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Adult Education

Learning enriches Jewish life and grows Jewish identity. The rabbis also teach us that when two people sit together to study Torah, the presence of God rests between them (Pirke Avot 3:3). At Har HaShem, whether you seek more knowledge, a connection to community or spiritual growth, we believe that these opportunities should exist at every age. We offer both formal and informal learning opportunities for our young people and adults.

For information about Adult Jewish Enrichment offerings, contact Katherine Schwartz, RJE, Director of Lifelong Learning at (303) 499-7077 ext. 112 or ks@harhashem.org

Scholar-in-Residence Daniel Matt Weekend

Congregation Har HaShem, Congregation Bonai Shalom, and the University of Colorado’s Program in Jewish Studies and Department of Religious Studies welcome Professor Daniel Matt, renowned Kabbalah scholar and translator, for a series of talks in Boulder. Professor Matt’s Scholar in Residence Weekend, “From Kabbalah to the Big Bang: Ancient Wisdom and Contemporary Spirituality,” will take place March 14-16, 2019.

God and the Big Bang: Discovering Harmony between Science and Religion
University of Colorado Boulder Public Lecture
Thursday, March 14, 2019 | 7:00 PM
Benson Earth Sciences, Room 180, 2200 Colorado Avenue, Boulder, CO 80309
Free and open to the public
This is being supported by Congregation Har HaShem’s Scientists in Synagogues initiative, in collaboration with the national program Sinai and Synapses.
 

The theory of the Big Bang serves as the scientific creation myth of our culture. What does it have to do with God? How can it help us discover a spiritual dimension in our lives and recover a sense of wonder? In this talk, Daniel Matt will explore these questions, drawing on the insights of the Kabbalah as well as contemporary cosmology. He suggests several parallels between these two schools of thought, e.g., between what physicists call “broken symmetry” and what Kabbalah calls “the breaking of the vessels,” but his purpose is not to demonstrate that medieval kabbalists knew what scientists now know about the universe. Rather, he will show how we can appreciate each approach in light of the other and deepen our understanding of both.

The Feminine Half of God
Friday, March 15, 2019 | 6:00 PM
Congregation Har HaShem, 3950 Baseline Road, Boulder 30075 starting in the Sanctuary
 

Professor Matt will give a brief talk during services. Services are free and open to the public. After services, he will give a larger presentation during dinner. Registration and dinner cost $25/per person.

One of the boldest contributions of Kabbalah is the idea that God is equally female and male. Daniel Matt will briefly trace the development of Kabbalah and then focus on the concept of Shekhinah (the feminine aspect of God) from its rabbinic origins to its full flowering in the Zohar, where Shekhinah is identified with the Sabbath Bride.

The Mystical Meaning of Torah
Saturday, March 16, 2019 | 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Congregation Har HaShem, 3950 Baseline Road, Boulder 30075 in the Social Hall
Free and open to the public. 
 

How does the mystical approach to Torah differ from a literal approach? From a midrashic approach? How can a mystical approach enrich our lives today? Daniel Matt will explore these questions with us by teaching several passages from his award-winning translation, The Zohar: Pritzker Edition.

The Zohar: Masterpiece of Kabbalah
Saturday, March 16, 2019 | 11:30 AM (During services) and 1:00 PM (During lunch)
Congregation Bonai Shalom, 1527 Cherryvale Road, Boulder 80303
 
Professor Matt will give a d’var Torah during both services which are free and open to the public. After services, he will give a larger presentation during the kiddush lunch. For non-members, $10 (per person) donations for lunch are requested. RSVP to info@bonaishalom.org.
 

The Zohar emerged in 13th-century Spain. How exactly did it originate and what is its significance for us today? How does this mystical masterpiece interpret and reimagine the Torah? Scholar-in-residence Daniel Matt will explore these questions with participants by teaching several passages from his award-winning translation, The Zohar: Pritzker Edition.

Raising the Sparks: Finding God in the Material World
Saturday, March 16, 2019 | 7:00pm-8:30pm
Congregation Har HaShem, 3950 Baseline Road, Boulder 30075 in the Sanctuary and Social Hall
Free and open to the public. 
 

How can God be encountered in our daily life? Daniel Matt will explore this question with participants by teaching passages from Kabbalah and Hasidism on the nature of God, the act of Creation, and the challenge of discovering God in the material world.

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Daniel MattDaniel Matt is one of the world’s leading authorities on Kabbalistic texts, especially the Zohar. He taught at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley for twenty years. He has also taught at Stanford University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has published over a dozen books, including The Essential Kabbalah (translated into seven languages) and God and the Big Bang: Discovering Harmony between Science and Spirituality.

Recently Professor Matt completed an 18-year project of translating and annotating the Zohar, the masterpiece of Jewish mysticism. This work, consisting of nine volumes was published by Stanford University Press and is entitled The Zohar: Pritzker Edition. This annotated translation has been hailed as “a monumental contribution to the history of Jewish thought.”

Adult Education Calendar

Thu, February 21 2019 16 Adar I 5779