'Jewpernatural' series searches for relevance in the mystical

Posted Wednesday, Apr 26th, 2023

Reflecting a growing interest in the paranormal, Chabad of Northbrook Rabbi Meir Moscowitz will lead a monthlong, four-part series titled "Jewpernatural."

"I'm constantly getting questions about dreams, about jinxes, about angels," Moscowitz said. "People wonder, are they real? What does Judaism say about it?

"What I find is we know about it, but we don't really know about it."

The course, following materials created by the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute, is designed to examine passages and examples in the Torah, Talmud and Kabbalah to understand Judaism's take on subjects and how they relate to people.

It is broken into four groups: Dreams, Astrology, Jinxes and Curses; and Angels, Demons, Spirits and Souls.

"Everyone dreams, and the question is, does it mean anything, is there a message or not, is there something that's important, or not," Moscowitz said.

He cited an example found in scripture of Joseph the Dreamer.

"What does the text actually say, what can we learn from it, and how does it relate to each one of us?" he said.

"Jewpernatural" course sessions will be held once weekly over four straight weeks. There are classes from 10-11:30 a.m. Sundays starting April 30; and from 7:30-9 p.m. Tuesdays starting May 2.

It will be held at Lubavitch Chabad of Northbrook, 2095 Landwehr Road. A remote option will be available, but Moscowitz believes it has greater meaning in person.

Sign up for the $149 course at chabadnorthbrook.com/JLI. For more information, call (847) 564-8770.

Moscowitz is not interested in proving the existence of mysterious phenomena, but rather "a well-rounded Jewish understanding" of the material.

He's been leading Jewish Learning Institute courses for nearly 20 years and finds them stimulating. Internationally, more than 400,000 people have taken JLI courses since the New York-based organization was founded in 1998.

"It's fascinating to discover new layers of understanding, new ideas, and the personal relevance of these studies," Moscowitz said.

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