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Four lectures about Serving God in the Jewish tradition by leading scholars of Jewish studies from the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, Israel, pluralistic Jewish learning and leadership training. Soon on the Shalom Hartman Institute website.

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The annual Tikkun Leil Shavuot lectures at Shalom Hartman Institute are one of the year’s most anticipated events.
This year’s theme is, “Ethics, Judaism and War,” and features lectures in English and Hebrew from Hartman Institute faculty on issues both classic and contemporary.

Shavuot evening, Thursday, 28 May, 2009

English/אנגלית
22.30-23.45 Rabbi Prof. David Hartman: The Role of the Other in Situations of War and Civic Life in the Jewish Tradition
2.30-3.30 Dov Weiss: “Moshe’s Protest against Divine War: The Case of Sihon.”

Hebrew/עברית
00:00-01:00 הרב ד”ר דניאל הרטמן: מוסר מלחמה במסורת היהודית ובמקורות ישראל

01:15-02:15 פרופ’ אבי שגיא, האלוף ישי בר: “והיה מחניך קדוש”: טוהר הנשק ומשמעותו במסמך רוח צה”ל

02:30-03:30 ד”ר אורית קמיר: מוסר כבוד האדם במלחמה

חג שבועות ביום – יום שישי ו’ סיון, 29 במאי, 2009

16:00-17:00 ביטי רואי: כוח, תפילה ומלחמה בתורת ר’ נחמן מברסלב
17:15-18:15 פרופ’ אבי שגיא: מוסר במלחמה

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תיקון ליל שבועות
המוסר, היהדות והמלחמה

Ethics, Judaism and War is the theme of this year’s Tikkun Leil Shavuot – evening of learning – at Shalom Hartman Institute.  Speakers are scheduled to include Rabbi Prof. David Hartman, Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman, and others. Details on the program as soon as all speakers and topics are confirmed.

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So, have you cleaned your house yet? Scrubbed the oven? If you have, then take a few moments to read up on the deeper meaning of Pesach – and to ponder a few additional questions beyond the hoary four you ask every year by looking at the Hartman Institute special section on Pesach now on our website.

Being the Hartman Institute, we ask more questions than we answer, but by doing so we hope to prod you to ask more questions at your Pesach seder, and to discuss the ones we’ve posed, as well. Here is a guide to just some of what we have on site in store for you:

Questions old and new

Freedom and Identity

And don’t miss the videos from Donniel Hartman and David Hartman.

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Purim arrives next week, and with it a week of costumes, fun, parties, drinking, and lots of noise. It is not unusual to see a gorilla crossing the street and a clown driving a car (well, a lot of drivers in Israel are clowns, the rest of the year, too). But what I mean is that the soberness of daily life (and I mean that in two ways) slips a bit during Purm’s joyful mayhem.

Beyond the parties, however, there is a lot in the Jewish holiday of Purim – hidden identities, cooperation with unfriendly regimes, threats of annihilation, sexual tension and innuendo. It’s an amazing story.

The scholars of the Shalom Hartman Institute, led by holiday maven and scholar Noam Zion, have a lot to say about Purim, and I urge you to stop by the Hartman website and to begin sampling the items there. The story starts right on the homepage.

Culture and Practice
Purim: Strangest of the chagim
Why so much drinking and partying in Megillah?
Yosef story echoes at Purim

God and fate
Two modern thinkers on why God is hidden in Megillah
Who controls our fate; what controls our world?

Women and men
Women in Shushan: Playing by the rules and winning
The ultimate supermodel: Esther or Vashti?
Esther: Ornament fit for a king
Ahashverosh unmanned: Who really controls his relationships?

Purim and politics
Haman and the Jewish question – relevant today
Zionism and Diaspora politics after Haman
Arthur Szyk: Art changed pre- and post-Shoah

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When leaders of the Reform movement decided to honor Rabbi Dr. Eugene Borowitz on his 85th birthday, they asked several of his current students to challenge the legendary philosopher and theologian. Among those they asked was Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi, Director of the Hartman Institute’s Center for Lay Leadership Education.

Rachel was honored to be asked but was also in the late stages of pregnancy, and so could not travel to New York from Jerusalem. So, she recorded a video tribute to Dr. Borowitz. The video tribute was duly noted in the coverage of the event by The Jewish Week of New York:

…aside from a warm welcome and introduction by Rabbi Shirley Idelson, the dean of HUC-JIR’s New York rabbinical school, and its president, Rabbi David Ellenson, the presenters, other than Rabbi Borowitz, were three young doctoral candidates – two of whom studied under him – who were given a surprising task: to challenge him to explain, in his words, “some murky aspect of my teaching.”

And challenge him they did.

Each presented an aspect of Rabbi Borowitz’s thought followed by a question posed directly to him. Thus, Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi, a faculty member and director of the Center for Lay Leadership Education of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, who made her presentation by DVD since she had given birth the day before, tried to pin Rabbi Borowitz down on “the kind of rabbis, scholars and theologians” that his students must “work to develop in order to be able to respond to the next crisis in Jewish theology.”

Indeed, Rachel mentioned in her video tribute that it was Borowitz’s idea to engage in a video presentation that allowed her to give her talk even as she remained in Jerusalem.

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Is there evil in the world? Many say yes. What is the Jewish response to it? The latest educational curriculum to be posted online on the Hartman website focuses on evil and Jewish responses to it – and is extensive.

Click on the links below to view and to download PDF files (Please note – some of these files are large and may take a few minutes to download).

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