We regret that this month’s Parasha Discussion with Justin Goldstein has been canceled.
On Sunday, January 16 at 10 am, Beth and Eva will lead a short hike (about 3 miles) on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail just north of Asheville. This out-and-back hike (no carpooling necessary) will take us over a beautiful section with great views — one of the perks of winter hiking! There are a couple of short but tricky spots and one short but steep climb, so poles are recommended. Please contact Eva at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to sign up.
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 email@example.com for the online meeting information.
Study with Rabbi Mitch: The Invention of Judaism (cont.)
Thursday, January 20 at noon
Join your CBI friends for insightful discussion and learning with Rabbi Mitch, continuing the topic of The Invention of Judaism.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can prepare materials for everyone.
Due to the present Omicron situation, we will not be having lunch this month.
Friday January 28, 12-1
Last Friday our study group investigated Genesis 28:10-30:13, a rich collection of verses that engendered some great discussion, especially about the role that deception played in the early history of the Jewish people. Some of the issues we talked about were
Jacob’s choice of a stone for his pillow when he settled down to rest after leaving Beersheba (28:10): In the commentaries that were shared from different volumes of scripture, we learned 1) that it was not an uncommon practice to use stones for headrests in ancient times; and 2) that surrounding one’s head with stones may have served as a form of protection.
Jacob’s dream of angels ascending and descending a ladder: Was it a ladder? a staircase? a ziggurat like the one in Babel? Did angels really need a ladder? Participants were invited to examine Jacob’s Ladder more closely at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob%27s_Ladder f to discover how Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all conceive of the ladder as a bridge between heaven and earth.
God’s appearance and promises of prosperity to Jacob and his descendants: Were there differences among these promises (28:13 ff.) and those made to Abraham and Isaac (through Rebecca). One participant noted that only Jacob makes a conditional vow: God will be his God only if God fulfills His promises.
Jacob’s awe-struck behavior at the appearance of God: “Truly, God is in this place, and I did not know it.” Tom Muse noted that the Hebrew word for place, Makom, is also one of the names of God. Caren noted that Rabbi Lawrence Kushner had written an entire book elucidating this verse (28:16): God Was in this Place & I, i Did Not Know.
Jacob’s meeting with Rachel at the Well: Love at first sight? Kissing cousins? How does it compare with Rebecca’s meeting with Isaac? Laban’s deceptive negotiation with Jacob regarding the hand of Rachel? Jacob’s being deceived on his wedding night? Was this retribution for his deceiving his own father? To what extent were Rachel and Leah complicit in this deception? For a thorough examination of this issue see https://www.thetorah.com/article/how-is-it-possible-that-jacob-mistakes-leah-for-rachel. Does human subterfuge disrupt or advance the Divine Plan?
This Friday, we will look at Genesis 30:13-32:3. These chapters include Rachel and Leah’s rivalry and reconciliation, the continuing fertility of Jacob’s wives and their handmaids, Jacob’s deception of Laban, and the flight, theft, and pursuit of Jacob, Rachel, and Leah as they make their way to Canaan.
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 email@example.com.
Join us for Shabbat morning services in-person or via Zoom every Saturday morning at 9:30am.
Join the Zoom service by going to Our Virtual Community page here, then scroll down and click on the blue Saturday Morning Service button.