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An event every 2 weeks that begins at 7:00pm on Thursday, repeating until November 15, 2018
LOVE VERSUS TRUTH:
ABRAHAM JOSHUA HESCHEL’S INNER STRUGGLE
AND THE IDEALS OF KEHILLA COMMUNITY SYNAGOGUE
Taught by Rabbi Burt Jacobson
“I was taught about inexhaustible mines of meaning by the Baal Shem; from the Kotzker I learned to detect immense mountains of absurdity standing in the way.”
-Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
Abraham Joshua Heschel, arguably the greatest Jewish religious philosopher in the U.S. in the mid-20th century, was also a prominent social activist. Nonetheless, throughout his life Heschel was torn between two radically different spiritual ideals, the Path of Love and the Path of Truth.
The Ba’al Shem Tov’s Path of Love inspired Heschel’s spiritual life, which centered on wonder, awe, radical amazement, and also on love, compassion, kindness, and community. Appreciation and gratitude were central to the Ba’al Shem’s prayer life.
The Kotzker Rebbe’s Path of Truth required that his disciples pay attention to the ways in which they deceived themselves and cut through the lies that obscured their integrity. It was the Kotzker who drove Heschel toward political radicalism, championing the cause of civil rights and opposing the Vietnam war, and freeing the Jews of the Soviet Union.
Rabbi Burt was privileged to study with Heschel for four years in the 1960s, and in this four-session course we will study and discuss Heschel’s life and how it was affected by these two divergent ideals, and we will also explore Rabbi Burt’s journey toward integrating the two paths through the founding of Kehilla Community Synagogue.
The class will meet in the Fireside Room from 7-9pm on the following Thursday evenings: October 4th and 18th, and November 1st and 15th. There will be assigned readings for the second, third and fourth classes. Tuition for the program is $65. for Kehilla members, but scholarships will be available, and no one will be turned away for lack of funds. The fee for non-members is $85. The cost of the printed materials is included in the class fee. If you are interested and you feel that you cannot afford the full fee, please call Kehilla’s Executive Director, Michael Saxe-Taller at 547-2424 to arrange for a scholarship. In order to assure that you will receive a copy of the class readings, you will need to register by September 26th.
To register, please contact Dee Ward either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 510.547.2424 x100.