CBI Events Calendar

Oct
30
Sat
Saturday Morning In-Person and Online Services
Oct 30 @ 9:30 am – 12:00 pm

Join us for Shabbat morning services in-person or via Zoom every Saturday morning at 9:30am.

Masks and social distancing are still required for all services that are likely to include singing and chanting.
Masks and social distancing are optional for all smaller, non-singing/chanting gatherings for fully vaccinated individuals.
Unvaccinated adults should always wear a mask.
Beginning with Saturday July 3rd, we will return to holding Shabbat morning services every Shabbat.  You will still be required to register in advance to attend services in the event that contract tracing should become necessary.  You can register online through the Wednesday weekly eblast.  If you’d like to receive the weekly eblast, click here.

Join the Zoom service by going to Our Virtual Community page here, then scroll down and click on the blue Saturday Morning Service button.

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Nov
2
Tue
Lunch & Learn with Rabbi Mitch: The Rabbis Who Invented Judaism
Nov 2 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Join Rabbi Mitch and your CBI friends on three consecutive Tuesdays at noon for a ‘lunch & learn’.  Please bring your own vegetarian or kosher lunch, your listening ears and your opinions (don’t be shy!). 

The Invention of Judaism

Contending hosts were seen meeting in the skies, arms flashed, and suddenly the temple was illumined with fire from the clouds. Of a sudden the doors of the shrine opened and a superhuman voice cried: “The gods are departing”: at the same moment the mighty stir of their going was heard. Few interpreted these omens as fearful; the majority firmly believed that their ancient priestly writings contained the prophecy that this was the very time when the East should grow strong and that men starting from Judea should possess the world. This mysterious prophecy had in reality pointed to Vespasian and Titus, but the common people, as is the way of human ambition, interpreted these great destinies in their own favour, and could not be turned to the truth even by adversity.

-The Histories of Tacitus, c. 105 CE (Loeb Classical Library edition, Vol. III)

About 30 years before our story begins, the world’s most powerful government, the Roman Empire, brutally suppressed a Jewish rebellion which culminated in the greatest trauma ever to have affected the Jewish people, the destruction of the Bet HaMikdash (the Temple) and Jerusalem. The Mediterranean had long been a Roman lake, with Rome the undisputed ruler of all the real estate surrounding it. To the north, Agrippa II has just died. The death of Agrippa, a distant descendant of the Hasmonean (Maccabean) rulers of over a century ago, marks the loss of the last vestige of Roman appointed Jewish rule, placing all of the inhabitants of the eastern Mediterranean between Syria and Egypt under the direct control of the Emperor and the Senate. This diverse population comprises rural and city dwellers and many of the cities are dominated by Greeks who regard Jews with distaste and enmity. A rapidly growing heretical sect called “Christianity,” originating in Jerusalem within a small circle of eschatological Jews but overtaken by an astonishing number of non-Jews, has just been recognized as a religion separate and distinct from Judaism through having won an exemption from the fiscus judaicus (special Jew tax) for its adherents. Jews live all over the Roman Empire, including the city of Rome, where we periodically enjoy sympathetic contacts in the upper echelons of power. A small band of Jewish intellectuals, refugees from the destruction of Jerusalem, have established a community dedicated to the study of Jewish law in the backwater town of Yavneh, near Lod (no airport yet). Despite all odds, they managed to reimagine and reconstruct the religion of biblical Israel so that it could survive, even flourish, in the new and radically changed era of Roman antiquity. They were the inventors of Judaism. In this course we will be introduced to the 3 rabbinic sages who proved to be the most important founders of this enterprise.

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Nov
5
Fri
Online Friday Noon Study Group
Nov 5 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Friday January 21, 12-1

Last week our group examined the role deception plays in many biblical narratives as we looked at Genesis 25:29-27:46.  We also continued our examination of how the gaps in biblical text are filled in by Talmudic sages and later commentators in order to accommodate their agendas.

  • Starting with the episode where Esau exchanges his birthright (his privileges and responsibilities as a first born son) for “a mess of pottage” (something that is basically not of much value), we discover that the sages assume that the lentil stew that Jacob was preparing was intended to serve those who mourned Abraham’s death.  There is nothing in the actual text that shows this, but it appears in Talmudic midrash (Bava Basra 16b).  In keeping with the binary opposition set up between Jacob and Esau, the sages want to emphasize Esau’s boorish nature–pour the red stuff down my throat”–and the fact that Jacob is dutifully acknowledging the death of his grandfather while Esau nonchalantly goes about his business of trapping and hunting.  According to Rashi, Esau spurns his birthright because he’s incapable of properly performing the sacrificial service for Abraham, and Jacob is not duping him by asking for the birthright exchange, but he is preventing his wicked brother from making the sacrificial offering. 

  • In Chapter 27, when there is a famine in the land, and Isaac and his family go to live among the Philistines, we find him repeating the “she’s-my-sister-not-my-wife” deception that Abraham tried to carry out with Pharaoh and Abimelech (i.e., saving his own life at the potential degradation of his wife).    

  • In Chapter 28, we encounter another deception:  Rebecca convinces Jacob to pretend to be Esau in order to obtain a blessing Isaac intended to bestow on his older son.  Through some elaborately dishonest scheming, Rebecca and Jacob take advantage of Isaac’s poor eyesight, deceive him, and cheat Esau.  According to the sages, however, such blatant deception was justified (Jacob had some misgivings, but Rebecca said “Heed my voice”) because it was part of the Divine Plan–“the older son will serve the younger.”  Rashi lends weight to this argument by saying that Isaac’s poor eyesight was caused by the incense Esau’s Hittite wives burned while worshipping idols.  The Tanhuma suggests that Providence caused the blindness so that Jacob would receive the blessing.  And Sforno explains that Isaac’s blindness was punishment for his failure to restrain Esau’s wickedness. 

  • After the great deception of  Chapter 28, Esau says he will kill Jacob.  To prevent this from happening, Rebecca urges Jacob to get out of town and hide out in Haran with her brother Laban.  And Rebecca engages in yet another deception.  She tells Isaac that she has sent Jacob away so that will not marry Hittite woman as had Esau.  According to Rashbam,  Rebecca used the unsuitability of the Hittite women as a pretext for her decision.

Throughout our reading participants noted that none of these justifications had clear support in the biblical text; they were, however, plausible explanations that advanced the successful development of the nation of Israel.

This Friday, we will look at Genesis 28:10-30:24.   These chapters include Jacob’s dream of angels, his encounter with Rachel, his marriage to Leah and Rachel, and the offspring that result from that marriage–with some assists from handmaids Bilhah and Zilpah.

Our informal group meets via Zoom every Friday from 12-1. Check the CBI web page for a link.  All are welcome to join us, regardless of their level of expertise.  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 jbjacoby@uncc.edu

 

 
 

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Nov
6
Sat
Saturday Morning In-Person and Online Services
Nov 6 @ 9:30 am – 12:00 pm

Join us for Shabbat morning services in-person or via Zoom every Saturday morning at 9:30am.

Masks and social distancing are still required for all services that are likely to include singing and chanting.
Masks and social distancing are optional for all smaller, non-singing/chanting gatherings for fully vaccinated individuals.
Unvaccinated adults should always wear a mask.
Beginning with Saturday July 3rd, we will return to holding Shabbat morning services every Shabbat.  You will still be required to register in advance to attend services in the event that contract tracing should become necessary.  You can register online through the Wednesday weekly eblast.  If you’d like to receive the weekly eblast, click here.

Join the Zoom service by going to Our Virtual Community page here, then scroll down and click on the blue Saturday Morning Service button.

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Louis Schactman Bar Mitzvah
Nov 6 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Louis Schactman Bar Mitzvah
Saturday, November 6, 9:30am (limited to fully-vaccinated)

Join us on in-person or on Zoom as Louis goes up to the Torah as Bar Mitzvah.  Because several members of the Schactman family are immunocompromised, we ask that only fully vaccinated CBI members attend in person.  The Kiddush following the services will be limited to family and invited guests in order not to endanger the vulnerable family members.  The family appreciates your understanding.

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Nov
7
Sun
Online Jewish Meditation & Chant Circle
Nov 7 @ 2:30 pm

Just as healthy foods nourish us through the blood stream, so Jewish meditation nourishes our “soul stream.” Meditation can be transformative, taking us from the intellectual awareness of ourselves to a deeper spiritual practice that links us to Judaism in the most profound way. Each mitzvah, holy day and cycle of life has its own rhythm, nuance, taste and character. Jewish meditation is a practice of infusing their essence into our daily spiritual lives.

Ready to give it a try? Join us via Zoom (every Sunday from 2:30pm – 4pm. No previous meditation experience necessary.  This opportunity is free and open to all. Please contact Linda Wolf at linda@networktype.com for the online meeting information.

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Under Jerusalem Book Talk
Nov 7 @ 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm

Join us for a book talk with Andrew Lawler, author of Under Jerusalem: The Buried History of the World’s Most Contested City on November 7, at 7:00PM. 

Malaprop’s is pleased to partner with host Congregation Beth Israel and co-sponsors Asheville Jewish Community Center, Center for Jewish Studies at UNCA, and Congregation Beth Ha Tephila to present this hybrid event.
There is an option to attend virtually and a limited number of seats are available to attend in person at Congregation Beth Israel. Registration is required for both in-person and virtual attendance.
For more information see https://www.malaprops.com/event/hybrid-event-congregation-beth-israelandrew-lawler-under-jerusalem

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Nov
9
Tue
Lunch & Learn with Rabbi Mitch: The Rabbis Who Invented Judaism
Nov 9 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Join Rabbi Mitch and your CBI friends on three consecutive Tuesdays at noon for a ‘lunch & learn’.  Please bring your own vegetarian or kosher lunch, your listening ears and your opinions (don’t be shy!). 

The Invention of Judaism

Contending hosts were seen meeting in the skies, arms flashed, and suddenly the temple was illumined with fire from the clouds. Of a sudden the doors of the shrine opened and a superhuman voice cried: “The gods are departing”: at the same moment the mighty stir of their going was heard. Few interpreted these omens as fearful; the majority firmly believed that their ancient priestly writings contained the prophecy that this was the very time when the East should grow strong and that men starting from Judea should possess the world. This mysterious prophecy had in reality pointed to Vespasian and Titus, but the common people, as is the way of human ambition, interpreted these great destinies in their own favour, and could not be turned to the truth even by adversity.

-The Histories of Tacitus, c. 105 CE (Loeb Classical Library edition, Vol. III)

About 30 years before our story begins, the world’s most powerful government, the Roman Empire, brutally suppressed a Jewish rebellion which culminated in the greatest trauma ever to have affected the Jewish people, the destruction of the Bet HaMikdash (the Temple) and Jerusalem. The Mediterranean had long been a Roman lake, with Rome the undisputed ruler of all the real estate surrounding it. To the north, Agrippa II has just died. The death of Agrippa, a distant descendant of the Hasmonean (Maccabean) rulers of over a century ago, marks the loss of the last vestige of Roman appointed Jewish rule, placing all of the inhabitants of the eastern Mediterranean between Syria and Egypt under the direct control of the Emperor and the Senate. This diverse population comprises rural and city dwellers and many of the cities are dominated by Greeks who regard Jews with distaste and enmity. A rapidly growing heretical sect called “Christianity,” originating in Jerusalem within a small circle of eschatological Jews but overtaken by an astonishing number of non-Jews, has just been recognized as a religion separate and distinct from Judaism through having won an exemption from the fiscus judaicus (special Jew tax) for its adherents. Jews live all over the Roman Empire, including the city of Rome, where we periodically enjoy sympathetic contacts in the upper echelons of power. A small band of Jewish intellectuals, refugees from the destruction of Jerusalem, have established a community dedicated to the study of Jewish law in the backwater town of Yavneh, near Lod (no airport yet). Despite all odds, they managed to reimagine and reconstruct the religion of biblical Israel so that it could survive, even flourish, in the new and radically changed era of Roman antiquity. They were the inventors of Judaism. In this course we will be introduced to the 3 rabbinic sages who proved to be the most important founders of this enterprise.

Sharing is caring
Nov
12
Fri
Online Friday Noon Study Group
Nov 12 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Friday January 21, 12-1

Last week our group examined the role deception plays in many biblical narratives as we looked at Genesis 25:29-27:46.  We also continued our examination of how the gaps in biblical text are filled in by Talmudic sages and later commentators in order to accommodate their agendas.

  • Starting with the episode where Esau exchanges his birthright (his privileges and responsibilities as a first born son) for “a mess of pottage” (something that is basically not of much value), we discover that the sages assume that the lentil stew that Jacob was preparing was intended to serve those who mourned Abraham’s death.  There is nothing in the actual text that shows this, but it appears in Talmudic midrash (Bava Basra 16b).  In keeping with the binary opposition set up between Jacob and Esau, the sages want to emphasize Esau’s boorish nature–pour the red stuff down my throat”–and the fact that Jacob is dutifully acknowledging the death of his grandfather while Esau nonchalantly goes about his business of trapping and hunting.  According to Rashi, Esau spurns his birthright because he’s incapable of properly performing the sacrificial service for Abraham, and Jacob is not duping him by asking for the birthright exchange, but he is preventing his wicked brother from making the sacrificial offering. 

  • In Chapter 27, when there is a famine in the land, and Isaac and his family go to live among the Philistines, we find him repeating the “she’s-my-sister-not-my-wife” deception that Abraham tried to carry out with Pharaoh and Abimelech (i.e., saving his own life at the potential degradation of his wife).    

  • In Chapter 28, we encounter another deception:  Rebecca convinces Jacob to pretend to be Esau in order to obtain a blessing Isaac intended to bestow on his older son.  Through some elaborately dishonest scheming, Rebecca and Jacob take advantage of Isaac’s poor eyesight, deceive him, and cheat Esau.  According to the sages, however, such blatant deception was justified (Jacob had some misgivings, but Rebecca said “Heed my voice”) because it was part of the Divine Plan–“the older son will serve the younger.”  Rashi lends weight to this argument by saying that Isaac’s poor eyesight was caused by the incense Esau’s Hittite wives burned while worshipping idols.  The Tanhuma suggests that Providence caused the blindness so that Jacob would receive the blessing.  And Sforno explains that Isaac’s blindness was punishment for his failure to restrain Esau’s wickedness. 

  • After the great deception of  Chapter 28, Esau says he will kill Jacob.  To prevent this from happening, Rebecca urges Jacob to get out of town and hide out in Haran with her brother Laban.  And Rebecca engages in yet another deception.  She tells Isaac that she has sent Jacob away so that will not marry Hittite woman as had Esau.  According to Rashbam,  Rebecca used the unsuitability of the Hittite women as a pretext for her decision.

Throughout our reading participants noted that none of these justifications had clear support in the biblical text; they were, however, plausible explanations that advanced the successful development of the nation of Israel.

This Friday, we will look at Genesis 28:10-30:24.   These chapters include Jacob’s dream of angels, his encounter with Rachel, his marriage to Leah and Rachel, and the offspring that result from that marriage–with some assists from handmaids Bilhah and Zilpah.

Our informal group meets via Zoom every Friday from 12-1. Check the CBI web page for a link.  All are welcome to join us, regardless of their level of expertise.  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 jbjacoby@uncc.edu

 

 
 

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Nov
13
Sat
Saturday Morning In-Person and Online Services
Nov 13 @ 9:30 am – 12:00 pm

Join us for Shabbat morning services in-person or via Zoom every Saturday morning at 9:30am.

Masks and social distancing are still required for all services that are likely to include singing and chanting.
Masks and social distancing are optional for all smaller, non-singing/chanting gatherings for fully vaccinated individuals.
Unvaccinated adults should always wear a mask.
Beginning with Saturday July 3rd, we will return to holding Shabbat morning services every Shabbat.  You will still be required to register in advance to attend services in the event that contract tracing should become necessary.  You can register online through the Wednesday weekly eblast.  If you’d like to receive the weekly eblast, click here.

Join the Zoom service by going to Our Virtual Community page here, then scroll down and click on the blue Saturday Morning Service button.

Sharing is caring