Is the Torah true?

May 27, 2010

One of the most common questions I am asked: Is the Torah true?  Did it happen?  Our liberal Jewish community is compelled to seek meaning in the Torah and understand it as sacred text.  Yet, we don’t want to check our brains at the door or ignore biblical scholarship. 

One important way to discover the truths of Torah is through biblical archaeology.  Join us on that journey next Shabbat, Friday June 4, 8:00 pm, when our Helen O. Sellers Memorial lecturer Professor Elizabeth Bloch-Smith adresses these issue with her talk: “Not Your Grandparents’ Judaism: Faith and 21st Century Biblical Scholarship.”  Click here to learn about Professor Bloch-Smith’s archaeological work in Israel.

Grace After Meals: Birkat HaMazon

May 6, 2010

Why is the blessing before a meal so short, and the blessing after, so long? Why don’t we spend the time thanking God before we eat the food? Because, we’re hungry! At our Shavuot Night of Study, we’ll focus our learning on Birkat HaMazon: Grace After Meals.  Want to do some extra preparation?  To review and listen to Birkat HaMazon, click here and choose “Birkat HaMazon, short version” and it’s introduction used on Shabbat: “Shir HaMaalot”  in the right hand column.  Or, just join us for our Night of Study on Tues., May 18, 7:00-9:00 pm.  Biblically, Shavuot celebrates the harvest of the wheat.  So this Shavuot, study the way Jews have, for generations, thanked God for such bounty. We will discuss the meaning and commentary of the Birkat HaMazon/Grace After Meals, and then we will learn how to chant it together.  Join us for this annual tradition of study, as we prepare to receive the Torah once again on Shavuot!