2011 Conference
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Will Friedman

The Jewish Theological Seminary

Will Friedman is an adjunct instructor in the Talmud and Hebrew departments at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where he is also the Director of the Eisenfeld/Duker Beit Midrash. He received his MA in Talmud from JTS, and has also studied at The Conservative Yeshiva, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, and the Pardes Kollel, where he is studying for rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Daniel Landes.

Creating an Egalitarian Day for G-d

The Goals of the Shabbat Experience

Shabbat, Text & Thought

Shabbat is mentioned few times in the Bible, and yet the practices of Shabbat fill volumes. What was that Biblical Shabbat about, and what connection does it have to the myriad laws recorded millenia later? In this text-based session, we will identify the goals of the Biblical Shabbat and, through case studies, see how those goals are realized by contemporary Shabbat practices, with the hope that this deepened understanding will help us make good decisions about our own Shabbat practices.

Not Close Enough

Finding a Time and a Place for Voluntary Mourning

Ritual, Prayer & Spirituality, Text & Thought

In an era of divorce and adoption, family ties have become increasingly complex and are often emotionally and socially fraught. The challenges become especially stark at the moment of death. In this session, we will explore classic halakhic (Jewish legal) texts on the issue of who is required to mourn for whom, and see how a nuanced understanding of those texts can help us negotiate the complexity of our own family relationships.

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