Give your Judaism the intellection it deserves as you discuss and debate the most quizzical, controversial, and seemingly-unanswerable questions about Jewish belief and practice.

No religion is known for its rational basis and its welcoming of questions and intellectual debate quite like Judaism. As Jews we understand that curiosity is the greatest impetus for learning, and that our propensity to question is what propels us to constantly explore new ideas and discover new insights. Nowhere is this more apparent than in The Jewish Course of Why.

In preparing for this course, we asked 30,000 people for their biggest questions about Judaism. We selected the most popular among them and addressed each one with resonant insights from the greatest minds in Jewish history.

The Jewish Course of Why spans a diverse range of topics, from fun, light, and off-the-beaten-track questions, to more complex and controversial issues. Ever wondered why there are so many Jews in Hollywood? Why Jews eat gefilte fish and cholent and wish each other mazal tov and l’chaim? Why the Bible sanctions slavery and animal sacrifices? What is the cause of antisemitism? What does Judaism say about Christianity? About the role of women in Jewish life? You will also gain insight into mysterious Jewish practices, strange biblical narratives, and enigmas of Jewish identity.

Join us for Six Tuesday
Starting Tuesday, October 24th,
5:30-6:30pm

Location:
40 Fulton Street
The Main Conference Room
New York, NY 10038

Fee:
$36 (textbook included)
Join the first class free (with no obligation to continue. Please RSVP).

For more information:
Call: 212-335-0613
Email: info@theJLE.com

 

Dr. Lawrence H. Schiffman
Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies;
Director, Global Network for Advanced Research in Jewish Studies, NYU

This course will provide participants with a deep understanding of numerous traditional Jewish practices and customs and their historical context, and should greatly increase their appreciation for the unending intellectual quest that is a major part of Jewish life.

Dr. Lisa Aiken
International Lecturer, Psychologist, Author of 11 Books

I wish that such courses had existed when I started learning about Judaism. What a wonderful way for beginners as well as people with much background to expand their knowledge of Judaism.

Michael Medved
Nationally Syndicated Talk Radio Host

This exciting and substantive course will provide a more fulfilling perspective, answering the troubling questions that many of us are reluctant to even ask.

 

Here are some sample questions that will be addressed:

Why have the Jews outlasted so many other groups of people throughout history?
Why is the Star of David a Jewish symbol?
Why are there so many Jews in Hollywood?
Why do some Jews say they are the “chosen people”?
Is this not chauvinistic?
Why is the Land of Israel important to the Jews?
Why would anyone want to remain Jewish after so much suffering throughout the ages?
Why does Halachah decide the Jewishness of a child solely on the lineage of its mother and not its father?
Why doesn’t Jewish law have provisions for someone who desires to convert out of Judaism?
Why doesn’t Judaism seek converts?
Why are eggs Pareve, when the chickens that make the eggs are not?
Why aren’t vegan foods automatically kosher?
Why does Judaism have so many rules?
Why is it caught up with details?
Why does the Talmud prescribe different requirements for men and women?
Why does Judaism place emphasis on praying with a congregation?
Shouldn’t prayer be a personal experience?
Why do we say Kaddish after someone passes away?
Why do we pray?
Doesn’t God know what He is doing?
Do we think we can change His mind?
Why am I responsible for my actions if God knows what I will do in advance?
Why doesn’t God respond to my requests?
Why are we born with inclinations that we are forbidden to act upon?
Why don’t Jews accept Jesus?
Why does the Bible instruct us to “fear” God?
Isn’t fear a negative emotion?
If the miraculous stories in the Bible are to be taken literally, why are there no such miracles today?
Why did Moses have a stutter?
Why does the Bible call for animal sacrifice?
Isn’t it inhumane and violent?
Why is slavery sanctioned by the Torah?
Why do we say “Mazal Tov”?
Why do Jews follow a lunar calendar?
Why do some Jews eat Gefilte fish and Chulent?
Why do we place pebbles on a headstone?
Why do we light candles on a Yahrtzeit?
Why do some Jews sway when they pray?
Why do some people hold up a little finger when the Torah is lifted?
Why do Jews toast with “Lechaim”?