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The Moral Torah: A User's Guide is a Course

The Moral Torah: A User's Guide

Ended Nov 20, 2019


Full course description

Series of four online, 60-minute sessions

Full Description:

In these interactive, text-based sessions, Rabbi Jason Rubinstein will explore challenges facing our communities and on how Jewish tradition addresses and complicates our approach to these issues. Session topics are:


Session 4 (Nov. 20): Against Bullshit - A Jewish Speech Ethics for a Post-Truth Age. Here we'll look at an amazing essay by the great 20th century figure R' Yitzhak Hutner, where he describes the power of words spoken with integrity vs those that are just thrown about for personal benefit - and connects this phenomenon to larger questions of human solidarity and human dignity.


Session 1 (10/30): Judaism's Guide to Living Under Legitimate and Illegitimate Governments - Praying for, about, and against the Government (and on seeing government employees as complicit). This class is mostly about the prayers, and also includes a few of the Mishnayot that cast certain types of government employees as complicit in the government's wrongdoing.

Session 2 (Nov. 6): Reparations in the Long Frame, or How to Stand in the American Legacy of Racism and Antiracism - starting from the Mishna in Bava Kamma about children who inherit stolen property, this class moves through 2 different conceptions of teshuva (cessation of the bad thing itself vs repair of the ongoing effects of the past wrong) to frame an approach to reparations in America today.

Session 3 (Nov. 13): "You Were Refugees in the Land of Egypt" - this session basically reframes the Biblical legacy of Egypt as a powerful, wealthy country that let in a small band of Jews who were fleeing famine in their own land - i.e. as a positive legacy to be emulated. It also highlights the themes of child separation and arbitrary incarceration in the story of Joseph's brothers going down to Egypt.

Course Meets:

  • Online
    • Wednesdays, October 30th, November 6, 13, and 20. From 2:00 - 3:00pm EST / 11:00am - 12:00 pm PST.

This Course is for:
All professionals.

Instructor Bio:

Rabbi Jason Rubinstein, Howard M. Holtzmann Jewish Chaplain, Yale University

Jason Rubenstein comes to Slifka Center from a background as diverse as Yale’s Jewish community: a childhood at Temple Micah in Washington DC, formative years studying at Yeshivat Ma’ale Gilboa in northern Israel, and rabbinic ordination at the Jewish Theological Seminary. For the past eight years Jason has taught on the faculty of the Hadar Institute, where he’s created classrooms, conversations, and communities that bring Torah to life by drawing on the fullness of students’ lives.

From his own formative undergraduate years at Harvard Hillel, Jason personally knows the value of Slifka Center’s work. Creating a community of meaning where students forge identities as Jewish leaders and relationships with one another that will continue to grow and deepen even after graduation not only enriches the lives of individual alumni – it has the potential to reshape and enliven the American Jewish landscape through those alumni’s talents and contributions.

In addition to rabbinic ordination, Jason holds an AB in Social Studies from Harvard College and a Masters in Talmud from JTS. He is also the recipient of numerous awards including the Wexner Graduate Fellowship and the Covenant Foundation’s 2015 Pomegranate Prize for Emerging Educators.

Participation in all Hillel U offerings should be agreed upon by the participant and their supervisor (unless the participant is a director)

Questions? Please contact

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