New Chabad Course Explores Origins of Judaism

Posted Thursday, Apr 23rd, 2015

Beginning in early May, the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI) will present Judaism Decoded: The Origins and Evolution of Jewish Tradition, a new six-week spring course that will uncover the unique formula that has sustained Jewish tradition for millennia.

Judaism Decoded sheds light on the mysteries surrounding biblical interpretation. With the world changing at a rapid pace, it tackles the intricate questions of whether rabbis can unilaterally change Torah, and how Jewish tradition reacts to new circumstances and modern-day dilemmas. How do we know our interpretation is true? If it is true, why is it subject to differences of opinion? And with so many interpretations to choose from, how do we know which one reflects its original intent?

Discover the sheer elegance of the “source code” on which Torah law is built; enjoy the razor-sharp reasoning, intelligent debate, and compelling arguments of the Talmudic dialectic; and get a fascinating, behind-the-scenes glimpse of the most intellectually sophisticated religion in existence.

“Just as science follows the scientific method, Judaism has its own system to ensure authenticity remains intact,” explains Rabbi Zalman Abraham of JLI’s New York headquarters. “We wanted to shed light on the mystery that surrounds biblical interpretations. This really is an eye-opening course.”

Rabbi Mordechai Shain of Lubavitch on the Palisades will conduct the sessions on Tuesdays from 8–9:30 p.m., beginning May 5, at 11 Harold Street in Tenafly. Interested students may call 201-871-1152 or visit for registration and other course-related information.

Rabbi Mendy Kasowitz of Chabad of West Orange will conduct the sessions on Mondays from 7:30–9 p.m., beginning May 4, at 395 Pleasant Valley Way in West Orange. To register for the course, visit, or for more information call 973-325-6311 or e-mail[email protected].

Anshei Lubavitch of Fair Lawn will run the program on Sundays from 8–9:30 p.m., beginning May 3, at 10-10 Plaza Road in Fair Lawn. The cost is $80.

Like all previous JLI programs, Judaism Decoded is designed to appeal to people at all levels of Jewish knowledge, including those without any prior experience or background in Jewish learning. All JLI courses are open to the public, and attendees need not be affiliated with a particular synagogue, temple, or other house of worship.


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