Most people, even the devout, struggle with beliefs about G-d. It is easy, for example, to affirm the basic tenets of Judaism during a prayer service, but when it comes to trusting G-d with our daily decisions, many share a secret, painful fear that G-d isn’t really looking out for them. Many of us have been brought up under the assumption that mainstream science is incompatible with our Jewish faith. So when we see compelling evidence for biological evolution, for example, we feel forced to choose between science and our faith. Wrestling with Faith was created to tackle questions like these—the “big issues” that keep people from an intimate relationship with G-d. The course acknowledges the often unspoken doubts and fears that all people share, and seizes their invitation for us to dig deeper for the answers.
Who hasn’t wondered what happens when we die? We know what happens to the body. But what happens to the soul at birth and again at death?
- Is there really a “better” place after this one?
- Do our loved ones continue to connect with us?
- Can I relate to an afterlife if I’m not spiritual?
At once practical and powerful, reflective and relatable, Journey of the Soul teaches a Jewish perspective on life that begins before birth and lasts well after a person’s passing.
It’s a journey we all take, and it’s yours to explore this winter.
Why are humans so anxious about death and dying? For many, the abrupt finality of death makes life itself seem futile. By exploring how our life force—our immortal soul—never ends but merely shifts roles, we begin to view life and death as two harmonious steps on the same journey.
Is death painful for souls? Is my presence felt when I visit a grave? Judaism’s pre-burial and burial rituals accompany the soul’s gradual transition from a limiting physical life to a completely spiritual one. We discuss those rituals and how, once freed, the soul’s connection to the living continues in new and powerful ways.
What is the Jewish grieving process and what is the significance of its various traditions? This lesson provides a meaningful Jewish perspective on grief itself, as well as practical shiva etiquette both for mourners and for those who wish to comfort them.
For centuries, human beings have been motivated by the promise of heaven and frightened by the threat of hell. Discover what Jews believe about where every soul goes and how Kaddish aids a soul in reaching true peace.
Reincarnation: more than a fascinating topic, Judaism provides a practical way to imagine this mystical process, and explains why it is important both to departed souls and to our lives today.
By now we’ve come to appreciate death as the next phase in our ongoing personal missions. In our final lesson, we use what we’ve learned to revisit our priorities in this current phase and find ways to fill every moment with everlasting significance.