Jewish Conceptions of G?d
Rabbi Eli will guide us through a look at some of the most influential theologies of Jewish history to get a better understanding of what Jews mean when we talk about G?d.
You may remember that over the High Holidays, Rabbi Eli spoke of how deeply American Jews have absorbed concepts of G-d from the Protestant and Evangelical culture in which we live. When American Jews wrestle with the concept of “believing” in G&d, we are very often responding to another culture’s theology, not our own. Even the word we use, God, is not our word but a loan word from old Norse that made its way into German and then into English. Jewish theological terminology, images and metaphors are numerous and deeply nuanced – as one might expect from a 3500 year old evolving civilization.
A true story goes that a young intellectual, studying zoology in graduate school, a beret wearing socialist atheist, approached a Hasidic rebbe saying, “Rabbi, I don’t know anything about this G-d of whom you speak.” The rebbe responded, “Brother, I’d like to introduce you.”
So, this class will be an “introduction” to the Jewish G-d you’ve never met.
We’ll begin by looking at the most ancient mystical text, the Sefer Yetzirah, and then move through Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (the RaMBaM), the Zohar, Isaac Luria (the Ari z”l), Martin Buber, Rabbi Mordechai Kaplan, and Rabbi Arthur Green.
Join us for the Thursday lunch hour or listen/watch recordings of the classes.
Please check your weekly emails for the zoom link. If you are not a member and want to participate, please contact Rabbi Eli at firstname.lastname@example.org