A FEW GOOD MEN OF THE BIBLE
From the climactic courtroom scene of “A Few Good Men:”
Col. Jessup: You want answers?!
Lt. Kaffee: I want the truth!
Col. Jessup: You can’t handle the truth!
Can we handle the truth? Should we be afraid? When it comes to our Biblical heroes, do we want our world simple and clean, with our childhood images intact? Or are we willing to wade into the complicated waters of heroic but flawed and only sometimes-righteous men? The fearless among us will surely be enriched by investigating our “Good Men” a little further. Come hear magnificent teachers shine light on some of our tradition’s great heroes, and decide who gets a medal and who deserves a court martial.
Thursday 7:30-9pm • October 10-December 19 (no class Oct 31, Nov 28 & Dec 5) • 8 sessions • $100 • #13FN4JRH • $25 Individual Lecture
October 10 – JUDAH
Rabbi Gary Oren, Dean/VP AJU Whizin Center
If only Judah had stayed in full dress uniform. (Or even fatigues, but if he’d just stayed dressed.) Instead, Judah used his R&R time to ease his loneliness, seeking… “professional companionship.” And his partner? Not who she seemed. Did Judah solicit a master of disguise? And how does all this relate to Judah’s refusal to follow an ancient code (“grotesque and incomprehensible,” per Col. Jessup)? Just wait until Judah uncovers the truth.
October 17 – KING DAVID
Rabbi Mordecai Finley, Ohr HaTorah Synagogue
Is King David more like Tom Cruise’s Lt. Kaffee or Jack Nicholson’s Col. Jessup? Young David is handsome, intensely charismatic, inspiring, and a magnificent orator. He’s also a highly successful warrior and decorated soldier. King David? Well, he’s still all those things, but he is also ruthless, violent, and possessor of an explosive temper. In addition, he has a nasty habit of forgetting that even men in power aren’t above the law. Will his flaws land him in court? Come and learn.
October 24 – MOSES
Rabbi Elliot Dorff, Rector, AJU
Moses, like Col. Jessup, had a “responsibility greater than we could possibly fathom.” Moses, unlike the colonel, was humble and patient; the very picture of a good, modest, and calm leader – except when he was killing Egyptians, screaming at God, smashing tablets, ordering civil wars, and hitting rocks. (You can take the man out of ancient Egypt, but you can’t take the ancient Egyptian out of the man?). So, Moses: the shining exemplar of all a leader should be, or another man with an anger management problem? Come decide.
November 7 – KING SAUL
Dr. Robert Wexler, President, AJU
Poor King Saul. Whether with God, with his enemies the Philistines, or with his successor David, Saul seems to be the living embodiment of the man who “messed with the wrong marine.” Saul gets commissioned for a dangerous mission (he went looking for a donkey, not a kingdom), accepts only reluctantly, and then when it “goes south,” he gets crushed for every little mistake he makes. At least there’s that time he saved a city full of right eyes….
November 14 – JACOB
Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben, Kehillat Israel Congregation
Jacob can’t handle the truth…at least not telling it. You see, Jacob lies. Lies to his brother, to his father, to his uncle, and to himself. And after Jacob lies? Jacob runs. Except the lying and the running have a way of catching up with him. But like all lies and cover ups, eventually the truth comes out. And when it does, Jacob’s struggles rival those of any marine. Does Jacob regain his honor? Come decide for yourself.
November 21 – JETHRO
Rabbi Sarah Hronsky, Senior Rabbi, Beth Hillel
Lt. Col. Mathew Markinson is a supporting character in
“A Few Good Men”, but one with a huge role. Markinson, a master of disguise, has a profound impact in helping find justice for the murdered marine. Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, plays a similar role in the Torah. Jethro, if that’s his real name, (somehow he’s also known as Reuel), appears but a few times in Torah, but helps shape Israelite justice for generations – and may just save Moshe’s life in the process. A truly “Good Man.”
December 12 – ABRAHAM
Rabbi Brad Artson, Dean, Ziegler School of Rabbinics, AJU
“Unit. Corps. God. Country.” What about “my son?” Abraham our forefather, like marines Dawson and Downey, follows orders. After all, said Col. Jessup (and God), “We follow orders, or people die. It’s that simple.” But is it? We praise Abraham for his piety and fidelity, but when it was time to sacrifice his son Yitzhak, was that just God ordering one giant, horrible, “Code Red?” Did Abraham really pass his test? Or was Abraham supposed to break rank?
December 19 – AARON
Rabbi Lisa Edwards, Beth Chayim Chadashim
Aaron, older brother of Moses, was the first Kohen Gadol (High Priest). He spoke when Moses thought that he could not, and he was amongst the select few to whom God spoke directly. Sounds like a “Good Man.” Then why was he also responsible for guiding the nation Israel into the two greatest sins it commits in the whole Torah? Why does he lead his men into civil war, plague, and forty years of wandering the desert? He was just doing his job…right?
Dates: October 10-December 19 (no class Oct 31, Nov 28 & Dec 5), 2013
Number of meetings: 8 sessions
Meeting duration: 7:30-9pm
Availability: Available for online registration