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Text and philosophy [clear filter]
Saturday, June 6
 

9:00pm AEST

Shabbes in Mecca: teaching Judaism to Muslims
CLICK HERE TO ENTER ZOOM ROOM 3
The disappearance of Jewish communities from the Arab world has a left a great thirst for information on Jews and Judaism. Through "People of the Book", an online project launched in July 2017, Elhanan tries to use religion as peace-building tool. This session will follow the project from an idea, to implementation, to the reactions in the Arab world. What have viewers found most significant? Where did he misstep and offend?

Speakers
avatar for Elhanan Miller

Elhanan Miller

Elhanan Miller is the rabbi of the ACT Jewish community. Born and raised in Jerusalem, Elhanan completed a Master's degree in Islamic Studies and Middle East History at Hebrew University. His project "People of the Book", educating Muslims about Judaism, has garnered millions of views... Read More →


Saturday June 6, 2020 9:00pm - 10:00pm AEST
ROOM 3
 
Sunday, June 7
 

10:00am AEST

From the Mountain to the Sea: The Transmission of Oral Torah
CLICK HERE TO ENTER ZOOM ROOM 7
It is a commonplace, oft repeated, that the ancient rabbis believed their traditions to have originated with Moses at Sinai. But if that is so, how were those traditions transmitted, and by what means were they distilled into the Talmud?

In this session, we will explore the Talmud's understanding of that precise chain of transmission, from Moses in the first generation, down to Ravina and Rav Ashi in the fortieth. Along the way we will remark upon some of the contributions of those individuals credited with this transmission, and the other texts that they were believed to have composed.

Speakers
avatar for Simon Holloway

Simon Holloway

Simon Holloway is an Education Officer at the Sydney Jewish Museum, where he runs seminars on the Holocaust. He has a PhD in Classical Hebrew, but spends most of his time studying the rabbinic literature. He also has two children, whom he subjects to the Talmud on a daily basis.


Sunday June 7, 2020 10:00am - 11:00am AEST
ROOM 7

12:00pm AEST

Pesach’s Over, Shavuot’s Over – Now What? How Torah can give us strength as we wait for Rosh Hashanna
CLICK HERE TO ENTER ZOOM ROOM 1
This session will look deeply at what it means to live in a broken world, and a broken time, and attempt to understand how Torah – both the content we are learning, and the practice of Torah study itself can bring comfort to us in these challenging times.
All are welcome, and all text will be provided in the original, with English translation.

Speakers
avatar for Yaffa Epstein

Yaffa Epstein

Director, Wexner Heritage Program, The Wexner Foundation
Rabba Yaffa Epstein serves as the Director of the Wexner Heritage Program. She formerly served as the Director of Education, North America for the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. She received Rabbinic Ordination from Yeshivat Maharat and holds a Law Degree from Bar-Ilan University... Read More →



Sunday June 7, 2020 12:00pm - 1:00pm AEST
ROOM 1
 
Monday, June 8
 

10:00am AEST

CANCELLED - Modern Koranic interpretation: the surprising Talmudic basis
CLICK HERE TO ENTER ZOOM ROOM 13
Mohammed Asad was born a Jew and was the grandson of a rabbi. He used his Talmudic knowledge and his early flirtations with Zionism to construct an interpretation of the Koran which informed the initial Pakistani education system and the idea of a Muslim home in South Asia, a Muslim form of Zionism. A brief exposition of his life, time, methods and why this should bring Jews and Muslims closer together.

Speakers
avatar for Jon Yaakov Gorr

Jon Yaakov Gorr

Jon Yaakov first encountered Mohammed Asad when supervising one of his PhD students. Jon Yaakov presented a much shorter version of this talk, in Hebrew, when building bridges between Arab and other students at his ulpan in 2018. He’s 60, a retired lawyer, and he likes dangerous... Read More →


Monday June 8, 2020 10:00am - 11:00am AEST
ROOM 13

11:00am AEST

Einstein's God
CLICK HERE TO ENTER ZOOM ROOM 4
Einstein said “science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind”. The “person of the century” was quizzed repeatedly about his views of God. In this talk, we will clarify your views of what science and religion are and whether they conflict. Then Einstein will buy into the argument in his own words. We will discover that his genius extended beyond the scientific to a deep understanding of man and God.

Speakers
avatar for Steven Prawer

Steven Prawer

Steven is Professor of Physics at the University of Melbourne and a member of the Shira Hadasha community. His research interests are in brain machine interfaces and quantum devices. He has long been an advocate for the synergy between religion and science



Monday June 8, 2020 11:00am - 12:00pm AEST
ROOM 4

11:00am AEST

Times Like These: Thinking about "relevant" texts in uncertain times
CLICK HERE TO ENTER ZOOM ROOM 14
What makes a biblical text "relevant" - especially in complicated circumstances? Are some passages more useful or important than others (or not)? Why should we study anything at all? In this session, we'll consider some classical and modern Jewish approaches to learning, especially in difficult times, and ask what makes a text "relevant" at all.

Speakers
avatar for Emily Filler

Emily Filler

Emily is Chair and Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies at Earlham College, where she teaches modern philosophy and ethics alongside the Jewish textual tradition. A PhD from the University of Virginia, she is particularly interested in the possibility that "troubling texts" - violent... Read More →


Monday June 8, 2020 11:00am - 12:00pm AEST
ROOM 14

12:00pm AEST

An arrow in the eye of Satan! Judaism, disgust and morality: Qiddushin 81a-b
CLICK HERE TO ENTER ZOOM ROOM 1
The emotion of disgust has received increasing attention in social, political, legal and moral discourse in recent years. This session focuses on the Talmudic story of Satan’s encounter with Rabbi Plimo (Babylonian Talmud, Qiddushin 81a-b) as an entry point to exploring the role of disgust in Jewish Ethics. Following a close reading and analysis of the story, we will study other rabbinic and medieval sources to understand how disgust functions both as a moral challenge and a moral asset in the quest for holiness.

Speakers
avatar for Jeffrey Rubenstein

Jeffrey Rubenstein

Jeffrey L. Rubenstein is the Skirball Professor of Talmud and Rabbinic Literature in the Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies of New York University. He received his B.A. in Religion from Oberlin College, his M.A. in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he also received... Read More →



Monday June 8, 2020 12:00pm - 1:00pm AEST
ROOM 1

6:30pm AEST

Is Artificial Intelligence Jewish?
CLICK HERE TO ENTER ZOOM ROOM 5
Artificial Intelligence is embedded in our everyday life and increasingly underpins the economic and social foundations of our way of living. What is the Jewish cultural and social response to AI? How Jewish is AI? And what are the religious issues that will require a Halachik response to AI?

Speakers
avatar for Adam Slonim

Adam Slonim

Adam Slonim works professionally with the Australian Institute for Machine Learning at Adelaide University - number 3 in the world in Artificial Intelligence research. Adam has authored a policy paper on “AI and the Future of Work” and is a director of VorAI Systems, an AI start... Read More →


Monday June 8, 2020 6:30pm - 7:30pm AEST
ROOM 5

6:30pm AEST

My teacher, Nehama
CLICK HERE TO ENTER ZOOM ROOM 3
My teacher, Nehama Leibowitz, was arguably the greatest Torah scholar of the 20th century. Hear about her special qualities as a person and a scholar. After sharing memories of her teaching, we will learn a passage of Torah together according to Nehama's methodology.


Speakers
avatar for Peta Pellach

Peta Pellach

Senior Fellow, Kiverstein Institute
Peta is a co-founder of Limmud-Oz in Sydney and is now a teacher and activist in Jerusalem. She is an orthodox feminist, committed to interfaith dialogue. Senior Fellow, Kiverstein Institute; Director of Education, Elijah Interfaith Institute; co-founder, Praying Together in Jerusalem... Read More →



Monday June 8, 2020 6:30pm - 7:30pm AEST
ROOM 3

6:30pm AEST

Solitude vs isolation: how time alone shaped Jewish leaders
CLICK HERE TO ENTER ZOOM ROOM 15
The formative experiences of Jewish leaders in Tanach were often solitary and personal. We will explore how these experiences related to their subsequent approach to leadership challenges.

Speakers
avatar for Adam Taub

Adam Taub

Adam Taub has lectured at the London School of Jewish Studies for over 20 years. He co-developed the college's year-long courses: "'Tanach in a Year" and "Midrash" and developed its course on "The Sages of Mishnah".



Monday June 8, 2020 6:30pm - 7:30pm AEST
ROOM 15

7:30pm AEST

Remember Amalek: hatred and genocide in the Bible
CLICK HERE TO ENTER ZOOM ROOM 14
Amalek is traditionally perceived as Israel’s archrival enemy. To this day, the name Amalek is often heard in religious discourse, used as a code name for entities of ultimate evil that should be totally annihilated. What is the basis for this uncompromising idea? What does the pursuit of it reveal about the national ethos as well as the realpolitik of the ancient peoples, the Israelites and Amalekites? With no evidence for the existence of Amalek outside the Hebrew Bible, we are left with the biblical references to track the background, circumstances and drives that formed the merciless tradition about Amalek.

Speakers
avatar for Gili Kugler

Gili Kugler

Dr Gili Kugler is a Biblical Studies lecturer at Sydney University. Her research traces the development of traditions and beliefs in the Hebrew Bible. Her book, “When God Wanted to Destroy the Chosen People: Biblical Traditions and Theology on the Move”, was published in 2019... Read More →


Monday June 8, 2020 7:30pm - 8:30pm AEST
ROOM 14

8:30pm AEST

Emergence of Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity from 70-200
CLICK HERE TO ENTER ZOOM ROOM 5
Leon will lead a discussion with Dr Geoff Jenkins about the documentary evidence of what was happening in the period of 70-200 that led to early Judaism and Christianity.

Speakers
avatar for Leon Sterling

Leon Sterling

A computer scientist with an amateur interest in Jewish studies.
GJ

Geoff Jenkins

Formerly a senior lecturer in Classics at the University of Melbourne, Geoff is an expert on early texts. He has given courses at Melton.


Monday June 8, 2020 8:30pm - 9:30pm AEST
ROOM 5

8:30pm AEST

Why can't I find God?
CLICK HERE TO ENTER ZOOM ROOM 15
The problem of divine hiddeness has received a lot of attention from philosophers of religion in the last two decades or so. It's related to the problem of evil, but not identical. The problem of evil asks why a good God allows bad things to happen. This problem asks why God makes it so hard for us to believe in him.
In this session, we'll explore the problem and a number of philosophical responses. We'll end the session with an exploration of possible Jewish responses; including the kabbalistic notion of a levush - a garment that both conceals and reveals.

Speakers
avatar for Samuel Lebens

Samuel Lebens

Samuel Lebens is a philosopher at the University of Haifa, and an Orthodox rabbi. He works on the philosophy of fiction, the writings of Bertrand Russell, and the philosophy of Judaism. He is the co-founder of the Association for the Philosophy of Judaism, and the author of the "Principles... Read More →


Monday June 8, 2020 8:30pm - 9:30pm AEST
ROOM 15
 
Sunday, June 14
 

10:00am AEST

Covid, the Holocaust and God
CLICK HERE TO ENTER ZOOM ROOM 3
When tragedy strikes, we commonly ask questions like "Where is God?" and "What does this mean?". Generally satisfying answers to our questions are not forthcoming, sometimes straining our relationship with God. In this session, we will examine a Midrashic text which will open up a novel perspective on how to grapple with the issue.

Speakers
avatar for Danny Eisenberg

Danny Eisenberg

Danny is an Orthodox rabbi who studied in Israel for a decade. After communal roles at JLC, Or Chadash and the Torah Mitzion Kollel, he is now a member of the Sydney Kollel and works as a software developer at the Climate Change Research Centre at UNSW.


Sunday June 14, 2020 10:00am - 11:00am AEST
ROOM 3

10:00am AEST

Four exiles and four spiritual revolutions
CLICK HERE TO ENTER ZOOM ROOM 5
A whirlwind tour of 3,000 years of Judaism, focusing on three spiritual revolutions and the exiles that led to each. Then the most recent revolution: modern Judaism. How are we, today, like the prophets and like the authors of the Talmud? How is 21st-century Australia like the Golden Age of Spain? And what will we build for future generations?


Speakers
avatar for Joel Hoffman

Joel Hoffman

Joel M Hoffman focuses on bringing the Bible to life and is known for his "fresh insights and interpretations about religious life in the 21st century". A popular speaker, he presents to churches, synagogues, community groups, and university audiences across the world. He holds a... Read More →


Sunday June 14, 2020 10:00am - 11:00am AEST
ROOM 5

10:00am AEST

The case for Jewish women: exploring where feminists went wrong
CLICK HERE TO ENTER ZOOM ROOM 1
This session looks at the place of Jewish women in Judaism historically and halachically. Topics include the mechitza, minyan, home vs. synagogue, sexuality, female spirituality and more. As a modern orthodox Rebbetzin, and a passionate feminist, Deb challenges the notion that Orthodox Judaism is sexist against women. This session provides an opportunity to look into our holy texts, consider historical contexts and challenge Post-modern criticisms of Judaism.

Speakers
avatar for Deb Levy Friedler

Deb Levy Friedler

Deb Levy Friedler is the Rebbetzin of the Auckland Hebrew Congregation. She's known for her warm and engaging style. Born in Auckland, the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, she has been involved in Jewish and wider community leadership as a counsellor, educator, youth worker... Read More →


Sunday June 14, 2020 10:00am - 11:00am AEST
ROOM 1

11:00am AEST

Kohanim and Contemporary Issues: Three Questions
CLICK HERE TO ENTER ZOOM ROOM 12
In this session, we will take a look at three fascinating contemporary issues having to do with the status of Kohanim. The commandment to avoid ritual impurity from the dead still applies to Kohanim in modernity. But what does this mean practically? Can a Kohen be a doctor? Is a Kohen who himself has killed allowed to bless the community during dukhaning? And would the wife of a Kohen pregnant with a baby boy need to herself avoid contact with the dead, and if so, are they obligated to find out the baby's gender, now that technology makes this easy?

Speakers
avatar for Philip Kaplan

Philip Kaplan

Phil Kaplan grew up in New York. He graduated from CUNY Queens College with a BA in Jewish Studies and received semicha from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. Rabbi Phil moved to Sydney with his wife Abra in July of 2019 where he serves as Associate Rabbi at The Great Synagogue.



Sunday June 14, 2020 11:00am - 12:00pm AEST
ROOM 12

12:00pm AEST

When Halakha and Covid 19 met: what was gained and what was lost?
CLICK HERE TO ENTER ZOOM ROOM 1
When Halakha and Covid 19 met: what was gained and what was lost?

Speakers
avatar for Ysoscher Katz

Ysoscher Katz

Ysoscher Katz is the Chair of the Talmud department at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and the past Senior Rabbi of the Prospect Heights Shul. He studied at the Satmar, Brisk, and Beit Yosef Navaradok yeshivot. Receiving his smicha shortly after high school, R. Katz has taught Talmud and... Read More →


Sunday June 14, 2020 12:00pm - 1:00pm AEST
ROOM 1

6:30pm AEST

There may be lots of laws in Judaism – but what does Judaism really think of lawyers?
CLICK HERE TO ENTER ZOOM ROOM 1
An examination of how traditional Jewish texts regard the role of lawyers in the administration of justice.

Speakers
avatar for Marcus Solomon

Marcus Solomon

Rabbi Marcus Solomon is the founding Rabbi of the Beit Midrash of WA and is responsible for its overall direction. Rabbi Solomon received rabbinic ordination from Central Tomchei Tmimim Yeshivah Academy in Brooklyn, New York, and is also a graduate of the Rabbinical College of Australia... Read More →



Sunday June 14, 2020 6:30pm - 7:30pm AEST
ROOM 1

8:30pm AEST

Is Happiness Possible?: Coveting, Capitalism and the Search for a Good Life
CLICK HERE TO ENTER ZOOM ROOM 9
In this session we will discuss how contemporary culture promotes the feeling that whatever one is, it is never enough. By examining both Jewish and other sources, we will examine the effects of advertising and social media on our sense of self-worth, and then explore wisdom from various traditions about how to promote a long-term vision of happiness in the midst of the Western loop of endless dissatisfaction.

Speakers
avatar for Elliott Malamet

Elliott Malamet

Dr Elliott Malamet lectures in literature at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and teaches Jewish thought in many institutions in Jerusalem and abroad. He is the co-director of Living Jewishly, an organisation that hosts conversations and events meant to explore the core existential... Read More →



Sunday June 14, 2020 8:30pm - 9:30pm AEST
ROOM 9

8:30pm AEST

Moses: Muslim and Jewish Perspectives
Moses, Moshe, Musa. One story seen through two traditions.  From one Muslim perspective it is a story about faith and trusting in God, and the triumph over evil and oppression. His mother leaves her baby on a river, trusting that God had a plan. Moses Later, Moses found himself again at a body of water with the Egyptians behind him and must trust God despite being at a dead end. He goes from being predicted as a threat to Pharaoh, to living in the house Pharaoh’s own house, and ultimately fulfilling his pre-destined role.  Moses also features in a story with the prophet Mohammed.
That all sounds familiar to Jewish ears, but there are subtle differences in the story and how it influences the lives of various Muslims. In Jewish sources, Moses presents as a complex character. He becomes angry, hits deep points of despair to the point of asking God to “kill me” now. He is the foundation of much of the Jewish faith and yet, he seems to struggle to have faith in the people he is to lead and the fulfilment of the destiny to which he is called. In a final chapter Moses fails to ever reach the promised land. He is perhaps the most consequential human being who ever lived, as his influence carries on in the lives of Jews, Christians and Muslims and beyond.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER ROOM 13


Speakers
avatar for Calisha Bennett

Calisha Bennett

Calisha Bennett is an educator with Together for Humanity and within the Muslim community in Australia.  She is an international speaker who has spent over fourteen years educating communities about issues associated with identity, confidence, resilience and the Islamic faith. She... Read More →
avatar for Farhan Khalil

Farhan Khalil

Imam Farhan Khalil is the Imam and Chaplain at Australian International Academy, Kellyville. He is also a marriage celebrant and was the Religion Advisor for Muslim Issues at NSW Juvenile Justice Cobham Centre. Imam Khalil is a preacher at Hills District Muslim Society and is also... Read More →
avatar for Zalman Kastel

Zalman Kastel

Before his transformation, as a Chabadnik in Crown Height, Brooklyn, Zalman Kastel viewed people mainly as “us & them”. Encounters with Muslims changed him. He directs Together for Humanity, an organisation that fosters interfaith and intercultural understanding in school students... Read More →


Sunday June 14, 2020 8:30pm - 9:30pm AEST
ROOM 13
 
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