New Course to Explore the Vast Sea of Jewish Learning and Literature.
Rabbi Levi Dubov leads a Jewish learning session.
To study the history of most cultures, you need to learn about wars and empires, warriors and city builders, and great works of art. But the history of Judaism is overwhelmingly a history and development of teachings. The great Jewish teachings and traditions form the core of Judaism’s culture. But much of Judaism’s classic literature remains an enigma to many Jews.
This February, Rabbi Levi Dubov of the Chabad Jewish Center of Bloomfield Hills will launch “Book Smart,” a new six-week course from the Jewish Learning Institute that explores the vast sea of Jewish learning and literature. The class will take its participants on a deep dive into the history, authors and content of eight distinct genres of Jewish teachings: Torah, Talmud, Midrash, Halachah, Mussar (ethics), philosophy, Kabbalah and Chasidic mysticism.
“It will be the ultimate Jewish learning experience,” Dubov says, “I’m excited because the course will give us a richer understanding and context of what Judaism is, how it developed and what it can mean for us today. This course has been in development for over two years, and it is so exciting to finally bring it to our community.” Dubov was part of the editorial team that produced this course.
The history of Jewish literature is a broad subject, but Dubov says the course will also go deep. “We’re not just going to learn why these works were written. We’re actually going to get a taste of what it’s like to participate in a Talmudic debate, unpack a philosophical conundrum and decipher a kabbalistic text from the Zohar. It will be an enjoyable and intellectually engaging journey, giving us valuable context for all our future Jewish learning.”
The course begins Wednesday, Feb. 8, and runs for six consecutive weeks, with two options: morning option, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and an evening option, 7:30-9 p.m. The classes will be held at the Jewish Federation building in Bloomfield Township, and a Zoom option is available as well.
The course fee is $90, including a full-color course textbook. Discounts are offered for couples and groups. Scholarships are available upon request.