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Chassidut & Kabbala

A Meditation on Miracles, March 31 & April 7

Join us for a seminar on the nature of miracles; past and present. We will explore the levels of the miracles in Egypt and today, their personal relevance, their historical significance, and meditate on how we can bring miracles into our lives today. This seminar promises to enhance all faith in both past present and future miracles for each individual Jew and the Jewish People as a whole. 
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Chasidic thought on the concept of Teshuva

If you were a Chassidic Master what would you say about the concept of Teshuva? Journey through the writings of Rav Nachman, Rav Tzadok, the B'nei Yisaschar and others and discover who were more radical and who more mainstream in their approach.

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Chassidic Masters on the Seasonal Holidays

When we make the Torah personal it often transforms itself into a more  meaningful element in our lives. This is especially true when seeing it through the eyes of Chassidic texts such as the Kedushat Levy, Meor Aynayim, and B'nai Yissachar. The thought of these Chassidic masters make for material that is both inspiring, and challenging.  In this class we will study texts related to Chanukah, Tu B'shevat and Purim.
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Creation Story

According to the mystical teachings of Kabbala, Adam and Eve were created in in Gan Eden and travelled to Har Habayit (Temple Mount) in Jerusalem. The Zohar teaches that they were created from the Mountain itself when God formed the first man/woman combination through divinely empowered speech. How did the "first family" developed? What were its achievements and disappointments? How are these teachings reflected in the month of the High Holy Days?
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Creation Story: Am Yisrael

In this course we will delve deeper into the creation of Am Yisrael and the 70 Nations. We will explore the damage and the repair to the upper and lower worlds, and  the struggle between holiness and the unholy. We will attempt to understand how the Creation Story is still on its road to restoration and redemption, reaching towards its culmination in our time.
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Go Beyond: Chasidic Masters on Pesach, March 30 & April 6

Prepare some words of Torah to share at your Passover Seder by delving deep into the works of both well-known and more obscure Chasidic scholars.
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Go Beyond: Chasidic Masters on Purim, March 16

Beyond the Alcohol: We will engage in study of some of the more well-known Chasidic masters, as well as some more obscure scholars, to prepare you with plenty of Torah to share at your Purim seuda.
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Halell HaGadol: The Fifth Cup, March 27 & April 3

The Fifth Cup and Hallel HaGadol as elucidated in Maharal's Gevurot HaShem. In this course we will specifically explore Maharal's analysis of the culminating latter part of the Seder, including Birkat HaMazon (Third Cup), Hallel (Fourth Cup) and lastly, the Hallel HaGadol which is the Fifth Cup. Maharal beautifully portrays the transition within the Seder from historic narrative to recognition and appreciation of being Am Yisrael, and finally, to the most joyous, ecstatic outpouring of Thanksgiving existing within the entire body of Jewish liturgy.
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Hassidic Lessons on the Weekly Parsha from Shem Mishmuel

Join us as we explore and learn the weekly Torah portion from the perspective of the Shem Mishmuel, Rabbi Shmuel Bornsztain. His work is considered a major work in Hassidic thought.
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Intimacy in the Bible in Light of Kabbala

In this course we will examine the conduct and misconduct surrounding intimacy in various episodes in the Torah from the viewpoint of Kabbala. We will see how Kabbala explains these events, and how the events are still playing out in human affairs even to this day.
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Jewish Meditation Workshop – Mid-Winter Course

Our goal is to aquaint ourselves with Jewish meditation from the perspective of the kabbala and the prophets, as a tool for attaching the soul to its highest (and safest level), each person according to his ability.  What that actually means will be discussed in depth. The shiur will take place on Thursdays at 10.00 pm Israel time / 3.00 pm US Eastern time December 30th, 2010 January 6th & 13th, 2011
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Lessons on the Weekly Parsha from Ohr HaChaim

Join us as we explore and learn the weekly Torah portion from the perspective of the Ohr HaChaim, Ḥayyim ben Moshe ibn Attar.
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Maharal’s “Pathways of the World”

The Maharal of Prague's unique perspective on Jewish thought had great influence on some of the major modern movements in Jewish life, especially modern Chasidut, and Rav Kook. When learning the Chasidic masters one feels the Maharal lurking in the background. "Netivot Olam", "Pathways to the World" is a wonderful introduction to his approach to understanding the relationship of Torah to Mitzvot between people.
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Maharal’s Tiferet Yisrael

In what way is the Jewish people the Chosen Nation? What does it mean to be "chosen"? Chosen for what? The Maharal's "Tiferet Yisrael" provides a set of answers through its philosophical exposition showing how the Torah rests upon the unique nature of the Jewish people's chosenness.
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Mini Series: Jewish Meditation Workshop, May 5

This class is no longer in session. To access the archives, please see below. Our goal is to aquaint ourselves with Jewish meditation from the perspective of the kabbala and the prophets, as a tool for attaching the soul to its highest (and safest level), each person according to his ability.  What that actually means will be discussed in depth. The shiur took  place on Thursdays at 9.00 pm Israel time / 2.00 pm US Eastern time April 7th & 14th May 5th & 12th
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Purim Medidtation, March 17

"ונהפחהו" Who Turns Over Whom? In an up-side-down world, what's right-side-up? Who is controlling whom? A meditation to enter beyond limitations, to train the mind to see that good and evil can only be a part of a greater good. And the hiding of the greater good creates the miracle of choice, our humanity, and the secret of Purim.
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Rebbe Nachman’s Masterpiece of Chassidus

In this course we will learn Rebbe Nachman's Masterpiece of Chassidut, Likutei Moharan, in which we will explore some of the basic Lurianic Kabbalistic foundations upon which the creative genius of Rebbe Nachman's system of personal Tikun is built having as its ultimate objective nothing less than the perception and connection to Hashem. For the previous classes in this course, please click here.
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Revealing the Hidden in Megillat Esther, March 15

The word ‘Megilla’- from the same Hebrew root as "giluy" refers to revealing something. The name of the heroine of the Megilla, Esther, comes from the same Hebrew root as "hester" or concealment. With that in mind, is Purim about revealing or about concealing?
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The Baal Shem Tov: Kabbalah for the People

Join us this semester as we explore the hidden mysteries of the Ba'al Shem Tov, ​founding leader of Hassidut, as we explore ​his teachings on prayer and devukut that hasten the Redemption for the individual and the Nation, popular Kabbalah and Kavanna, and his messianic doctrine.​
 
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The Bamidbar Narratives Chassidic Style

Even though it is the first two books of the Torah that steal most of the glory, the narratives in Bamidbar have some of the most enigmatic messages. Why was Moshe punished so severely? Why was Korach's challenge to Moshe considered so evil? What's with Bilam and the talking donkey? As always, the Chassidic Masters create a meta-narrative that challenges sometimes conventional understanding, but enhances our appreciation for Torah's seventy faces.
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The Meaning of Freedom: Rav Shagar on Pesach, March 27 & April 3

We will explore the concept of freedom through the teachings of Rav Shagar. Rav Shimon Gershon Rosenberg zt"l (known to the Israeli public as "Rav Shagar") was a creative Rosh Yeshiva and writer. He combined in his essays classic Hassidic ideas with modern values and arrived at original interpretations of the mitzvot.
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The Meaning of Happiness: Rav Shagar on Purim, March 13 & 20

We will study the ideas of Rav Shagar on the holiday of Purim, and explore what it means to be happy. Rav Shimon Gershon Rosenberg zt"l (known to the Israeli public as "Rav Shagar") was a creative Rosh Yeshiva and writer. He combined in his essays classic Hassidic ideas with modern values and arrived at original interpretations of the mitzvot.
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The Mechanics of Teshuva

At face value Teshuva in general, and on Yom Kippur in particular, is a magical gift bestowed on the Jewish people. It is an incredibly generous gesture from the Holy One that seems to undermine our understanding of reward and punishment. Much effort has been devoted to explain how the mechanism of teshuva operates within the idea that we are responsible for our actions, and that although reward for Mitzvot is not expunged, somehow it is not the same for our sins. Some Midrash, and much Chassidut will be used to explore these issues.
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The Self – Healing Universe: Meditations according to the kabbalah

Can our own thoughts change the universe? How does our choice to do teshuvah on a daily basis affect the world and the people around us.
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What Kind of Freedom is Pesach About? April 5

In many ways the cleaning and cooking preparations for Pesach make it one of the most labor-intensive and potentially stressful times of the year for Jews. That said, how can we seriously call Pesch "Zman Heruteinu" -the time of our freedom?
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Women in the Zohar

In this course we will examine the mystical significance of women in Kabbalah and the redemption of the individual and society. We will explore the Zohar's treatment of many great women throughout Biblical history including Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel, Leah, and Esther. Then we will continue with the songs of the prophetesses:  Miriam, Serach, Chana, Devora, Ruth, Naomi, BatSheva. We will talk about hearing God's voice through women, and the redeeming of man through woman.
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Zohar and the Fathers: The Creation of the Divine Archetype Personality

The Avot through the eyes of the Zohar; the archetypal personalities that became the "Merkava" of Hashem, expressions of God's providence, and the revelation of the intimate structure of the worlds, which over time became the basis for all traditions of Kabbalah, the theoretical as well as the practical and meditative.
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