Friday Noon Study Group

An informal discussion group considering various major Jewish texts and writers. Past subjects have included the Books of Judges, Kings, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Daniel, Pirkei Avot: The Ethics of the Sages, the religious philosophy of Mordecai Kaplan, Elliot Cosgrove's Jewish Theology In Our Time, Abraham Joshua Heschel's The Sabbath, Rebecca Goldstein's Betraying Spinoza, Sylvia Boorstein's That's Funny, You Don't Look Buddhist, Simon Wiesenthal’s The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness, Ari Shavit's My Promised Land:  The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel,  Ruth Calderon's A Bride for One Night:  Talmud Tales, Song of Songs, Julie Galambush’s The Reluctant Parting: How the New Testament's Jewish Writers Created a Christian Book, Lawrence Wright's Thirteen Days in September:  The Dramatic Story of the Struggle for Peace, the Book of Joshua, Amy-Jill Levine's The Short Stories of Jesus, Martin Buber's I and Thou, the Book of Hosea, Robert Wright's The Evolution of God, and Joseph Telushkin's Words That Hurt, Words That Heal,  and Bernard-Henri Levy's The Genius of Judaism.  We meet every Friday from 12-1 in the CBI Social Hall.

FRIDAY, MAY 26, 12-1

Last Friday we looked at Chapters 2-4 in the Book of Micah.  We began by considering some of the functions of the Hebrew Prophets (identified on a handout), especially emphasizing their role as "spin doctors for God." Once again we looked at ancient prophets as today's political pundits and news commentators who often develop propaganda for a particular cause.  Turning to the text, we considered the charges against the Israelites brought by God through Micah, especially that of usurping land and homes by those in power (similar to "eminent domain" issues today).  The insensitivity of the rulers and chiefs to the plight of the dispossessed is compared to skinning people alive and an analogy was made to the parable Nathan presented to King David about stealing a poor man's sheep (the Israelites had been promised, by way of consolation, that a remnant would be saved and looked after by God as shepherd).  False prophets are also indicted in Chapter 3 for telling people what they wanted to hear in exchange for gifts.  After presenting an image of a fallen Jerusalem, Chapter 4 offers visions of an ideal future for the saved remnant.  All nations will come to hear the instruction of God in a world where there will be no war.  

This Friday, we'll conclude our study of the Book of Micah by looking at chapters 5-7.   After some more information on the ideal future, we'll return to another lament over a decadent society followed by the promise of the ultimate triumph of God's kingdom.   Our informal discussion group meets every Friday from noon to one in the CBI Social Hall.  All are welcome to join us, regardless of their level of expertise or whether they have attended previous sessions.  Please bring whatever copy of the Bible you might have (the more different translations the livelier the discussion).  If you have questions, please contact Jay Jacoby at