Intro to Judaism Class Materials

 Introduction to Judaism with Rabbi Marc L. Disick DD

Curriculum

October 26, 2011-February 22, 2012

Larchmont Temple, Larchmont, New York

 

Your decision to take this journey marks the beginning of a road that will take us through 3,500 years of Jewish Peoplehood.  Each generation of Jews believed that life’s meaning comes through grappling with life’s hardest questions.  Judaism’s tradition represents a fearless odyssey through time and space, through study and food and song, each generation asserting that life itself is a sacred gift, given by a force that wants us to be here.   Here are a few notes:

 

  All handouts, including this one, are available for download. Click on the link at the very bottom to get to the page where you may select and download class materials.

  Each participating student is required to participate in a class snack rotation.  A snack break is critical to the success of our learning experience!

  Tzedakah will be collected at each class.  The class will determine its recipient. 

  Please notify me of absences via my e-mail address.  I worry.

  Students will participate in offering insights about a particular week’s Torah Portion.  That rotation will begin about halfway through our calendar.

  Each assignment in the grid below is written in the row of the due date, except for journal entries which are due by the preceding Monday by 6pm.

  When deciphering abbreviations in the homework section below: FG=Finding God, RS=Resource Sheet found in IJ which is short for Introduction to Judaism.  When IJ is listed the topic as listed below correlates directly with the chapter title in IJ.  HO=Handout, Pick-a-Recipe will be our Jewish food festival, and Living Museum allows us to discuss creating our own Jewish sacred objects, more on both later.

  Transliterations of the Torah portions begin with the second Torah portion on p. IX in your Tanakh

  Let the wild rumpus start.

 

 

 

Date

Guiding Question

Topic

Journal Question

Snack

Torah Portion and Darshanim

Homework in

Preparation

for this Session

1

 

October 26

What is Jewish time and space?

What is Judaism?

 

 

Noach

 

2

November 2

Can a text be sacred?

Judaism’s Core Writings

To you, what does it mean to give your word? 

 

Lech-Lecha

FG Ch. 1,

3

November 9

Does God have ears?

The Meaning of Jewish Prayer

What does it mean to be a spiritual person?

 

Vayera

RS 100

4

November 16

Where does evil come from?

The Holocaust

What are your thoughts about evil?

 

Chayei Sara

RS 127, 131

5

November 30

How do time and space unite in Jewish Holidays?

Passover

Shavuot

Sukkot

Share some of your most precious childhood memories around ritual.

 

Toldot

IJ

6

December 7

What is a palace in time?

Shabbat

When do you feel most listened to?  Cherished?

 

Vayetzei

IJ I&II,

7

December 9 (Friday)

Shabbat Dinner

Location TBA

 

 

Vayishlach

Shabbat Living

Museum

8

December 15

What makes a home a Jewish home?

Marriage, Relationships, Divorce, Parenting

What’s the difference between a house and a home?

 

Vayeshev

JH 16, 17

9

December 21

44?**

Chanukah

What fights are worth fighting?

 

Miketz

RS 16-19

 

December 28

No Class

 

 

 

Vayigash

 

10

January 4

How, what and when do (and don’t) Jews eat?

Why food and our relationship to it is sacred

What do food and faith have to do with one another?

 

Vayechi

Pick-a-Recipe

11

January 11

Why is there no furniture in the nursery?

Birth & the Jewish Home

What does it mean to have a covenant with a Higher Power?

 

Shemot

FG.Ch 7,

12

January 18

Must I fill the grave?

Death and how we learn to live with loss

What are your views on death and dying?

 

Vaera

RS 31, HO,

13

January 25

Why do two Jews require three synagogues?

What is Shishlick*

Jewish Denominationalism

Israel & Zionism

What are some of the largest differences between what you feel and what you think?

How do you connect to Israel?

 

Bo

RS 93-95

RS 117-122

14

February 1

Is God’s name Phil?

Jewish Theology

Discuss an example of wonderment in your life?

 

Beshalach

FG, Ch. 11,

15

February 8

What’s beneath the surface?

The Psycho/Social Elements of Jewish Life

Discuss a surprise you discovered or did not expect on this journey.

 

Yitro

 

16

February 15

Why does the self requires repair?

The High Holy Days

To whom are you accountable in the most serious way imaginable?

 

Mishpatim

IJ

Rosh HaShanah

and Yom Kippur

17

February 22

Why is the world’s mess my responsibility?

The Meaning of Choseness

What are your thoughts on randomness, fate and free will?

 

Terumah

FG 10

18

Febuary 29

Why is choosing Judaism a choice for Jews too?

Conversion

What did you discover?

 

 

IJ

 

 

*Shishlick is a roasted lamb delicacy unique to the Middle East, exquisitely if unceremoniously served throughout Israel.

 

** There are 44 candles in a box of Chankah Candles.

 

***The answer may be found by listening to Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner’s classic: The 2000 Year Old Man