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Become part of a tradition of Torah study that inspires Jews around the world today, just as it has for millennia.Whether you want to create meaningful conversations about values and ethics, or start a new practice of personal growth, or deepen your connection to Jewish wisdom and tradition, Values and Ethics will guide you through a full year of weekly Torah portions, exploring timeless values lessons that speak to us today.
Like prayer, it accustoms us to looking for ultimate value, for right and wrong and for God or godliness in our lives.
We need not believe that everything or even anything in the Torah is God-given, nor do we need to agree with everything we read in order to let Torah study be an exercise in spiritual conditioning.
(Mishna (Hebrew Bible), the Talmud, the siddur, the poetry of various ages, the midrashic collections, the halakhic codes and the responsa literature, as well as works of philosophy, reform and mysticism.
Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan and the Reconstructionist movement have made several contributions to the methodology of the Torah process.
Torah is more than the Five Books of Moses; it is the name Jews give to the process of discovering a godly way of living.
Torah is a process involving a constant interplay between thought and action.We acknowledge it as a process that often results in change in Jewish practice.We state clearly that we sometimes are trying to change (or “reconstruct”) Judaism.Of what importance, then, is the painstaking process of Torah study?In a famous story found in the Talmud ( 31a), when an impudent Roman asked the sage Hillel to tell him the whole Torah while standing on one foot, Hillel seems to have said that such a telling is possible.He answered, “What is hateful to you, do not do to another.That is the whole Torah.” If we are clear about our values, which perhaps can be summarized by Hillel’s statement of the Golden Rule, and if we are clear about whatever scientific and other input is necessary to understand which actions best put those values into practice, why study? ” What will study add to the Golden Rule if it is “the whole Torah?Study can place our decisions and actions in a communal context, the context of the Jewish community, allowing us to reinforce our resolution with the consciousness that we belong to a community of practice, that we are not alone.We study because we want our decisions to be consistent with answers to questions of meaning, of life mission, of facing mortality and of ultimate truths: Who are we?Our study will help put our decisions into this deeper context.Torah study is, among other things, a spiritual discipline, a practice to habituate us to the use of the language and the thought patterns of holiness.