Hadar Chicago: R. Shai Held Book Talk

Rabbi Steven Greenberg Rabbi Shai Held

In Person
Date and Time


A common misconception is that love is a “Christian idea” and not a Jewish one. But what if we have it all wrong? Join Rabbi Shai Held as he introduces the central themes of the book then joins Rabbi Steve Greenberg in a conversation on the centrality of love to  the Jewish vision of ethics, spirituality, and theology. What can Judaism teach us about love, and what can a renewed focus on love reveal to us about Judaism?

About the Book
A dramatic misinterpretation of the Jewish tradition has shaped the history of the West: Christianity is the religion of love, and Judaism the religion of law. In the face of centuries of this widespread misrepresentation, Rabbi Shai Held—one of the most important Jewish thinkers in America today—recovers the heart of the Jewish tradition, offering the radical and moving argument that love belongs as much to Judaism as it does to Christianity. Blending intellectual rigor, a respect for tradition and the practices of a living Judaism, and a commitment to the full equality of all people, Held seeks to reclaim Judaism as it authentically is. He shows that love is foundational and constitutive of true Jewish faith, animating the singular Jewish perspective on injustice and protest, grace, family life, responsibilities to our neighbors and even our enemies, and chosenness.

Ambitious and revelatory, Judaism Is About Love illuminates the true essence of Judaism—an act of restoration from within.


10:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Light Breakfast

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Teaching and dialogue on Judaism is About Love

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM

Book signing

Faculty Bio

Rabbi Steven Greenberg

Rabbi Steven Greenberg is an Orthodox ordained educator, writer, and speaker who has led the call for LGBTQ inclusion in the Orthodox world.  He appeared in the groundbreaking film, Trembling Before G-d, in 2001 and accompanied filmmaker, Sandi Simcha DuBowski, all over the world in over 500 post-screening dialogues.  He is the author of the award-winning book, Wrestling with God and Men: Homosexuality in the Jewish Tradition, (University of Wisconsin Press) for which he won the Koret Jewish Book Award for Philosophy and Thought in 2005. Rabbi Greenberg is also a founder of the Jerusalem Open House, Jerusalem’s first gay and lesbian community center, and served as a faculty member of the Hartman Institute of North America. He is the Founding Director of Eshel, Orthodox LGBTQ+ community support, education, and advocacy organization, and lives with his partner, Steven Goldstein, and daughter, Amalia, in Boston.


Rabbi Shai Held

Rabbi Shai Held, one of the most influential Jewish thinkers and leaders in America, is President and Dean of the Hadar Institute in New York City. Rabbi Held received the prestigious Covenant Award for Excellence in Jewish Education, and has been named multiple times to Newsweek’s list of the most influential rabbis in America and to the Forward's list of the most prominent Jews in the world. He is the author of Abraham Joshua Heschel: The Call of Transcendence (2013), The Heart of Torah: Essays on the Weekly Torah Portion (2017), and Judaism is About Love (2024).

Judaism Is About Love: R. Shai Held in Conversation with
R. Steve Greenberg

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