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There is so much that 4,000 years of tradition and wisdom can teach us.  Young or old, observant or not-so-much; whether you already know a lot or are just starting out – you’re not alone. Jump in. No wrong answers –

"With the knowledge and empathy I have gained at the Friday Study Group, my understanding of life has also grown. We are a community where I can live my values."-Carol Cohen

 This week's learning

Feb
10
Fri
Online Friday Noon Study Group
Feb 10 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Online Friday Noon Study Group

Friday Noon Study Group  February 10  12-1

Last week, our discussion of the Epistle to the Hebrews was so engaging that we were only able to cover a chapter and a half  (7:11-28 and 8).   The author continued to make a case for the superiority of Christ’s priesthood, arguing that “perfection” (a complete relationship between man and God) had been “weak and ineffectual” under the Levitical priesthood.  The author’s argument, drawing upon Psalm 110 from the Tanach, included such points as
  • Jesus, like Melchizedek in the Hebrew Bible, was a priest “not through a a legal requirement concerning physical descent” (he descended from Judah rather than Levi).
  • Levitical priests “were prevented by death from continuing in office,” whereas “because he continues forever.” Jesus “holds his priesthood permanently.”
  • Jesus was “holy, blameless, and undefiled,” while high priests appointed through Mosaic law “are subject to weakness.”
  • Levitical priests offered sacrifices “day after day,” but Jesus did this “once for all when he offered himself.”
A central point of the seventh chapter of Hebrews is that Jesus “has become the guarantee of a better covenant.”  This “better covenant” is the focus of Chapter 8, which takes as its prooftext Jeremiah 31: 31-34.  Arguing that God’s previous covenant with Israel had its faults, the author of Hebrews cites Jeremiah who claims that God established with Israel a “new covenant . . . not like the covenant that [He] made with their ancestors.”  This new covenant will be put in people’s minds and written on their hearts. Chapter 8 concludes, “In speaking of a ‘new covenant,’ he has made the first one obsolete.  And what is obsolete and growing old will soon disappear.”
Our group’s discussion then centered upon how Hebrews 8 has been interpreted by Jews and Christians and on the impact of those interpretations.
One Christian interpretation of this chapter asserts:
“The nation of Israel failed to live up to the terms of the old covenant. It was impossible because of the radical depravity of man. Of course, it was never meant to bring salvation. . . . The new covenant was required because of the sin problem. . . , The new covenant does not promise sinlessness, but forgiveness. We are saved sinners. We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. . . . The new covenant is a covenant of sovereign grace. It accomplished what the law and the old covenant could never do.”  http://www.abideinchrist.com/messages/jer31v31.html 
Jewish interpretations of the same chapter include
“The Jewish view of the mere wording “new covenant” is no more than a renewed national commitment to abide by God’s laws. In this view, the word new does not refer to a new commitment that replaces a previous one, but rather to an additional and greater level of commitment.” https://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/4714-covenant#2888
“The covenant of old is of eternal duration, never to be rescinded or to be superseded by a new covenant (Leviticus 26:44-45) . . . . Jeremiah’s “new covenant” is not a replacement of the existing covenant, but merely a figure of speech expressing the reinvigoration and revitalization of the existing covenant.” https://jewsforjudaism.org/knowledge/articles/is-jeremiahs-qnew-covenantq-jeremiah-3131-34-a-prophecy-fulfilled-by-the-new-testament/
It should be pointed out that while many Christians do accept some form of the Christian argument stated above, at least one of our group’s Christian participants objects to the supersessionist divisiveness engendered by distinguishing between old and new covenants.
This Friday, we’ll proceed by looking more closely at Chapters 9-11  in the Epistle to the Hebrews.  The author’s focus continues to be on differences between the priesthood of Christ and that of the Levitical priests.  Chapter 11, which we may not get to, speaks of the importance of faith.
Our discussion group meets via Zoom every Friday from 12-1 (see the CBI web site or Weekly Announcements for a Zoom link).  All are welcome to join us, regardless of their level of expertise or attendance at previous Friday study group sessions. Any copy of the New Testament is acceptable (the more versions the richer the conversation). 
 
 
 
 

      

 

 

 

 

 
 

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Feb
11
Sat
Havdalah Ritual & Intuitive Creative Artwork @ CBI
Feb 11 @ 6:00 pm
Havdalah Ritual & Intuitive Creative Artwork @ CBI | Asheville | North Carolina | United States

Join us every Saturday at 6pm for havdalah ritual followed by intuitive artwork creation! The individual and collaborative pieces we make together will be part of a Shavuot art display on our “collective revelation” this Spring. Bring your own art supplies/project or just show up! !

Organized by Tikva Wolf (text her with questions: 919-5-TIKVAH).

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Feb
17
Fri
Online Friday Noon Study Group
Feb 17 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Online Friday Noon Study Group

Friday Noon Study Group  February 10  12-1

Last week, our discussion of the Epistle to the Hebrews was so engaging that we were only able to cover a chapter and a half  (7:11-28 and 8).   The author continued to make a case for the superiority of Christ’s priesthood, arguing that “perfection” (a complete relationship between man and God) had been “weak and ineffectual” under the Levitical priesthood.  The author’s argument, drawing upon Psalm 110 from the Tanach, included such points as
  • Jesus, like Melchizedek in the Hebrew Bible, was a priest “not through a a legal requirement concerning physical descent” (he descended from Judah rather than Levi).
  • Levitical priests “were prevented by death from continuing in office,” whereas “because he continues forever.” Jesus “holds his priesthood permanently.”
  • Jesus was “holy, blameless, and undefiled,” while high priests appointed through Mosaic law “are subject to weakness.”
  • Levitical priests offered sacrifices “day after day,” but Jesus did this “once for all when he offered himself.”
A central point of the seventh chapter of Hebrews is that Jesus “has become the guarantee of a better covenant.”  This “better covenant” is the focus of Chapter 8, which takes as its prooftext Jeremiah 31: 31-34.  Arguing that God’s previous covenant with Israel had its faults, the author of Hebrews cites Jeremiah who claims that God established with Israel a “new covenant . . . not like the covenant that [He] made with their ancestors.”  This new covenant will be put in people’s minds and written on their hearts. Chapter 8 concludes, “In speaking of a ‘new covenant,’ he has made the first one obsolete.  And what is obsolete and growing old will soon disappear.”
Our group’s discussion then centered upon how Hebrews 8 has been interpreted by Jews and Christians and on the impact of those interpretations.
One Christian interpretation of this chapter asserts:
“The nation of Israel failed to live up to the terms of the old covenant. It was impossible because of the radical depravity of man. Of course, it was never meant to bring salvation. . . . The new covenant was required because of the sin problem. . . , The new covenant does not promise sinlessness, but forgiveness. We are saved sinners. We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. . . . The new covenant is a covenant of sovereign grace. It accomplished what the law and the old covenant could never do.”  http://www.abideinchrist.com/messages/jer31v31.html 
Jewish interpretations of the same chapter include
“The Jewish view of the mere wording “new covenant” is no more than a renewed national commitment to abide by God’s laws. In this view, the word new does not refer to a new commitment that replaces a previous one, but rather to an additional and greater level of commitment.” https://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/4714-covenant#2888
“The covenant of old is of eternal duration, never to be rescinded or to be superseded by a new covenant (Leviticus 26:44-45) . . . . Jeremiah’s “new covenant” is not a replacement of the existing covenant, but merely a figure of speech expressing the reinvigoration and revitalization of the existing covenant.” https://jewsforjudaism.org/knowledge/articles/is-jeremiahs-qnew-covenantq-jeremiah-3131-34-a-prophecy-fulfilled-by-the-new-testament/
It should be pointed out that while many Christians do accept some form of the Christian argument stated above, at least one of our group’s Christian participants objects to the supersessionist divisiveness engendered by distinguishing between old and new covenants.
This Friday, we’ll proceed by looking more closely at Chapters 9-11  in the Epistle to the Hebrews.  The author’s focus continues to be on differences between the priesthood of Christ and that of the Levitical priests.  Chapter 11, which we may not get to, speaks of the importance of faith.
Our discussion group meets via Zoom every Friday from 12-1 (see the CBI web site or Weekly Announcements for a Zoom link).  All are welcome to join us, regardless of their level of expertise or attendance at previous Friday study group sessions. Any copy of the New Testament is acceptable (the more versions the richer the conversation). 
 
 
 
 

      

 

 

 

 

 
 

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Feb
18
Sat
Shabbat Morning Services – D’Var Torah and Reflection @ Beth Israel
Feb 18 @ 9:30 am

Shabbat Morning Services – D’var Torah and Reflection at Beth Israel, 229 Murdock Avenue, 9:30am

How Does It Feel? Dylan’s Many Masks and What It Means for Us

Purim is the season of masks, of extremes, of stories and rituals that challenge our day-to-day in order to teach us something new – just like rock and roll and just like Bob Dylan. Scholar and writer Dr. Stephen Daniel Arnoff will share a vision of masks and deeper understandings at the nexus of the wisdom of Purim and good old Bob Dylan.

Class after Kiddush luncheon/1pm(featuring Dylan’s own Heaven’s Door whiskey!), Beth Israel

About Man and God and Law: The Spiritual Wisdom of Bob Dylan

Join Stephen to continue the conversation on the spiritual wisdom of Bob Dylan, exploring themes and texts from his songs in context of classic Jewish wisdom.

OUR SPEAKER

Dr. Stephen Daniel Arnoff illuminates the intersection of popular culture and religion. His book About Man and God and Law: The Spiritual Wisdom of Bob Dylan has been called “evocative,” “soulful,” “stirring,” and “a revelation.” Teaching and lecturing around the world, Stephen lives in Jerusalem, where he is CEO of the Fuchsberg Jerusalem Center. Find out more at www.mangodlaw.com.

BOOKS

Malaprops will be on site Friday afternoon and Saturday evening to facilitate book sale

 

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Shabbat Morning Services – D’Var Torah and Reflection With Dr. Stephen Daniel Arnoff @ CBI
Feb 18 @ 9:30 am

Shabbat Morning Services – D’var Torah and Reflection at Beth Israel

How Does It Feel? Dylan’s Many Masks and What It Means for Us

Purim is the season of masks, of extremes, of stories and rituals that challenge our day-to-day in order to teach us something new – just like rock and roll and just like Bob Dylan. Scholar, poet and writer Dr. Stephen Daniel Arnoff will share a vision of masks and deeper understandings at the nexus of the wisdom of Purim and good old Bob Dylan.

Class after Kiddush luncheon/1pm(featuring Dylan’s own Heaven’s Door whiskey!), Beth Israel

About Man and God and Law: The Spiritual Wisdom of Bob Dylan

Join Stephen to continue the conversation on the spiritual wisdom of Bob Dylan, exploring themes and texts from his songs in context of classic Jewish wisdom.

 

 

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YEP! (Youth Engagement Program)

Forget Sunday School. YEP! is an innovative and exciting multi-generational, hands-on Jewish educational experience for parents and their children. Once a week during the school year, families come together for experiential learning that that fosters deep relationships among families, our congregation and the greater community, while strengthening Jewish identity on a personal level. 

Learn more and reserve your place now!

Bar/Bat Mitzvah Preparation

One of the beautiful aspects of raising Jewish kids in Asheville is that they tend to grow up with a sense of groundedness. Their bar/bat mitzvah is not an over-the-top competition. It's just one of life's milestones. It's not a culmination of their Jewish learning and engagement - it's the beginning.

Bar/Bat mitzvah study is introduced early on, at least several years prior to the event. Our kids study with Josefa Briant, a former soloist in the Batsheva Dance Company (Tel Aviv) with a deep sense of spirituality. They meet as a class to acquire the skills needed to lead services. About a year out, kids begin studying one-one-one to learn their Torah portion and haftorah and begin to meet with Rabbi Justin to get a taste of what Jewish study with a chevruta (partner) is all about. After it's over, many decide to remain engaged. That is our measure of success.  

Post Bar/Bat Mitzvah Learning

The post b'nei mitzvah group is for those young adults 13 and over who have already become bar/bat mitzvvah. The student-led group meets the first Tuesday of the month with Rabbi Goldstein in a setting that is open, safe and confidential. Topics for discussion revolve around creating, growing and sustaining meaningful relationships and use both text study and discussion as tools with which to explore Jewish life and Jewish values.  For more information, please contact Rabbi Goldstein.

"I find it quite remarkable that people are both open and respectful! Open? That happens. Respectful? Not everywhere!! But always here!" - Judith Hoy

Learning for Adults

Do you ever wonder what it’s all about? Curious what Judaism has to say about today’s thornier problems? Always wanted to learn to speak Hebrew? Yiddish? Or maybe you just want to get more out of Shabbat and the other holidays. You’re in the right place. We get together weekly, monthly or whenever we can. Many, but not all, groups are led by Rabbi Justin. And not all take place at the synagogue.

Weekly/Monthly Learning

Click on a program to learn more

Learning Throughout the Year

Scholar-in-Residence

At least once each year, the CBI hosts a Scholar/Artist-in-Residence for a weekend. Previous scholars/artists include: Rabbi Harold Kushner; Israeli writer/entertainer, Danny Maseng; dancer and creator of MOVING TORAH, Andrea Hodos; storyteller and folklorist, Pennina Schram.  

Holiday Study

The holidays provide opportunities to deepen our understanding of who we are - as individuals and as a people. We take advantage of as many as we can, including Tu b'Shevat, Purim, Pesach, Shavuot, Tisha b'Av, and more.  

Dinner and a Movie

 Start with a dairy pot-luck dinner, add a few dozen of your friends, then settle in for a movie that's sure to make you laugh, cry, love, cringe or, at the very least, think.

"The culture of learning at CBI is vibrant, non-dogmatic, participatory, respectful, relevant, and evolving within the context of our growing congregation. The intellect and the spirit are equally honored." -Dr. Robert Kline