“What Was He Thinking?” Here it was, the sixth session of the class which was using the book of Genesis as a source for studying the nature of leadership. It was proving not to be the kind of class in which the teacher lectured and the students listened passively. Rather, it was more like a […]
“Abraham the Negotiator, Sarah the Queen” Before I entered the classroom that evening, I already knew that Zalman would come prepared with some dazzling piece of scholarship. The regular reader of this column will remember that last week, the fourth session of the class I was leading using the book of Genesis to study leadership, […]
If you are reading this column regularly, you may remember that Miriam was the shy participant in the class that I have been describing. You will surely remember that this was a class in which I used the book of Genesis as a springboard for discussions about leadership. I had been asked to assist the members of the class to develop leadership skills for use in their respective Jewish synagogue communities.
Loyal readers of this weekly column will remember Richard, Leon, and Simon. They were the three young men who signed up for my class on the Book of Genesis, Sefer Bereshit, many years ago. I then used Genesis as the source text for an introductory course on basic Jewish philosophy.
I have been an avid reader of books about the psychology of religion since I was an adolescent. I remember going to the local public library and systematically taking out every book on the shelves that related to the topic of the human phenomenon of religious behavior.
It was advertised as one symposium at a major psychology conference. It was to be a discussion about memory and forgetfulness. But it turned out to be one of the most intense and instructive days that I have ever witnessed.
He was one of the greatest Talmud scholars of the last century, but outside of a small circle of disciples, he was never well-known. He was a tragic figure in many ways, and although few have heard of him today, he has not been totally forgotten.
We have all been brought up to believe in the importance of progress. For the past several centuries, the goal of philosophy, religion, culture, and certainly science has been to develop ideas and practices which advance humankind beyond its present state.