Ethan Tucker is Rosh Yeshiva at Mechon Hadar and chair in Jewish Law. Ethan was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel after studying at Yeshivat Ma'ale Gilboa and earned a PhD in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, he was a co-founder of Kehilat Hadar and a winner of the first Grinspoon Foundation Social Entrepreneur Fellowship.
Friday Night Tisch!
Tisch (Yiddish for Table) is the Hasidic custom of gathering around a table to share songs, words and drinks — all of the kind that warm up the inside. Come join host Mishael Zion as some of Limmud NY's top presenters share their thoughts, stories and free-associations on "Why We Learn." Prepare yourself to experience the best of Shabbat and Limmud NY all wrapped up in one joyous and uplifting session. Note: Alcohol will be available at the Tisch (only for participants who are 21 years of age and older).
Grappling with Difficult Texts
Universalism and Particularism
Text & Thought
In the passage we will examine, R. Yisrael Lifshitz, a prominent 19th century rabbi and commentator, grapples with Talmudic statements that appear to speak disparagingly about Gentiles. Through his approach, we will explore what it means to take ownership of a tradition that does not, at least at first glance, always match our religious and ethical instincts. The Hebrew text will be learned in the original, without translation, though the discussion will be accessible to all.
Where We Have Been and Where We Are Going
The past 150 years have seen many struggles over Jewish law, its interpretation, and its application. In a globalized world of diminishing local community, Jews have more choice than ever before as to who their rabbinic authority should be and whether they choose one at all. This dynamic invites us to explore anew what role halakhah (Jewish law) should play in Jewish discourse, and how, if at all, halakhic authorities can and should shape Jewish life. Is halakhah a system of authority and obedience? Is it a language that can be used by pluralistic communities? Would Judaism today be better off without a discussion of halakhah at all? Come explore these questions and your own in a thought-provoking exchange with panelists who represent creative approaches to thinking about the application of Jewish law in our day.
It's All Greek to Me
Praying in Languages Other than Hebrew
College/University Student Recommended,
Ritual & Prayer,
Text & Thought
Language is simultaneously a portal and a barrier to prayer. Jews have prayed in Hebrew for millenia, yet our oldest sources also speak of prayer in other languages. Come explore the history of the language of prayer, how our linguistic preferences define what prayer is about, and how we might approach this issue today.