Vail Valley to join worldwide release of ‘You Be the Judge II’

Posted Monday, Feb 16th, 2009
Vail Daily
VAIL, Colorado — Other people have told their stories through music or monuments, or have expressed themselves in poetry and philosophy. But for more than 1,000 years, the most important cultural activity of the Jewish people has been the study of the Talmud, the pinnacle of their intellectual achievement.

“Perhaps you have been curious about the Talmud, but thought it was complex and inaccessible to anyone but scholars of the law,” said Rabbi Dovid Mintz of the Chabad Jewish Center. “Perhaps you thought you needed to understand Aramaic or Hebrew to take part in the discussion. Not any more. Participants need no prior knowledge of the Talmud and no formal legal training. There are no prerequisites other than an open mind.”

In response to a successful turnout in 2006 for You Be The Judge, an interactive course allowing students to explore the Talmud’s thinking about civil law, the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute is launching You Be the Judge II.

Even students who did not attend the first course will enjoy this course, which includes six new case studies that allow participants to pit their wits against some of the best minds in history.

This new course will be presented in Vail, at the Chabad Jewish Center, on six consecutive Tuesdays, beginning Feb. 10. The course will also be available in Edwards, at the Inn at Riverwalk, on six consecutive Wednesdays, beginning Feb. 11. The course costs $80, but participants can attend the first lesson free, with no obligation.

You Be the Judge II presents students with real cases brought before beit din, the court system of Jewish law, and compares Talmudic analysis with the contemporary approach taken in United States courts. Topics include business ethics, property rights and employment practices, and each lesson provides an opportunity to question, discuss and argue, based on principle and precedent. You Be The Judge II allows attendees to challenge conventional notions of right and wrong, and experience firsthand the exhilarating mental exploration that characterizes traditional Talmud study.

“If your mother always said you should have been a lawyer, this course is for you,” said Mintz, the local JLI coordinator. “If you have a reputation for thinking differently and creatively, this course is for you. If the only thing you like more than a clever line is an even wittier comeback, than this course is for you.”

What will you gain by taking this course? A chance to discover why the Talmud has been so cherished by Jewish people. A chance to observe the most brilliant minds of Jewish history in heated debate. A chance to experience the traditional Jewish training ground for mental acuity. And a chance to add your voice to the voices that span the millennia.

Talmudic Ethics has been approved for 11 CLE credits by the Colorado Bar, including 1.8 of ethics credits.This is a unique opportunity for lawyers interested in learning about Jewish thought to claim continuing legal education credits.

The Jewish Learning Institute (JLI) is the adult education arm of Chabad-Lubavitch. JLI’s classes and programs are offered at more than 300 locations in more than 250 cities nationwide and internationally (including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Venezuela).

Visit for up-to-date information about You Be The Judge II. To sign up for the class, or for further information, contact Mintz at 9701-476-7887 or e-mail him at [email protected].

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