May 23-27, 2021
Join us for a week of rich, rigorous, and meaningful virtual learning on the laws of Shabbat. Led by Rabbi Ethan Tucker and Rabbi Aviva Richman of Hadar and Rabbi Micha'el Rosenberg of Hebrew College, this year’s Halakha Intensive will explore the concept of shevut.
While it is not one of the 39 melachot, shevut encompasses a variety of postures and activities - such as the prohibitions against swimming and travel- that is often understood as the “spirit of Shabbat.” What does it mean for Shabbat observance to be so fundamentally shaped by this concept? Through in-depth study of rabbinic texts, we will grapple with different competing visions for Shabbat and develop our own relationship with the “spirit of Shabbat.”
This immersive program is designed for learners who have prior exposure to Jewish texts and are comfortable navigating texts independently.
The rate for this program will be on a sliding scale between $36-$360. We ask that you pay what you can and please reach out to us at [email protected] if finances pose an obstacle. We would love to learn with you!
Rabbi Ethan Tucker is President and Rosh Yeshiva at Hadar and chair in Jewish Law. He was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and earned a doctorate in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary and a B.A. from Harvard College. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, he was a winner of the first Grinspoon Foundation Social Entrepreneur Fellowship and serves as a trustee of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.
Rabbi Aviva Richman is Rosh Yeshiva at Hadar and has been on the faculty since 2010. A graduate of Oberlin College, she studied in the Pardes Kollel and the Drisha Scholars' Circle and was ordained by Rabbi Danny Landes. She also holds a doctorate in Talmud at NYU. Interests include Talmud, Halakhah, Midrash and gender, and also a healthy dose of niggunim.
Rabbi Micha'el Rosenberg is associate professor of Rabbinics and a member of the tenured faculty of Hebrew College. He joined the College faculty in August 2012. He is the author of Signs of Virginity: Testing Virgins and Making Men in Late Antiquity (Oxford, 2018), and the co-author with Ethan Tucker of Gender Equality and Prayer in Jewish Law (Ktav, 2017). An alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship program and Harvard College, Rosenberg holds a doctorate in Talmud and Rabbinic literature from the Jewish Theological Seminary and rabbinical ordination from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.
Is it for me?
This intensive is designed for learners who have had prior exposure to Jewish texts and are comfortable, on their own, navigating a variety of classical Jewish texts in the original language. It is an excellent resource for rabbis, rabbinical students, graduate students, or others looking to expand their understanding of the halakhic process.
Am I expected to attend every part of the program?
The program is structured to enable students to comprehensively and intensively engage with a particular halakhic topic. The more a student participates in provided programming, the more they will take away from their studies. The arc of classes for the main (morning) shiur are best approached as a unit though each class will be accessible on its own. If you plan to participate in seder with a havruta, you will need to be able to make a commitment for the morning seder sessions.
At the same time, and with the awareness that Zoom fatigue is a very real phenomenon, we’ve also designed the program to have multiple entry points in order to be accessible to folks unable to attend all of the programming. For example, while the seder preparation period (see below) is encouraged, it won’t be necessary in order to attend the daily shiur. The case study track and electives as well are fully optional.
Please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] with any questions!
How are the days structured?
The learning at this Intensive will be partially teacher-facilitated and partially independent. There a few different learning and teaching modes:
Morning Seder and Shiur
- Introduction: Each day will open with a brief introduction to that day’s material.
- Seder: Participants will have the option to learn primary sources in the mornings on their own or with a havruta in order to prepare for shiur. There will be a faculty available for some of this time for textual reading support.
- Reading Shiur: A reading shiur will take place during the seder period each day in which a faculty will focus on a close reading of one or more of the core sources related to that day’s shiur, with an emphasis on technical skills.
- Shiur: After a lunch break, there will be daily shiur led by members of our faculty.
- Participants will be split into different ‘case study’ groups to dive deeper into the application of our learning in a collaborative mode. Case study small groups will take place in the afternoons and participants will share insights from their discussions on the final day of the seminar.
- The schedule will include various electives that offer participants the opportunity to engage with the topic through a different lens.
Can I bring a havruta? Will you provide one?
Given the challenges of learning for long periods of time via Zoom, we are making the Havruta element of this program optional. If possible, we highly recommend bringing a havruta to this program so that you will be able to learn together. Alternatively, you may learn on your own or (if possible and appropriate), we will do our best to match you with someone else looking for a havruta.
Are scholarships available?
Yes! Please do not let cost be an obstacle to participate in our Halakhah Intensive. If you are interested in this program and cost is an issue, please reach out to us at [email protected] and we will make it work. We are committed to not turning anyone away because of finances.
How can I find out more?
We’d love to tell you more about this program! Please reach out to [email protected] with any questions.