Sign In Forgot Password

Scholar-In-Residence

Scholar-in-Residence Shabbaton with Rabbi/Dr. Shai Held

“God Is About Love – People Should Be, Too”
March 26, 27, & 28, 2020

 

We're excited to welcome Rabbi Shai Held to Congregation Beth El this spring. Dr. Shai Held is a theologian, scholar, and educator and one of the most in demand Jewish teachers of his generation. Rabbi Shai Held–theologian, scholar, and educator–is President, Dean, and Chair in Jewish Thought at Hadar, where he also directs the Center for Jewish Leadership and Ideas. Previously, he served for six years as Scholar-in-Residence at Kehilat Hadar in New York City, and taught both theology and Halakhah at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He also served as Director of Education at Harvard Hillel.  A 2011 recipient of the prestigious Covenant Award for excellence in Jewish education, he holds a doctorate in religion from Harvard; his main academic interests are in modern Jewish and Christian thought, in biblical theology, and in the history of Zionism. Rabbi Held's first book, Abraham Joshua Heschel: The Call of Transcendence, was published by Indiana University Press in 2013; The Heart of Torah, a collection of essays on the Torah in two volumes, was published by JPS in 2017.

Update this content.

Update this content.

On Thursday evening March 26, 7:45pm 
“Love Your Neighbor”
No words in the Torah are better known than "love your neighbor as yourself" and no words are generally seen as more significant. And yet for all its manifest centrality in Jewish spirituality and ethics, the precise meaning of the verse is actually quite elusive. What does it mean to "love" your neighbor? Does the Torah command our emotions as well as our actions? Given emotions can't be controlled, can they even be commanded at all?
 

 

On Friday evening March 27, 8pm following a communal Shabbat dinner, Rabbi Held will speak about:
“The Gifts of God Flow Through You”
Register for Shabbat dinner here
In this session, Dr. Held will explore the connection between grace, gratitude, and generosity of spirit and think together with us about how they animate (or should animate) our religious lives. We’ll think through the idea that we are not meant to rest content with being recipients of God’s gifts but are asked to become givers ourselves. God’s gifts are meant to flow through us, and not just to us.
In this session, Dr. Held will explore the connection between grace, gratitude, and generosity of spirit and think together with us about how they animate (or should animate) our religious lives. We’ll think through the idea that we are not meant to rest content with being recipients of God’s gifts but are asked to become givers ourselves. God’s gifts are meant to flow through us, and not just to us.
 

Update this content.

Finally, on Shabbat afternoon March 28, 12:30pm following a communal Shabbat lunch, Dr. Held will speak about: “The God of Judaism is a God of Love”
RSVP for lunch here
It is one of the last acceptable prejudices in American culture: the God of the "Old Testament" is a God of vengeance, focused on strict justice rather than mercy, given to anger rather than love. This perception is as mistaken as it is widespread. In this session, we'll encounter a series of biblical texts that make the stunning claim that what makes God unique, what makes God God, is God's unfathomable capacity for love, mercy, and forgiveness. We'll explore the common complaint that a God of love is (too) anthropomorphic, and we'll ask whether belief in a God of love is still plausible in this day and age.

 

Tue, February 18 2020 23 Shevat 5780