From my blog:
The most challenging course I am taking at Pardes is called “Critical Issues in Modern Jewish Thought.” There is no Hebrew involved. There is no Aramaic. I don’t even have to memorize birth and death dates of famous Jewish thinkers. What I do have to do, however, is think for myself. And it’s hard.
During each session, we alternate between group discussion and silent reading. We read philosophers such as A.J. Heschel, Mordechai Kaplan, Rav Soloveitchik, Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, and Cynthia Ozick. We covered topics such as the nature of God, the authorship of the Torah, the authority of Halahkah, and post-Holocaust theology. At the end of each unit, a few students volunteer to give a presentation: as a class, we generate a series of questions that the presenting students have to answer. Next week, I will be presenting on the topic of Feminism in Judaism. Today, while preparing to speak about this topic, I found myself spending many thoughts and minutes on each sentence; this is a tough issue that I care about greatly. It inspired a good deal of personal reflection, and Continue reading