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Decoding the Universe - 10 - Divine Personalities

Decoding the Universe - Part 10 "Divine Personalities" With Rabbi Ari Sollish (Recorded at the Intown Jewish Academy on January 13, 2019) Human beings have different personalities. The Talmud sums it up thus: "Just as two faces are not alike, so are two personalities not alike." Truth be told, each of us individually possesses multiple personalities. We have moments of kindness and moments of severity, moments of ambition and moments of humility. Seeing as we human beings have been created...


Larger Than Life - Lesson 3 - Charity

Larger Than Life - Lesson 3 "Charity" With Mrs. Dena Schusterman (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on January 7, 2019) All people are not created equal -- monetarily, that is. For a host of reasons, some controllable, others not, some human beings are financially better off than their fellows. One of the ways we narrow the divide is through charity, which has always been a quintessential Jewish value. It is well established that Jews give to charitable causes in remarkably lopsided...


Torah Studies 5779 - 14 - Bo (Breaking Norms)

Breaking Norms Challenging Yourself to Touch Another With Rabbi Ari Sollish (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on January 9, 2019) The Four Questions feature prominently in the collective Jewish imagination. While these questions have been chanted for millennia, fewer know that embedded within the structure of the Passover Seder is a clarion call for every Jew to put on a hat they may have never imagined donning. Answer the call!


Decoding the Universe - 9 - The Impossibility of Being

Decoding the Universe - Part 9 "The Impossibility of Being" (Recorded at the Intown Jewish Academy on January 6, 2019) What happens when you know existence can't be? When you realize that everything that looks real is in fact an illusion of the grandest order? When you become conscience of a higher consciousness that powers everything into being, from nothing? Everything changes. In this session of Kabbalah & Coffee we explore the realm of the impossible and discover how we might be, even if...


Torah Studies 5779 - 13 - Va'eira (Biblical Conspiracies & Free Choice)

Biblical Conspiracies & Free Choice A Deeper Understanding of the Ten Plagues (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on January 2, 2019) In this session of Torah Studies we look at Biblical conspiracy theories, ancient Egyptian scrolls, free choice, and the ten plagues. What was the purpose of the plagues? Why did G-d harden Pharaoh's heart? And if G-d was hardening his heart, why was Pharaoh warned about the plagues? Learn the amazing answers to these questions and more! We all know...


Torah Studies 5779 - 12 - Shemot (The Underpinnings of a Nation)

The Underpinnings of a Nation Why Slander Is Enemy Number One (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on December 26, 2018) We all know the story of the Jews in Egypt: bone-crushing slavery for hundreds of years. What caused this terrible catastrophe? Was it perhaps because they were habitual idolaters? Nope. After a kerfuffle with two bickering Jews, Moses declares that slander, above all, was the root cause of suffering. Really? Is it that bad? Ride the train of Jewish nationhood to...


Decoding the Universe - 8 - Every Breath You Take

Decoding the Universe - Part 8 "Every Breath You Take" (Recorded at the Intown Jewish Academy on December 23, 2018) There is a breath of life that flows through the entire universe, throughout all of existence. This breath of life powers being into being, and flows from the ultimate Source of all. The Kabbalists point out that we cannot see this breath of life with our eyes, and for good reason. Were we to actually perceive the breath, reality would be radically altered. In this session of...


Torah Studies 5779 - 11 - Vayechi (Earn It or Win It?)

Earn It or Win It? When to Throw Your Hat in the Ring, and When Not To (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on December 19, 2018) A marriage that survives a bitter fight is stronger than it was before. A person who is crushed and then bounces back is arguably emotionally healthier than your average Joe. So, what message should we be giving to our kids? Challenge them or coddle them? Put them through the wringer or pamper their path? An insightful conversation between a Rebbe and his...


Mrs. Miriam Lipskier - Happiness Is A Serious Problem

Happiness Is A Serious Problem The Kabbalistic Approach to Joy With Mrs. Miriam Lipskier On average we enjoy more amenities, make more money, and live longer than at any point in human history. Yet we are not necessarily happier. Learn the tried and true mystical approach to "happily ever after" from Chabad at Emory's co-founder and co-director Mrs. Miriam Lipskier.


Decoding the Universe - 7 - The Art of Prophecy

Decoding the Universe - Part 7 "The Art of Prophecy" (Recorded at the Intown Jewish Academy on December 16, 2018) One of the 13 principles of Jewish faith is the belief that G-d has the ability to communicate with human beings. On rare occasions, this communication happens in a direct fashion. Most often, it happens indirectly, in an occurrence akin to an "out of body" experience. This is called prophecy. But how exactly does prophecy work? Does G-d speak, or perhaps reveal His message in a...


Torah Studies 5779 - 10 - Vayigash (Wind in Your Sails)

Wind in Your Sails Harnessing Inspiration for the Long Haul (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on December 12, 2018) Many a wise person has said that “Indifference is more dangerous than anger and hatred,” or “Apathy is the death of democracy.” Indeed, to be uninspired and emotionless is a terrible predicament. But all those people jumping up and down on mountaintops, screaming with passion, don’t seem to be the answer either. So what does an even-keeled person do? The dramatic,...


Wrestling with Faith - Lesson 6

For the Love of G-d Finding Closeness with a G-d You Cannot Touch (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on November 29, 2018) Judaism is a holistic religion: it demands the engagement of body, mind, and heart. We cannot reduce G-d to a set of mindless rituals; He is supposed to be a meaningful part of our lives. But can I love someone I've never met? Can I be in awe of something I've never seen? This lesson explores the possibility of having a relationship with G-d -- whether I can,...


Torah Studies 5779 - 9 - Chanukah (Essential Oils)

Essential Oils The Secret to Remaining Above While Tethered Below (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on December 5, 2018) For many, oil is pariah number one. But on this holiday, we set aside our reservations and indulge in latkes, doughnuts, and take the opportunity to load up our menorahs with oil. So, what’s with the oil? Aside from a relic of the ancient story, a fascinating ride through the Chasidic perspective on oil reveals some important truths about who we really are.


Decoding the Universe - 6 - The Philosophers vs The Kabbalists

Decoding the Universe - Part 6 "The Philosophers vs The Kabbalists" (Recorded at the Intown Jewish Academy on December 9, 2018) Philosophers and Kabbalists don't always see eye to eye. There are certain issues -- big issues -- that are the subject of fierce scholarly debate. And for some of these issues, the world, literally, hangs in the balance. In this session of Kabbalah & Coffee we explore philosophy, Kabbalah, light, energy, and the essential fabric of existence.


Decoding the Universe - 5 - Secret Letters

Decoding the Universe - Part 5 "Secret Letters" (Recorded at the Intown Jewish Academy on December 2, 2018) The Hebrew language is fundamentally different than all other languages. It is the language of creation. The mystics teach that the Hebrew letters carry the life force of every living thing. Therefore, the various elements of the Hebrew letters -- the names, sounds, shapes, and numerology of the letters -- are each highly significant. In this mind-expanding session of Kabbalah & Coffee...


Wrestling with Faith - Lesson 5

Bridging the Divide G-d's Torah and G-d's Science (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on November 29, 2018) The scientific universe is inhabited by labs, theories, research, experiments, and cause and effect. But there's a parallel universe: one inhabited by faith, the supernatural, cosmic meaning, and divine purpose. Are these two worlds -- seemingly so distant from each other -- relevant to each other? Can G-d and science coexist?


Torah Studies 5779 - 8 - Vayeishev (Put a Smile On Your Face)

Put a Smile on Your Face! Making Others Feel Good, Even When You’re Not (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on November 28, 2018) “Be true to yourself!” is a refrain often heard. Hey, if you’re not feeling it, then why bother faking it and putting on a smile just for others? While popular wisdom may suggest so, the behavior of a tormented slave named Joseph in the dungeons of Egypt speaks volumes of how we ought to think about others around us and the demeanor we should maintain to...


Torah Studies 5779 - 7 - Vayishlach (Cosmic Collision)

Cosmic Collision What a Kabbalistic “Big Bang” Has to Say about Everyday Life (Recorded live at the Intown Jewish Academy on November 21, 2018) Cosmic collisions, and abundant lights shattering vessels and raining sparks into darkened worlds: sounds like the stuff of a fantasy movie -- but it’s not. Believe it or not, it’s the Kabbalistic rendering of creation, and it has major implications for how the world operates, and more importantly, how you operate. Discover the secret of the cosmos...


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...