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Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Pill - Shari'ah: A Jewish Primer on Islamic Law

Shari'ah: A Jewish Primer on Islamic Law With Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Pill (Recorded at the Intown Jewish Academy on Saturday night, November 17, 2018) Using the familiar concepts, ethos, and language of Jewish law, we explore the sources, methods, and dynamics of Islamic law. This is a compelling primer on Shari’ah law through the lens of Judaism. Rabbi Dr. Shlomo C. Pill is a Professor at the Candler School of Theology, and a Senior Fellow at The Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory...


Decoding the Universe - 4 - The Precariousness of Being

Decoding the Universe - Part 4 "The Precariousness of Being" (Recorded at the Intown Jewish Academy on November 18, 2018) To be or not to be? That is the question philosophers have struggled with throughout the ages. Is the nature of existence to exist, or to not exist? The Kabbalists are very certain about this. Non-existence is our natural state. And the fact of our existence s the biggest mystery -- and miracle -- of all. In this breathtaking session of Kabbalah & Coffee we study the...


Decoding the Universe - 3 - Fall of a Tzaddik

Decoding the Universe - Part 3 "Fall of a Tzaddik" (Recorded at the Intown Jewish Academy on November 4, 2018) Even the mighty can tumble. None of us are too big to fail. And sometimes, the higher they are, the lower they fall. The real question is: after you've stumbled, do you have what it takes to get back up? In this session of Kabbalah & Coffee we explore the world of mishap and discuss what it takes to hold on when the road get slippery.


Larger Than Life - Lesson 1 - Privacy

Larger Than Life - Lesson 1 "Privacy" With Mrs. Dena Schusterman (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on November 12, 2018) In today’s age of constant broadcasting and self-broadcasting via social media, the borders of privacy have grown befuddled. In a world where all is bared and none is barred, it is difficult to strike the right balance. Moreover, we inhabit a world in which computers track every stroke, a “forward” option beckons in each email, and high-res cameras peek from...


Wrestling with Faith - Lesson 3

A Higher Paradigm How G-d's Paradigm Informs Our Values (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on November 15, 2018) The Torah seems to ignore foundational cornerstones of Western society: it appears to compromise human freedom and tightly govern the way people live, and seemingly does not treat people equally. How can we understand Torah’s relevance in today’s day and age? Is it simply outdated and out of touch? Would we be foolish to even attempt to reconcile the Torah with modern...


Torah Studies 5779 - 6 - Vayeitzei(A Red Line Is a Red Line)

A Red Line Is a Red Line Finding the Internal Courage to Erect Moral Boundaries (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on November 14, 2018) On that fateful night on a mountaintop, as Jacob dreamed, the entire Land of Israel folded beneath him. The reason? It was a harbinger of his descendants’ future conquest of the Land. Harbingers aside, what is the reason G-d fashioned such a fantastic miracle? For pure sentiment? It turns out that this sentiment is a key component in crafting the...


Wrestling with Faith - Lesson 2

Meeting G-d's Needs What G-d Thinks of You (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on November 8, 2018) G-d's requests of humankind seem incredibly demanding. Why would a supposedly loving G-d complicate our lives with intrusive instructions? Moreover, can either you or your actions matter to an infinite G-d? This lesson explored the purpose of the universe to discover why G-d needs you and your mitzvot.


Torah Studies 5779 - 5 - Toldot (Your Two Cents)

Your Two Cents A Little Effort is Worth a Lot of Impact (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on November 7, 2018) We dream of a future Temple that will herald in the messianic era. Have you every stopped to think about who will get the contractor bid for the project? Conflicting accounts across the Talmudic discipline paint a hazy picture: Some say it'll come down from Heaven prefab. Others say Jerusalem Contractors, Inc., will be formed. So which one is it? The answer will tell you a...


Dr. Efraim Zuroff - Tales of a Nazi Hunter

Tales of a Nazi Hunter With Dr. Efraim Zuroff (Recorded at the Intown Jewish Academy on Monday, November 5, 2018) Dr. Efraim Zuroff is driven by a single purpose: justice. The chief Nazi hunter of the Simon Wiesenthal Center details his commitment to bringing Holocaust perpetrators before prosecutors. Brace yourself for his story and a behind-the-scenes look at how Nazis are caught and put on trial 70 years after their crimes.


Decoding the Universe - 2 - Two Meditations

Decoding the Universe - Part 2 "Two Meditations" (Recorded at the Intown Jewish Academy on October 28, 2018) G-d is within all. G-d is without all. These are two primary Kabbalistic meditations. Meditations that stir the heart to love and be in awe of G-d. When life gets overwhelming, when the noise becomes unbearable, each of us can find serenity and sublimity in the space of Divine awareness. In this session of Kabbalah & Coffee we work through two powerful meditations taught in the second...


Torah Studies 5779 - 4 - Chayei Sarah (Making Every Day Count)

Making Every Day Count Sarah’s Blueprint for Meaningful Living (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on October 31, 2018) The Torah describes Sarah as beautiful and wise, and above all, her “days were complete.” Are your days complete? What does that mean anyway? And whatever it does mean, what’s the magic bullet that enlivens every day to be “complete?” A tour through a host of Chassidic ideas uncovers the answer to this important question.


Wrestling with Faith - Lesson 4

Finding Comfort Seeing G-d Through the Blinding Pain (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on October 30, 2018) When tragedy strikes, where is G-d? Our suffering feels like abandonment. We seek relief and assurance of His presence, and instead, we find loneliness and silence. What does Judaism offer as a response to and relief from life's difficulties? How do we relate to a G-d Who appears to be uncaring and feels so distant?


Wrestling with Faith - Lesson 1

First Impressions Redefining G-d (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on October 25, 2018) As we mature, our understanding of nuanced topics matures too. For many of us, however, our conception of G-d has not evolved much much beyond what it was when we were in Hebrew School. If we want to have a relationship with G-d, we need to know: Who is He really? Who is He not? And how is He relevant to our lives?


Torah Studies 5779 - 3 - Vayeira (Be My Guest)

Be My Guest Hospitality at the Next Level (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on October 24, 2018) So you think you’re a great host, right? You probably are, and the detailed account of Abraham’s hospitality is here to up your game. A detailed look at the behavior of our generous forefather reveals that hospitality is a whole lot more than simply opening your home -- get ready to become a therapist too!


Decoding the Universe - 1 - The Why of Existence

Decoding the Universe - Part 1 "The Why of Existence" (Recorded at the Intown Jewish Academy on October 21, 2018) "Decoding the Universe" is a daring Kabbalah series that addresses the biggest questions about the universe and reality. Explore the fabric of the universe through some of the most celebrated teachings of Kabbalah, contained in the book of Tanya, known as the "bible" of Jewish mysticism. Learn about matter, consciousness, time, space, and reality, while studying the Kabbalistic...


Torah Studies 5779 - 2 - Lech Lecha (Be an Influencer)

Be an Influencer! The Best Defense Is Offense (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on October 17, 2018) “No one will ever change the way I think and act!” said no one, ever. The fact is that our environment has a tremendous impact on shaping who we are, and to think that you will remain completely unaffected by your surroundings is wishful thinking. So, what to do if you find yourself in sundry situations? Discover the wisdom embedded in Abraham’s first test and what it tells the...


The King Is In The Field - 9 - Priorities

The King Is In The Field - Part 9 "Priorities" (Recorded at the Intown Jewish Academy on October 14, 2018) There are many important things in our lives. Some are the most important. Those we call "priorities." But identifying and truly prioritizing our priorities is not always so easy. In this session of Kabbalah & Coffee, we explore spiraling dimensions of priorities, and discover mystical wisdom for putting what's most important first.


Mrs. Rivkah Slonim - Four Kabbalistic Secrets to Enrich Your Relationships

Four Kabbalistic Secrets to Enrich Your Relationships With Mrs. Rivkah Slonim (Recorded at the Intown Jewish Academy on Thursday, October 11, 2018) Mrs. Rivkah Slonim is the education director at the Rohr Chabad Center for Jewish Student Life and a lecturer on Jewish Medical Ethics at Binghamton University. A self-described “Chassidic Feminist,” she lectures internationally on the intersection of Jewish observance and contemporary life. She is the author and editor of "Total Immersion: A...


The King Is In The Field - 8 - Spiritual Assault

The King Is In The Field - Part 8 "Spiritual Assault" (Recorded at the Intown Jewish Academy on October 7, 2018) In discussing the Jewish laws of crime and punishment, the Torah describes a horrific scenario where a young woman is assaulted by a man in a secluded area -- an area where no one hears her cries. The Torah then proceeds to details the punishment due to the assailant. In addition to the plain meaning of these verses, the Torah also speaks of spiritual realities. This, in fact, is...


Torah Studies 5779 - 1 - Noach (The Flood Song)

The Flood Song Shattering the Past to Grow to the Future (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on October 10, 2018) The imagery of the flood is downright terrifying: dark, raging waters pummeling Earth for forty days straight, eradicating everything in its wake. Yet, surprisingly, the Midrash sees this turbulent event as a serene song of praise to G-d. What does this dramatically divergent perspective tell us about the tumultuous breakdowns in our own lives? Sail the high sea of Noah’s...