By John Rosove
The Shalom Hartman Institute of North America recently launched its Beit Midrash for Rabbis in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, in which visiting Hartman faculty, hosted by leading local institutions, lead text study for area rabbis. Rabbi John Rosove attended the kickoff event in Los Angeles on December 7, 2011. A longer version of this article can be read here.
Last week, I was privileged to hear a presentation on Hanukkah by Noam Zion, a fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute, who led 40 rabbis of the Southern California Board of Rabbis in a superb two-hour conversation entitled: “Reinvention of Hanukkah in the 20 th Century: A Jewish Cultural Civil War Between Zionists, Liberal American Judaism andHabad – Who Are the Children of Light and Who of Darkness?”
I attended this session not only because of my long-standing respect for the scholars of the Hartman Institute but because their teachings are of the highest quality.
Noam’s presentation offered a comprehensive bird’s view of Hanukkah through history as understood today by Israelis, American liberal non-haredi Jews, and Habad. Based on Hanukkah’s tendentious history and the vast corpus of sermons written over the centuries, Noam noted that classic drashot reflect the following themes: Who are the children of light and darkness? Who are our earliest heroes and what made them heroic? And what relevance can we find in Hanukkah today?
Read the whole article on the Shalom Hartman Institute website.
Rabbi John Rosove is Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel of Hollywood in Los Angeles, is a national Vice-President of the Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA), and is an active member of the Rabbinic Cabinet of J Street. He writes a blog for the LA Jewish Journal.