2011 Conference
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David Ingber

David Ingber is a rabbi, explorer, and integrator. His experience spans from training in the Orthodox world to Renewal Judaism, from teaching pilates and gyrotonics to meditating under the guidance of great Zen teachers, from tai chi and yoga to astrology, from great Jewish mystics to western philosophy. He recently founded Romemu in NYC.

Broken Vessels, Hidden Sparks

Ritual, Prayer & Spirituality, Text & Thought

The Mystical Philosophy of Isaac Luria, known as the Ari, completely revolutionized the Jewish world in the latter part of the 16th Century. The mystical landscape was forever changed by his unique system which became the accepted mystical worldview of Jewish mystics to this day! This class will look at how the Ari's system evolved in the ensuing centuries as teachers explored the meaning and ramifications of this ideas. Thinkers like Moshe Luzzatto, Elijah of Vilna, the Baal Shem Tov and Rabbi Kook have all looked to the Ari as source and inspiration. We will study Lurianic Kabbalah as it is refracted through the centuries in the thought of these great masters. No prior background necessary, just an open heart and mind.

Finding Meaning in Shabbat

A Panel Discussion

Dasee Berkowitz, David Ingber, Marc Katz, Malya Kurzweil Levin, DovBer Pinson, Karina Zilberman

Ritual, Prayer & Spirituality, Shabbat

As Shabbat begins, so does an exploration of its significance. The diverse observances throughout the Jewish community are a reflection of individuals’ varied meanings of Shabbat. How, as a community, do we respect each others’ Shabbat observances while at the same time exploring a renewed, deeper meaning in our own practices? To explore this and other questions, the panelists will share the rituals and ideas that are most important to them in their observance of Shabbat.

Friday Night Tisch!

A Table of Shabbos Singing and Storytelling

Shir Yaakov Feinstein-Feit, David Ingber, Eden Pearlstein, DovBer Pinson

Ritual, Prayer & Spirituality, Shabbat

Tisch (Yiddish for table) is the Hasidic custom of gathering around a table to share songs, words, and drinks. Come with your whole self and be moved into the full Shabbat spirit as Eden Perlstein's prophetic rap dances with the Hasidic niggunim (songs without words) and teachings of Rav DovBer Pinson and mystical melodies of Shir Yaakov. Note: Alcohol will be available at the Tisch (only for participants who are 21 years of age and older).

The Spirituality of Parenting

A Panel Discussion

Dasee Berkowitz, David Ingber, Susan Weidman Schneider, Mishael Zion

Identity & Responsibility, Ritual, Prayer & Spirituality

The day-to-day grind of parenting (especially parents of little kids) leaves many parents little time or space for a spiritual practice. Is parenthood a distraction from living a spiritual life or can Jewish wisdom transform the way we parent to deepen our spiritual lives? Join us as the panelists reflect on these and other questions.

Community-Wide Havdalah 2011

Shir Yaakov Feinstein-Feit, Jill Hammer, David Ingber, Shoshana Jedwab, Eden Pearlstein

Ritual, Prayer & Spirituality, Shabbat

Warm your body and soul at this sweet and lively Havdalah (closing Shabbat) event. We will celebrate the community we have built together over this Shabbat and transition into the second half of Limmud NY, and a new week. Join Shir Yaakov and Eden Perlstein of Darshan along with Jill Hammer, Shoshana Jedweb and David Ingber for a havdalah ceremony filled with music, dancing and learning. This is not to be missed!

The Ayins Have It: The Nothingness That is Everything

Ritual, Prayer & Spirituality, Text & Thought

Jewish Mysticism, like many other forms of mysticism, asserts that reality is not what it may seem to be. Behind the apparent diversity and plurality of phenomenon witnessed by our senses, lies a simple, unified field of Divinity, called by the Kabbalists, Ayin. Ayin, or No-thingness is a concept in Kabbalistic and Hassidic sources that has profound implications for our post-modern search for authentic religious experience. This class will follow the development of this core concept, drawing from traditional Jewish and non-Jewish sources to deepen our familiarity with this dimension of our spiritual heritage. No prior background necessary.

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.

G-d is a Four Letter Word

Is Monotheism Idolatry’s Last Hiding Place? or How Do We Recover From Post-Traumatic G-d Disorder?

101, Ritual, Prayer & Spirituality, Text & Thought

For many, the word "G-d" carries so much baggage, so much pain, that we find it virtually impossible to find spirituality in our Judaism. Spiritual 'scar tissue' exerts itself on us, making engaging Jewishly very painful. Changing our relationship to "G-d" and replacing old images of the Divine can be the most important step we take on the road to revitalizing our Jewish spiritual life. In this time together, we will look at some radical teachings from Rav Kook and other masters that invite us to go beyond the narrow definitions we have of G-d, refreshing ourselves by expanding our relational palette.

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