit, a Yemenite wedding headdress, ketubot from across the globe and contemporary Israeli silver. The tour will include a reflection on how we came to collect Judaica and the stories that background our acquisitions.