We're Asheville's only independent egalitarian Jewish community. More than 100 years old, we’re rediscovering ourselves every day. We love pot-lucks, swapping stories and kids in the sanctuary. Sometimes we sing off key. We learn and laugh together, celebrate and care for each other. Interested?
"For the first time in my life, I find myself yearning to go to shul.” - Rochelle Reich
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February 7, 2020, 12-1
Last week’s we discussed participants’ reactions to televised debates between Rabbi Wolpe and Christopher Hitchens and other atheists. It’s probably safe to say that no one came away from watching these videos thinking that either side made an airtight argument. We were particularly interested in the affect displayed by the debaters–Wolpe seeming to be overly affable and Hitchens seeming to be overly arrogant. We then went on to continue our discussion of Chapter 4 in Rabbi David Wolpe’s Why Faith Matters. Among the issues discussed were whether the truths of faith endured, unlike the truths of science that often changed; Wolpe’s assurance that God interacts with the world; and Wolpe’s belief that we are partners with God in an on-going process of creating ourselves.
This Friday, we’ll begin with a loose end from Chapter 4, Wolpe’s discomfort with philosopher Thomas Nagel’s saying, “I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want there to be a universe like that” (p. 103). We’ll then begin discussion of Chapter 5, “What does Religion Really Teach?” It’s likely that we’ll only get to discuss the first half of this long chapter this week.
Our informal discussion group meets every Friday from 12-1 in the CBI Library. All are welcome to join us, regardless of their level of expertise or attendance at previous noon study group discussions. Why Faith Matters is available on a variety of internet outlets. If you have questions, please contact Jay Jacoby at email@example.com.
Join us for a participatory, high-energy Shabbat service, sure to inspire, uplift, educate and engage. Be sure to hang around for food and schmoozing at our Kiddish lunch.
Multi-Gen Purim Program
All are invited to join the Youth Education staff and students for a special multi-generational holiday program this Sunday from 10:00am-noon. Come learn, nosh and enjoy!
February 28 and March 6, 2020 12-1
Our group will NOT meet on Friday, February 28.
Last Friday our group discussed Rabbi Wolpe’s claim (in response to some of his atheist opponents) that “unaided by emotion, by vision, reason is a poor compass with which to navigate the world. . . . To fashion a reason that will help us survive, the world needs God” (Ch. 5 of Why Faith Matters). We then moved on to Chapter 6 and Wolpe’s perspectives on “Reading the Bible.” Much of the material in this chapter has been the topic of discussion before: the Bible speaks anew to each receptive spirit in each age; the Bible is an ever-evolving text that cannot be paraphrased; the Bible must be reinterpreted in every generation; the Bible can’t be evaluated in a single reading; the Bible offers different messages depending upon the care with which it is read and upon the reader’s approach. Perhaps the most important takeaway from this chapter is Wolpe’s observation that reading the Bible offers us ways of seeing the world, and his claim that “Faith is not a proposition but an orientation to the universe.”
When we meet on March 6, we’ll complete our discussion Rabbi Wolpe’s book with a look at Chapters 7 and 8: “Is Religion Good for You?” and “Why Faith Matters.” To supplement our discussion, participants are encouraged to read Isaac Bashevis Singer’s short story, “Gimpel the Fool,” which can be found at the following link:
Our informal discussion group meets every Friday from 12-1 in the CBI Library. All are welcome to join us, regardless of their level of expertise or attendance at previous noon study group discussions. If you have questions, please contact Jay Jacoby at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that our group will take a week off for good behavior and will NOT meet on March 13. We will resume on March 20, when we take on a new topic, Writings of the Apostle Paul.
“CBI nurtures my spiritual life, especially the Shabbos experience - the participatory services and the Kiddush luncheon, which allows us to visit and get to know each other.” – Jimi Moore
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"I deeply appreciate the empowerment and support I feel from the CBI leadership to forge our own path, one that is consistent and true to our family without being led to feel like our Judaism is lacking.” - Ali Climo