Melton & More
Bet Shira Congregation
Thursdays, 7:30-9:00pm 2/13/2020-4/23/2020
Perhaps these "monsters" from Jewish tradition can help us identify an ancient yet modern way of looking at our world from a very human perspective.
Course Description :
Although many have focused throughout the ages upon legal study, the world of Jewish learning includes mysticism, philosophy, literature, our view of the sciences etc. This tradition of course includes many fascinating animals described in biblical and post biblical Jewish literature with fantastical descriptions and properties. From today’s perspective they can best be described as “mythical.” This course will describe these animals, their properties and when they were discussed in Jewish history. What their purpose was and whether or not they are or were real. Most importantly however, we will discuss the repercussions on faith whether or not we accept these as real or simply as allegory. We will also learn of the various Jewish systems of interpretation of symbolism used to address questions of fundamentalism vs rationalism as it relates to these mythical creatures, sacred to the tradition. Perhaps these "monsters" from the Jewish tradition can help us identify an ancient yet modern way of looking at our world from a very human perspective.
Dates: Feb. 13, 20, 27; Mar. 5, 12, 19; Apr. 2, 23
About the Instructor:
Rabbi Manny Viñas, is the former Professor of Jewish Studies at City College of the City University of New York, where he developed this very popular course. Manny was born and raised in South Florida. He is Bilingual in English and Spanish, with a Cuban Jewish Sefardic background. Rabbi Viñas has three ordinations as Rabbi from Orthodox Seminaries in NY including Kollel Agudath Achim and as a Sofer Scribe, from Yeshiva University and as a Shochet. He also has a Master of Social Work Degree from Hunter College in NY.Over the years Rabbi Viñas' lectures have been very popular internationally, including a weekly class given over the internet in Spanish with over 6000 weekly attendees. Locally he serves as the Rabbi of El Centro de Estudios Judios Torat Emet, an organization that he founded dedicated to the return of the Anusim through outreach and education to Jewish life.