Torah Through A Hasidic Lens: Currently running - Fall 2019 - Spring 2020

We will delve into hidden meanings that lie beneath the simple reading of selected Torah texts through the lenses of Hasidic masters such as The Baal Shem Tov, Degel Machaneh Efraim, Rebbe Nachman, Me’or Einayim, and the Netivot Shalom. Each text we encounter will offer a springboard and/or insight into our psycho-spiritual lives with the aspiration that our own interiority will be illuminated and expanded through its study. The class will utilize music, meditation, hevruta (paired) study and group discussion. Limited to ten participants.

Shabbat Candles, Hidden Light

Experience the hidden light within you through the writings of the Rebbe of Slonim, the Netivot Shalom. Through text study in hevruta, using music, meditation, reflection, and open discussion we will explore how the mystical teachings of this hasidic rebbe, beloved by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, can deepen and transform our Shabbat experience. Shabbat is central to sustaining the world. What is our role in this process? We will immerse ourselves in the words of the Slonimer rebbe, as well as our ancient texts to see how they might guide us into a more meaningful Shabbat practice. This is a six week course. No Hebrew skills required but certainly useful.

Shabbat Table Rituals - A Practical and Spiritual Guide: Creating Heaven on Earth 

Through text study of the Shabbat home blessings, with an emphasis on the Friday night kiddush and Saturday morning kiddush, we will deepen our understanding of what we are already doing at home on Friday evening and/or Saturday. We will learn texts from Talmud, Midrash and Zohar and ask how is Shabbat foundational to the Jewish concept of time? What do the blessings ask of us? What do all the words that we say actually mean? How do we comprehend the words, “Who makes us holy with His/Her mitzvot?” What do the rituals have to do with our lives? Do they offer insight into our own spiritual connections and callings? 

Whether you just started celebrating Shabbat, hope to begin, or have been at it for a long time, this study will be useful in gaining practical skills and knowledge that will make Shabbat a more vital and enriching experience. Using music, reflection and meditation, we will share personal insights and questions. This is a four week course. No Hebrew skills required but certainly useful.

Torah as Spiritual Apothecary: The healing and transformative power of Jewish texts

The Jewish literary canon is a spiritual apothecary, a vast treasure trove of textual medicinal remedies for the seeking soul. Each of us is a remarkable universe whose needs for personal growth and connection with the sacred are uniquely our own. It has been my experience that certain verses, words, narratives and even letters may be just the right remedy to open pathways to the heart, mind and spirit. The study of Torah texts with a teacher and study partner is a path that may empower spiritual seekers to be agents of their own transformations in ways that reveal the amazing depth and breadth of Jewish tradition.

We will look at specific texts from all of the Hebrew Bible and the Oral Torah (Talmud, Midrash, etc). as a way to deepen knowledge of those texts and to explore what they might offer as keys that open us to deeper truth. 

This is a six week course, or can continue if the group is willing. No Hebrew skills required but certainly useful.


These classes may be hosted in your living room or mine under the aegis of Open Circle Jewish Learning.

Open Circle is sponsored by Hebrew College and subsidized by the CJP. It is is open to adults of all ages, faiths, and backgrounds. The cost is $20 per class and payment is made to Open Circle.

“Find meaning in Jewish sources of wisdom through conversation groups in living rooms, synagogues, and community centers throughout the Greater Boston Area. Small groups. Big questions. Exceptional educators.”

Torah Study in my home or yours: The subject matter will be determined by the group and the study can be ongoing. Take a deep dive into well-known narratives as well as parts of the Hebrew Bible that are rarely looked at. This is independent of Open Circle, but the contribution of $20/class remains the same.

Please contact me with any questions or concerns using the Contact button in the navigation bar.