Chabad Mercer Island begins a new course on Tuesday, Oct. 9. Judaism Decoded: The Origins and Evolution of Jewish Tradition, a new six-week spring course, uncovers the unique formula that has sustained Jewish tradition for millennia.
Rabbi Nissan Kornfeld of Chabad will conduct the six-course sessions at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays at Chabad Mercer Island.
“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.”
With the world changing at a rapid pace, Judaism Decoded attempts to tackle the intricate questions of whether rabbis can unilaterally change Torah, and how Jewish tradition reacts to new circumstances and modern-day dilemmas.
Judaism Decoded is “an extraordinarily sophisticated examination of Talmudic methodology, tackling the toughest questions about the nature and legitimacy of rabbinic law,” says Dr. Eugene Kontorovich, a law professor at Northwestern University and contributor to the influential Volokh Conspiracy law blog. The course, he says, combines “high academic rigor with fundamental rooting in Jewish tradition.”
“Judaism encourages us to question,” said Rabbi Nissan Kornfeld, a local JLI instructor on Mercer Island. “Torah law is built on a complex source code, and we’re going to examine it in detail. But we’re going to reach back even further: How do we even know the Torah is true in the first place? This course is going to address these controversial questions head-on. I don’t think anyone will want to miss this.”
Like all 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 houses of worship.
Interested students can call 206-851-2324 or visit www.chabadmercerisland.org/jli for registration and other course-related information.