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Yom Kippur Study Sessions 5775

After the Yom Kippur morning service, learn, study and reflect in one of the study sessions led by scholars of the Temple. Participation is open to all congregants and their guests. Sessions are held from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM.
How Do We Live With Moral Ambiguity

Lecturer: Rabbi Bruce Block
Location: Room 628, Goldsmith Religious School Building (10 East 66th Street)

ON YOM KIPPUR as we do a Cheshbon Ha-Nefesh, an “Accounting of the Soul,” we encounter a tension between the moral standards posited by our tradition and the moral compromises we sometimes have to make in everyday life. Over the centuries, philosophers and theologians have pondered whether there are any moral absolutes. Literature and film have given us stories suffused with moral relativism. Moral questions arise from stories in our daily papers and news broadcasts, and from situations in our own lives. We will look at some examples — from the Torah to the present day — as we think about our personal Cheshbon Ha-Nefesh.
The Mystery of the Number 10 in our Jewish History and Tradition

Lecturer: Rabbi Bruce Cole
Location: Room 602, Marvin and Elisabeth Cassell Community House
(One East 65th Street)

THROUGHOUT OUR JEWISH HISTORY and tradition the number 10 appears with some regularity. As an example, there are 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. This magical number is not only a conundrum, both positive and negative, but also our Yin and Yang. Where does it come from, and what is its purpose? We shall explore this together and perhaps discover the mystery behind it.
How to Live a Life: Biography and Autobiography —
A Furtive Yom Kippur Pleasure

Lecturer: Rabbi Richard A. Davis
Location: Room 402, Marvin and Elisabeth Cassell Community House

RABBI DAVIS WILL SHARE the story of the Yale University Press Jewish Lives Series, an ambitious, cultural and educational phenomenon, an expanding library of biographies of Jewish leaders from antiquity (Patriarch Jacob) to our time (Einstein and Dylan). The editorial team chose their subjects because each made (and are still making) an effect on the world in almost every field of human endeavor including politics, science, economics, literature and the arts. Rabbi Davis also will recount some his favorite episodes. The biographies are accessible yet, serious, adult reads that penetrate the “heart and mind” and help us understand “the infinite complexity,” not only of Jewishness as a factor in personal development but also how the subjects expose us to how a life is lived. Now, at the end of this day, is that not the object of our atonement’s autobiographical exercise?
Exaltation, Sanctification and Blessings:
A Core Foundation of Judasim

Lecturer: Rabbi Philip Hiat
Location: Room 405, Marvin and Elisabeth Cassell Community House

THESE THREE CREEDS, exaltation, sanctification and blessings, are combined into prayers that we recite daily and on festivals. We will discuss the importance of these three and how they comprise a core foundation of Judaism.
The Difficulty of Forgiving

Lecturer: Rabbinic Intern: Alexis Pinsky
Location: Room 633, Goldsmith Religious School Building

IN OUR YOM KIPPUR LITURGY, we say the words “I hereby forgive all who have hurt me.” What happens, however, when granting forgiveness doesn’t come so easily? What if, as much as we desire to move on, to start over, we can’t? Through story, philosophical writings and conversation we will explore the limitations and the challenges we human beings face in granting forgiveness.

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