2011 Conference
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Joe Septimus

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Joe Septimus, is president of Septimus Consulting, Inc. managing change for businesses & not for profits. He teaches Torah Shabbos morning at Darkhei Noam & at other Adult Ed. venues. Joe has an MBA from NYU Business School, is a Wexner Heritage alum, and is editor the Study Guide to accompany “Projecting Freedom”, a Skirball Center project of cinematic approaches to interpreting the Hagaddah

Hide and Seek: Finding the Afikoman, Finding Ourselves

Revealing the Broken and Hidden

David Ingber, Joe Septimus

Identity & Responsibility, Text & Thought

The Pesach seder’s ritual dessert of matzah is called the afikomen. The ritual of breaking, hiding, finding, and revealing that piece of matzah is not just a child’s game but also a profound sequence in the process of exile, slavery, and redemption/healing; and, of human development writ large. We all experience brokenness, hiding in pain or shame, and when we are able, we reveal our true selves. We will analyze texts from Talmud, Chasidus (Chasidic thought), kabalah (Jewish mysticism), psychology, and contemporary Jewish thinkers to illuminate the profound lessons of this ancient ritual of the afikomen.

Yetzer Rah of Idolatry and Sex—Love‘em; Hate‘em

With No Yetzer ha’Rah, How Boring Would It Be?

Identity & Responsibility, Text & Thought

Is the goal to be good or to accomplish good? If it is to accomplish good, we need the possibility of evil and failure. Talmud Yoma 69B, tells of the Jews returning from Persia to build the 2nd Temple and their request of God to eliminate the Yetzer HaRah (Evil Inclination) of Avodah Zarah (Idolatry) and sex so they can avoid failure. In agreeing, has God buckled? Our journey to excavate will reveal some of life’s complexities, with something gained and something lost in each of our significant decisions.


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