Jewish Learning Loft (Evenings)
Location 333 s Desplaines st # 406, Chicago, IL 60661 USA
Phone773-633-5560
Upcoming Course: Journey of the Soul

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.

Course Details
Lesson 1 Demystifying Death

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.

Lesson 2 Taking Leave

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.

Lesson 3 The Mourning After

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.

Lesson 4 Where We Go

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.

Lesson 5 Where We Go Again

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.

Lesson 6 Life Is Short(ish)

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.

Dates & Times
The course date hasn't yet been announced for this location. Please email ari@jlichicago.com or call 773-633-5560 for more info.
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Past Courses

Judaism's Gifts to the World

January 2020
Judaism's Gifts to the World

By most indications, modern society is a model of moral progress. Yet when it comes to everyday values, we still grapple with the big ones…

   - What are our responsibilities toward the less fortunate?
   - How do we fashion a more moral and equal society?
   - How can we make a move toward more cohesive family living?

Join us to unpack six of the world’s most cherished values and how they were delivered to humankind by the Torah. By tracing their fascinating journey to the mainstream, we’ll discover a timeless core of purpose, integrity, and clarity in each value—a powerful gift of guidance as we navigate our own daily choices.

Worrier to Warrior

November 2019
Worrier to Warrior

We yearn to feel happy, self-assured, and enthusiastic, yet we’re consumed by feelings of doubt, regret, insecurity, and suffering. Do our delicate positive emotions have a fighting chance at being in control? This course explores negative emotions in a completely new light, offering spiritual mechanisms that allow us to remain upbeat no matter what life brings.

Crime and Consequence

February 2019
Crime and Consequence

When innocent people are wrongly convicted...
When "correctional facilities" turn first-time offenders into hardened criminals...
When known murderers walk free on a technicality …
Fairness in justice simply cannot be left to chance.

In Crime and Consequence, we explore 3000 years of Jewish wisdom concerning criminal convictions, sentencing, crime prevention, and rehabilitation. We challenge our thinking, pondering the application of Talmudic principles to real and complex, modern-day cases, and we get to the heart of questions such as:

Should we consider testimonies given in exchange for a reduced sentence as reliable evidence?
What is the goal of punishing criminals? is it to gain retribution for the victim, keep criminals off the streets and safeguard from future crime, set an example and instill the fear of law, or to rehabilitate the criminal and reintroduce him to society?
Is life-without-parole a justifiable penalty? Is it within our right to sentence a man to death? When would these be warranted? Is there a better way?