(PAST) Wednesday, September 14, 2016, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM,

Hillel at Temple University, Edward H. Rosen Center for Jewish Life, 1441 Norris Street Philadelphia, PA 19121.

Colleagues prepared themselves for the High Holidays (and got sermon/discussion/teaching ideas for congregations/students/clients/patients).

After the learning, a kosher, MEAT was served.

In this session, we explored the deeper work of teshuvah, going deep inside and trying to shape who we are as human beings.  Three core questions-themes were discussed:

  1. Why people don’t change, and how we could—What are the obstacles are to deep and lasting transformation and how might we overcome them;
  2. Embodying the hesed we pray for—What is the posture we need to adopt in order to give or receive mercy? (And how are these two things intertwined?)
  3. Working on our character and not just our actions—How and why does Maimonides place character at the very center of Jewish life, so that we don’t just need to act kindly, for example, but we also have to grow kinder.

Rabbi Shai Held—theologian, scholar, and educator—is Co-Founder, Dean and Chair in Jewish Thought at Mechon Hadar, where he also directs the Center for Jewish Leadership and Ideas. Previously, he served for six years as Scholar-in-Residence at Kehilat Hadar in New York City, and taught both theology and Halakha at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He also served as Director of Education at Harvard Hillel. A 2011 recipient of the prestigious Covenant Award for excellence in Jewish education, Rabbi Held has been named multiple times to Newsweek’s list of the 50 most influential rabbis in America. He holds a doctorate in religion from Harvard; his main academic interests are in modern Jewish and Christian thought, in biblical theology, and in the history of Zionism. Rabbi Held’s first book, Abraham Joshua Heschel: The Call of Transcendence, was published by Indiana University Press in 2013; his next book, The Heart of Torah, a collection of essays on the Torah in two volumes, is due out next year.

Email Abby at AWeinberg@BorPhillly.org for more information.

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