2011 Conference
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Ethan Tucker

Mechon Hadar

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Ethan Tucker is a rabbi and Rosh Yeshiva at Mechon Hadar and chair in Jewish Law. Ethan was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and earned a PhD in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary and a B.A. from Harvard College. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, he was a co-founder of Kehilat Hadar and a winner of the first Grinspoon Foundation Social Entrepreneur Fellowship.

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?

Revisiting the Mechitzah

College/University Student Recommended, Text & Thought

The mechitzah remains the bete-noire of all conversations about tefillah. Reviled by some and considered indispensable by others, it rarely gets a fair and honest hearing one way or the other. We will attempt to clear the air and have a frank and source-rich conversation about what role considerations of sexuality might and ought to play in gender-egalitarian environments.

Destruction and Reconstruction

Exploring the Thought of Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel

Advanced, College/University Student Recommended, Text & Thought

The natural world, Jewish history and human experience are full of cycles of destruction and repair. How does human free will respond to these challenges and how can our free will serve as a force for drawing us closer to God? In this session, we will examine the thought of one of the leading thinkers and teachers of the world of 19th century musar (Jewish Literary Tradition), working through a text in the original. The session will not feature translations, though the broader discussion will be accessible to all.

Two Stories of Moshe and the Rock

Moving Beyond Biblical Criticism

College/University Student Recommended, Text & Thought

The Torah tells two stories about Moshe striking a rock and providing water for the people in the desert. They are strikingly similar. In one, Moshe seems obedient and triumphant, while in the other he is consigned to death on a barren mountaintop. In this session, we will engage the texts closely with two goals: to emerge with a deeper understanding of this material and to develop a broader reading strategy for engaging in critical scholarship on the Bible from a religious perspective.


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