Neglected Narratives: A Close Reading of the Early Prophets
Taube Scholar, Rabbi Stephen S. Pearce, PhD
Tuesdays: April 24; May 1, 8, 15; 7:00 – 9:00pm
The biblical accounts of Samson and Delilah, Samuel, Deborah, Saul, David, Solomon, Goliath, Jonathan, Jezebel, and Queen of Sheba are well known. Nevertheless, their narrative sources are obscure because they are found in the often-overlooked books of the Early Prophets – Joshua, Judges, I Samuel, II Samuel, I Kings, and II Kings – books that are sandwiched between the regularly studied Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) and the well-known Late Prophets – Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and so forth. This course will provide a close reading of the Early Prophets in a time frame that spans the entrance into and the conquest of the Promised Land by the Israelites following forty years of wandering, the development of the Aaronide Priesthood, the construction of the Temple, the ascendancy of the kingship, and the division of the Holy Land into the independent nations of Israel and Judah.
Yoga and the Sacred Sefirot
With Julie Emden of Embodied Jewish Learning
3 Tuesdays: April 24, May 1, May 8; 7:00 -9:00pm
Enrich your life with this gentle Iyengar-based yoga and movement class infused with Jewish wisdom. Explore and embody mystical teachings about the Sefirot, divine attributes for balance and harmony in your life.
No previous yoga experience or knowledge about the Sefirot is necessary. Yoga props will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own yoga mat if you have one.
Class One: Hesed (Lovingkindness) and Gevurah (Strength) – Class Two: Netzach (Perseverance) and Hod (Humility) – Class Three: Yesod (Foundation) and Malchut (King/Queenship)
Julie Emden, RYT-500, is the Founding Director of Embodied Jewish Learning. A graduate of five fellowship and teaching certification programs related to her work as a Jewish educator, Iyengar-based yoga instructor and movement/expressive artist, Julie has two decades of experience guiding others in exploring Jewish wisdom, text and practices via the body in a variety of settings. Embodied Jewish Learning offers classes, workshops, on-line learning, retreats, teacher trainings, and strategic consultation and guidance for Jewish Wellness Initiatives throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Likrat Shabbat: Kavanah through Art with Ava Rosen4 Tuesday nights: April 24, May 1, 8, 15; 7:00 – 9:00pm
Likrat Shabbat is a series of open ended, process-oriented art activities which start with kavanah (intention) and grow towards mindfulness, joy and connection. Each workshop will dedicate time and space to let go, slow down, and welcome in a restorative shabbat. Through the ritual of making, we connect mind, body and spirit, the benefits of which we continue to enjoy beyond the workshop.
April 24: Watercolor shemandalas: The mandala is a meditative art form practiced in many traditions which uses circular forms and repeating patterns. We will combine these techniques with watercolors to express the Oneness found in the Shema and to celebrate the cycles in our lives.
May 1: Wisdom Weaving: Weaving is one of the oldest art traditions across cultures. We will tap into the wisdoms that this ancient practice has to offer us, and experience the feeling when our hands, mind and spirit are aligned.
May 8: Creation Ceramics: Working with clay embodies the mystery of creation; the act of shaping something out of a chunk of clay’s pure potential is rich both physically and symbolically. We will celebrate Shabbat as the reward for the work of the week.
May 15: Suminigashi paper marbling: In floating black ink on water’s surface, we will delve into Shabbat’s themes of light and dark. The Suminigashi technique of paper marbling is a quiet, meditative process influenced by the subtlest movements of air whose results, when printed on paper, reveals a complex universe of organic curves and lines reminiscent of topographical maps and tree rings.
Ava Sayaka Rosen is a San Francisco-based poet and artist. She is founder of four eyes press, co-founder of Open Windows Cooperative, and Judaic Arts Coordinator at Congregation Emanu-El’s Youth and Family Education Program. She is interested in the intersections between art, spirituality, sustainability and healing.
Monthly Learning Opportunities
“Brown Bag,” first Wednesday in the library at Temple Emanu-El
Join Emanu-El clergy for Brown Bag Wednesdays. On the first Wednesday of each month, bring your own bag lunch to the temple library for engaging spiritual and cultural discussions.
Next Date: Wednesday, March 7, 2018 with Rabbi Beth Singer
“Limonata and Learning,” first Wednesday of the Month in Marin
Join Emanu-El clergy on one Wednesday a month for an hour of learning and engagement ranging from a rabbinic/Talmudic issue that speaks to today’s events to a cultural or spiritual discussion.
Next Date: Wednesday, March 7, 4:00 – 5:30pm Location: Book Passage, Corte Madera
Moses Veiled and Unveiled Presented by Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg
Monday, April 16, 7:00 pm
The narrative of revelation at Mount Sinai is immediately followed by the catastrophic episode of the Golden Calf. Dr. Zornberg will explore Moses’ role in this episode and answer the question: Why does his face radiate light at the end of the narrative?
Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg lives in Jerusalem, where she has been lecturing on Torah since 1980. Born in London, she grew up in Glasgow, studying Torah with her father, who was a rabbi and head of the Rabbinical Court. Dr. Zornberg holds a PhD in English Literature from Cambridge University and has taught English literature at Hebrew University. Zornberg reads biblical narratives through the prism of midrash, literature, philosophy, and particularly psychoanalysis. She is the author of five critically acclaimed books; her most recent, Moses: A Human Life, was published by Yale University Press.
This lecture is funded by the Friends of the Jewish Community Library’s Marsha Rivkind Raleigh Memorial Fund, named for a beloved Library patron and supporter. The talk will be followed by a reception.
Overlooking the Obvious: Concealed Biblical Narratives
9-week course at the Fromm Institute
Wednesday, April 11; 10am – 11:40am with Stephen S. Pearce, PhD
Agatha Christie’s detective hero Hercule Poirot described to Captain Hastings what he considered to be an unforgivable investigative error—“overlooking the obvious.” This seminar will feature a close reading of iconic biblical narratives and will focus on the rich interpretative inner life of the enigmatic portrayals of the Binding of Isaac, the Garden of Eden and Noah’s Ark and their Near Eastern antecedents, historical Moses, the Temple cult, the reluctant prophet Jonah, among others.
What questions keep you up at night?
What answers bring you comfort?
What more are you curious to know?
At Emanu-El, we are an active community of lifelong Jewish learners – in the endless pursuit of spiritual growth and exploration. As Jews, we are compelled to question and debate. These conversations energize us as we gain new perspectives and challenge our own long-held beliefs. Our shared desire for knowledge and for community enriches us as individuals and bonds us as a congregation.
Emanu-El thrives when we are learning together. We hope that you will find time on your calendar and in your mind to join us on a thought-provoking and powerful Jewish journey.
To inquire about adult education, please contact Ariana Estoque, director of adolescent and adult education, at (415) 751-2541 x307 or firstname.lastname@example.org