Where does the soul go? New course explores spiritual existence

Posted Wednesday, Oct 14th, 2015

 WEST HARTFORD >> Some questions are universal to the human experience. Is there life after death? What happens to the soul after we die? What is it like for those who have traveled over to the Great Beyond? These are but a few of the questions addressed in the newest course from the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI) offered at Chabad of Greater Hartford.

Beginning Nov. 2, Chabad will present The Journey of the Soul, the institute’s new six-session fall 2015 course.
Rabbi Shaya Gopin of Chabad of Greater Hartford will conduct the six course sessions at 7:30 p.m. on Mondays at Chabad House – 2352 Albany Avenue in West Hartford. Interested students may call 860-232-1116 or visit www.ChabadHartford.com/course for registration and other course-related information.

“There’s a significant amount of confusion in the Jewish community about what happens to us when we die,” explains Rabbi Naftali Silberberg, the lead editor for the course from JLI’s headquarters in New York. “Many ideas that originate in other religions and belief systems have been popularized in the media and are taken for granted by unassuming Jews. In Journey of the Soul, we clear up these misconceptions and introduce an authentically Jewish approach which is both surprising and refreshing.”

Journey of the Soul provides spiritual insight into the soul’s journey through life, death, and beyond, as well as ancient Jewish wisdom that sheds light on the philosophical, emotional, and practical aspects of coping with death and mourning.

“Science knows the very little about the soul and what happens to it post mortem,” said Rabbi Shaya Gopin the local JLI instructor in West Hartford. “It’s about what is truly valuable and meaningful in life which is relevant to everyone, and many have expressed their curiosity to learn about the topic, so we’re expecting a good turnout.”

Professor Sheldon Solomon of Skidmore College who co-authored the book The Worm at the Core: On the role of Death in Life commented about the JLI course: “This course strikes me as a very fine juxtaposition of ancient theological wisdom with contemporary empirical science. My sense is that this will be an interesting and rewarding educational and personal experience.”

Similar sentiments were expressed by other experts in the field, including Professor Jeff Greenberg of University of Arizona; Dr. Casey Skvorc from the National Institutes of Health; Pamela Blair, co-author of I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye; and Bianca Nogrady, author of The End: The Human Experience of Death and others.

The course is being offered in joint sponsorship with the Washington School of Psychiatry, enabling medical and mental health professionals to earn up to 7.5 AMA, APA, CBBS, and ASWB continuing education credits for their participation.

Like all previous JLI programs, Journey of the Soul 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.

Interested students may call 860-232-1116 or visit www.ChabadHartford.com/course for registration and other course-related information.
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