Listen in as Rabbi Artson and the Ziegler students discuss what it means to study Torah, inheriting Judaism from one’s parents, matrilineal & patrilineal, the role of prayer, ways that human choices alter history (or don’t), what Conservative Judaism can do to energize itself, and questions of gender!
Rabbi Artson offers an Opening Address for the new spring semester, enlisting the Ziegler students to resist the false bifurcation of Judaism — either social justice or spiritual depth — and instead to integrate the two into a way of life that is resilient, splendid, and transformative!
Join Rabbi Artson and the lively crew of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies as we explore: will apps replace rabbis? why is ArtScroll so awesome? (rare words of praise from a Conservative rabbi!), where is the line for unacceptable behavior? How do we balance online privacy and ethics? How do we find resilience in catastrophe? What is the meaning of a Hanukkah candle possibly causing the burning of a Capetown synagogue? and most important of all … do hotdogs count as a sandwich?
Listen in as Rabbi Artson and the students of the Ziegler School explore: what would you wish you could change in the Torah? Gun control? Donations from a bad person? Is Los Angeles the Diaspora? Is Tel Aviv? What’s new in Jewish Philosophy? Rabbis working outside of congregations? Must converts believe in God? Connecting the work of social justice and personal growth?
Lively conversation between Rabbi Artson and the Ziegler students exploring: can Jews participate in Halloween? Reflections on the shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh, antisemitism and our responses, what would you say to the family of the baby having its brit milah in that synagogue that morning? Support from other communities and our connections to them, and exploring what does it mean to politicize or not politicize this event?
Two letters from Rabbi Artson’s grandmothers, one written in 1972 and the second in 1983, highlight the ways that memory allows the past to live in the present. Rabbi Artson reflects on how people live in deeds, not in time, that our mammalian brains are literally shaped by our experiences so that our loved ones live in us. One of Judaism’s great gifts is crafting moments to visit our memories and gain strength from them.
Rabbi Artson answers Ziegler students’ burning questions about sexual harassment and abuse, how the Internet has hurt and helped, seeking a solution to move us forward, what advice Senator Graham’s rabbi ought to offer, what advise Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s rabbi might suggest. Oh, and a question about Sukkot rituals that seem pagan (and why they’re so much fun!)
Rabbi Artson’s inviting Yom Kippur address: we are always changing, never the same as we were previously. That is true for individuals, for communities and for nations. The core Jewish teaching of teshuvah gemura, of complete repentance is predicated on an open future that does not have to follow a slavish script. We can choose a worthy tomorrow by making better choices today! We can risk novelty and blossom in goodness!
In this Rosh HaShanah address, Rabbi Artson dares us to dream big: personally, communally, and politically! In a world of rancor, hostility, and violence, we tend to fall in on ourselves, shrinking our vision and hiding behind walls. It is time to stand tall, to hope, to dream, and to act!
Rabbi Artson fields questions from the students of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies as the new academic year begins! Topics include: when you don’t want to be a rabbi, coping in a broken world, Rosh HaShana thoughts, spiritual work during the holidays, patrilineal and matrilineal descent, approaching God during the Days of Awe, Conservative Judaism and egalitarianism, and how to fight the urge to covet. What a session!