Tuesdays With Torah

TUESDAYS WITH TORAH

  • Tuesdays, 12 noon – 1:00 pm
  • Wise Center & Zoom
  • Topic: TORAH!

Take a middle-of-the-day break to feed your mind. Fascinating content led by our expert rabbis, rabbinic interns, talented staff, and guest speakers will give you a deeper understanding of the Torah and its meaning in our lives. All classes are offered in person and via Zoom. Please register and feel free to attend in person or virtually using the red registration buttons. We will send you additional information 24 hours before each program.

All classes are a combined in-person and Zoom format. Please register and feel free to attend via Zoom or in-person.

Please register for all classes using the red registration buttons. We will send you additional information 24 hours before the program.

Questions? Contact Celeste Lawler at 513.793.2997 or clawler@wisetemple.org

2023-2024 Schedule

Jewish Vows in Jewish Texts
8/15, and 8/22

Join Matthew Check, our new Director of Lifelong Learning, for an exploration of “making a vow” in Jewish Literature. The first week, we’ll look at the story of Jonah and it’s relationship to Yom Kippur. The second week, we’ll look at the Nazarite Laws in the Book of Numbers and consider their collective religious and cultural significance for the Israelites and how we can relate to the tradition as modern day descendants. Accompanying each session are songs about the topics discussed (with lyrics) written by Matt and one of his songwriting partners from New York, Joanie Leeds (a Grammy Winner).

Life and Death—It’s in the Courts, the Legislatures and the Talmud: A Jewish View of the Death Penalty

Rabbi Lewis Kamrass

October 10, 17, 24

Rabbi Kamrass will guide us through the complexities of capital punishment, including the clear statements in the Bible, examples like the Rabbinic/Talmudic major shift away from capital punishment, the use of the death penalty in contemporary Israel and the case of the federal death penalty for the Tree of Life killer as we approach the fifth anniversary of that terrible event. Capital punishment is also a current issue in the Ohio legislature, so these sessions will help to clarify personal opinions as informed by the evolving Jewish teachings on this issue of life and death.

Faith in Crisis

Rabbi Zachary Goodman

October 31, November 7, 14, 21

Drawing from the new curriculum produced by The Sholom Hartman Institute of Jerusalem, Rabbi Goodman will explore the themes of faith and faithlessness in times of crisis. We will tap into Jewish wisdom – ancient and contemporary — and discover that our spiritual struggles and aspirations put us in very good company! This course is accessible to learners of all levels.

Gender Identity in Jewish Life

Aaron Torop, Rabbinic Fellow

November 28, December 5, 12

Did you know there are at least six types of gender in the Talmud? Learn about gender identity and how it shows up in Jewish life. This space is equally for those who are working to understand different facets of gender identity alongside those who feel comfortable in today’s language surrounding gender. Together we will learn, grow, and embrace the expansive diversity of gender in Judaism.              

Israeli Pop Culture Since October 7th

Matt Check, Director of Lifelong Learning

January 9, 16

The observation of Israel’s “Jewishness” has always been a topic of intrigue for the community of the diaspora. How has this identity been collectively expressed since the events of October 7th and everything that has followed? Join Matt Check as we delve into some cultural artifacts that are now emerging from Israel since the onset of the latest war (graffiti, advertisements, songs, commercials, etc.).

Embracing Reform: A Comparison of Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Jewish Movements

Jamie Starr, Rabbinic Fellow

January 23,  30

From liturgical comparisons to discussions on contemporary issues, join us as we bridge understanding across the spectrum of Judaism. We will discuss what makes Reform Judaism distinctive, and how this may impact our individual sense of Jewish identity and pride.

Great Jewish Debates: The Controversies of Our People

Rabbi Zachary Goodman

February 6, 13, 20

Since the inception of Jewish history (from Abraham and God to Theodor Herzl and Rabbi Isaac M. Wise), Jews have engaged in the art of deliberation, examination, and disagreement. Looking through the lenses of the Biblical Era, Rabbinic Era, and Modern Era, this class identifies and analyzes some of the most heated and consequential debates of the Jewish People. Beyond the historical, political, ethical, and spiritual challenges presented, what makes these disputations so compelling is that nearly all of them are still being argued today.

The Poetry of Rachel

Matt Check, Director of Lifelong Learning

February 27

Join Matt Check for a reading and discussion of the poetry of Rachel Bluwstein, one of the most famous artists of pre-state Israel, who was a resident of Degania, Israel’s first kibbutz. With her work in mind, Matt addresses the question, “Has the meaning of the archetypal texts in Israeli history changed, given the most recent events happening in The Land of Israel?”

A Jewish Perspective on Jesus

Courtney Anthony, Director of Education

March 5, 12, 19, 26

Who was the historical Jesus of Nazareth? This class will closely examine his life story within the context of the time and place in which he lived. What was daily life like? How would Jesus have practiced Judaism? What was the political climate? And how did a man who lived and died as a Jew become the focus of a new religion? Explore the answers to these questions and more.

How We Read (and Misread) the Bible: A Guide to Deeper Understanding

Rabbi Lewis Kamrass

April 2, 9, 16, 30 

Most readers of the Bible tend to take it literally, in part because they want to take it seriously. Yet its words and lessons can seem conflicting, its theology confounding and its context too complex. But to read the Bible literally is to diminish its significance, for it was written by those who took life and the religious narrative too seriously to simplify it to literal reading. We Jews do not “read” the Bible, we study it, probe it, argue with it, and ultimately feel challenged and inspired by it. Walk through some of the most misunderstood sections and overlooked passages, as we seek to move from superficial literalism to the deeper meaning with which our sacred tradition invites us to reflect, to see human complexity, compelling messages, irony, humor and the invitation to inspiration.

Lost Artifacts: Beyond Indiana Jones

Aaron Torop, Rabbinic Fellow

May 7

Items from the ancient Temple in Jerusalem, such as the Ark of the Covenant and the Menorah, continue to animate Jewish thought long after their disappearance. Together we will explore what may (or may not) have happened to these items and discuss the symbolic significance of objects even after we no longer have them. Learn about Aaron’s favorite Jewish conspiracy theory and stories we tell ourselves about our past. 

The Spotify Playlist of Israeli Politics & History

Matt Check, Director of Lifelong Learning

May 14, 21, 28

Israel has an amazing and unique musical tradition for its short 75 years of existence. Dive into some classics of the Israeli songbook in which the themes of the country’s history, politics and culture are expressed in fascinating ways that are particularly Israeli and Jewish.