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Beth Am Welcomes Our 2023 Saxe Scholar-In-Residence, Rabbi Dr. Jay Michaelson

Past Sessions
Saturday, October 21, 2023 6 Cheshvan 5784 - 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM - Beit Kehillah & Livestream
Saturday, October 21, 2023 6 Cheshvan 5784 - 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM - Beit Kehillah & Zoom
Friday, October 20, 2023 5 Cheshvan 5784 - 6:15 PM - 7:30 PM - Service in the Sanctuary* & Livestreamed; Dinner to Follow in the Social Hall

Please note: the program with our Saxe Family Scholar-in-Residence Rabbi Dr. Jay Michaelson has been modified to address the current war in Israel. Scroll down for updated topics for his teaching sessions.

Rabbi Dr. Jay Michaelson works at the intersection of politics, law and contemplative practice. He is the author of ten books and over three hundred articles, including several books about meditation, spirituality, Jewish theology and mysticism. Rabbi Michaelson is an affiliated assistant professor at Chicago Theological Seminary and a visiting fellow at the Center for LGBTQ & Gender Studies in Religion, where he teaches and writes about religion and sexuality, law and religion, and Jewish theology and mysticism. He holds a Ph.D. from Hebrew University and a J.D. from Yale Law School.

We will have several opportunities to learn from Rabbi Dr. Jay Michaelson over the weekend:

  • JEWISH PRACTICES OF RESILIENCE IN CRISIS
    Friday, October 20, 6:15 PM, Sanctuary* & Livestream

    Rabbi Michaelson will speak during our Erev Shabbat service. Unexpectedly, Jews around the world are experiencing intense anguish, and Israel’s prime minister is warning us to be prepared for a long and bitter war — and this on top of an already daunting mental health crisis in America. And yet, Jewish culture, religion, and spirituality have, alas, a lot of experience with crisis. This evening, we’ll explore some of the practices of resilience that Judaism has developed over the centuries, and how they might be employed today in our own personal and communal lives.

    DINNER & DISCUSSION
    Following the Erev Shabbat service, there will be a dinner and discussion with Rabbi Dr. Jay Michaelson in the Social Hall. Proceeds from the dinner will support our sister congregations in Ukraine. 
    Register for the dinner by Tuesday, October 17.

  • THE JEWISH LAW OF WAR
    Saturday, October 21, 9:00-10:00 AM, Beit Kehillah, Zoom (link, can be found in Links to this Week's Events) & Livestreamed at betham.org/streaming (watch in the window marked "Beit Kehillah")

    Rabbi Michaelson will teach during Torah Study. With Israel now at war, it’s worth looking at traditional Jewish laws at war, both in the Torah and as they were modified by generations of ambivalent rabbis. Warning: neither doves nor hawks will be satisfied with what we will learn together, as there are many layers and voices within our tradition. But precisely in those tensions and ambivalences, we’ll find some profound moral and practical questions to explore.
     
  • THE GATE OF TEARS: PAINFUL EMOTIONS AND THE SPIRITUAL PATH
    Saturday, October 21, 3:30-5:00 PM, Beit Kehillah* & Livestream

    “Even when the gates of prayer are closed, the gates of tears are open.”  So says the Talmud (and Leonard Cohen) and so experience shows: when the heart is broken, it is also the most open. How might we work with difficult emotions (our own and others’) that can accept and transform our grief into holiness? And how does living in this way interface with our real lives of relationship, family and tikkun olam?

Beth Am's scholar-in-residence weekend is made possible by the Saxe Family Scholar-in-Residence Endowment Fund, created by George (z”l) and Dorothy Saxe.

*These programs will be live video streamed. By entering the Sanctuary you give Beth Am permission to record you.

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Tue, April 16 2024 8 Nisan 5784