Shul School: "Thinking Matters"

Congregation Beth Sholom's Thinking Matters course series
continues this fall.

Join our impressive line-up of teachers to wrestle with
some of the exciting and challenging questions of modern Jewish philosophy!


thinker
"Thinking Matters: Modern Jewish Philosophy"
Can there be such a thing as a Jewish philosophy, or a philosophy of Judaism? How have Jewish traditions participated in the philosophical canon or in philosophical questioning in modern times? How do Judaism and philosophy relate to the broader question of the modern relationship of ethics, religion, and theology to philosophy? Given that modern philosophy claims universal validity, what does it mean to emphasize its historically or culturally determinate sources?

For an introduction to Jewish modern thought and philosophy, we recommend Steven Katz's essay, "Eliezar Berkovits & Modern Jewish Philosophy."

The dates, topics, and educators of the remaining two sections are detailed below, and the relevant readings for Dr. Berman's section can be downloaded by clicking on the hyperlinks.

October 8, 15, 22, & 29
German Political Philosophy & Jewish Thinking (4 sessions with Dr. Russell Berman)

Dr. Russell Berman's classes meet Thursday nights in the Beth Sholom Board Room from 7-8:30 p.m.

October 8: Hannah Arendt, Zionism and Ethnic Politics

Reading: Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil

October 15: Eichmann in Jerusalem: Deception and Denial


Reading: the Gershom Scholem-Hannah Arendt exchange of letters
; Hannah Arendt, Reflections on Little Rock



October 22: Hannah Arendt as a Thinking Weapon Against Israel


Reading: Judith Butler, selected chapters from Parting Ways

October 29: Post-Zionism & Thinking against Academic BDS of Israel


Reading: Elkhanan Yakira

November 5, 12, 19, & December 3
Shoah & Postmemory (4 sessions with Dr. Murray Baumgarten)

Murray Baumgarten's classes meet Thursday nights in the Beth Sholom Board Room from 7-8:30 p.m.

November 5: Reading Primo Levi, Se questo è un uomo -- Narrator, Character, Identity, & the 'Hier ist kein Warum'



Reading: Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz (part 1)

November 12: Primo Levi, the Chemical Laboratory, and the Periodic Table



Reading: Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz (part 2)

November 19: Poetry and Hurbn: Speaking Jewish in German, Yiddish, English, & Hebrew



Readings: Paul Celan's poem "Death Fugue," and poems by Pagis, Glastein, and Reznikoff