Monday, October 15, 2012
Have you ever wondered what it means to be a Conservative Jew? Or, for that matter, to belong to a Conservative synagogue? If you have, you're not alone!
It's with that question in mind that the Rabbinical Assembly just published a massive, one volume response entitled, The Observant Life. I believe that this book is a must-own for every Conservative Jew. It will be discussed (often heatedly) for a generation.
THIS THURSDAY from 7-8 PM, I am beginning a ten session course designed to introduce this book to the congregation. CLICK HERE FOR THE TABLE OF CONTENTS AND A SAMPLE CHAPTER ON ISRAEL. As you'll see, there are literally hundreds of chapters and sub-headings covering every imaginable aspect of life, from kashrut to infertility to personal integrity. The class will determine which of these chapters we will cover during our sessions. Each session will be self-contained, so it is OK to miss a few.
At this Thursday's session, we will spend some time on the Israel chapter AS WELL AS THE CHAPTER ON CITIZENSHIP - PLEASE DOWNLOAD AND READ BEFORE CLASS. This chapter is particularly relevant at a time when everyone is discussing the nature of American democracy as we lurch toward November. It brings up crucial subjects like the separation of church and state, freedom of the press and freedom of speech. Is traditional Judaism compatible with democracy as we know it? Is it a mitzvah to vote?
Here's a special offer from your rabbi! Sample Thursday's session for free and then decide whether to buy the book and sign up for the rest of the class. Given the importance of this topic, I don't want anyone to miss out! For those who wish to register in advance, contact email@example.com. The $50 ($75 per couple) cost includes the book, plus other materials I'll be preparing.
Of course, I think all of the book's topics are important, which is why I'm confident that we'll have a big registration and lots of copies of "The Observant Life" finding their way to congregants' night tables.
See you Thursday!
Rabbi Joshua Hammerman
(BTW, a number of people have asked me to respond to some of the controversial statements made by our recent Hoffman lecturer. I believe this chapter forms part of a response to the question of whether "tikkun olam" (world repair) is an inherently Jewish value. I believe it is - and strongly disagree with some of her claims. If people want to discuss that on Thursday night, it will fit in nicely with the topic)