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Exploring Judaism with Limmud Ny

01/30/2020 10:26:49 AM

Jan30

Rabbi Wendy Pein

“Do not say when I have leisure I will study  – perhaps you will never have leisure...” (Pirke Avot 2:4)

The Jewish people are often referred to as the “People of the Book” and yet many adults have never explored Judaism at an adult level. This is extremely unfortunate as our tradition contains a storehouse of wisdom that can add meaning and beauty to our lives.

The publicity around the celebration of the Talmudic Daf Yomi (daily page of Talmud study) 7-year conclusion has inspired some to consider different forms of dailyl adult Jewish study. One congregant mentioned that she has started reading and following the Daf Yomi cycle. Another friend has considered studying a verse of Torah each day.

If you have considered further adult study of Judaism, there is an upcoming event in NYC called LimmudNY which is a great place to begin. Limmud is Hebrew for “learning” and Limmud NY is devoted to Jewish learning in every conceivable form, from learning Torah to learning how to make gefilte fish; from Middle Eastern politics to Jewish Kirtan chanting; from Refuseniks to slam poetry; from Schneerson to Seinfeld; from Kol Nidre to Klezmer. At Limmud NY, everyone has something to teach and everyone has something to learn.[1] The Limmud model of cross-communal Jewish learning and grassroots volunteering has inspired others throughout the world. Today there are more than 84 Limmud groups in 44 countries, and more every year! And now this adult Jewish study is in our backyard….

LimmudNY is taking place from February 14 – 17 at Jewish Theological Seminary in NYC. You can sign up for the whole series or single days. For more information, check out the LimmudNY website.

In this week’s Torah portion, God instructs the Israelites to retell the Exodus story so “that you may recount in the hearing of your sons and of your sons’ sons (children) … how I displayed My signs among them—in order that you may know that I am the LORD.” (Exodus 10:2) In this verse, the adult Israelites are instructed to teach their children about God’s saving power. Note that the text does not state “that they (the offspring) may know that I am the Lord.” Rather, it says that “you should know” – you, meaning the adults and parents. Your teaching will have effect only if you yourselves remember that the Lord is God (Hasidic). This teaching reminds us that in order to inspire the next generation to embrace Judaism, the current generation has to explore and embrace Judaism themselves.

It is difficult to find the perfect time to take on the mitzvah or commandment of adult study, but LimmudNY is a wonderful place to explore what and how to begin.

I hope you will join me for part of the conference!

L’shalom,

Rabbi Wendy Pein

[1] www.limmudny.org

Sat, July 31 2021 22 Av 5781