Bet Midrash: Holding Spirituality and Suffering

Taught by Jess Belasco

Mondays, Feb. 13 – May 1 | 8:00-9:30 PM ET | 7:00-8:30 PM CT | 5:00-6:30 PM PT | 10 sessions | Off for Purim on March 6 and Pesach on April 10 | Chevruta Plus

Text: Berakhot 5a/b

The Rabbis lived in a world full of natural perils and oppressive empires (sound familiar?). As such, they were no strangers to suffering. How did they understand the relationship between their suffering and their experience of spirituality? How might we challenge, extend, and nuance this relationship? When, if ever, do we accept that suffering is just miserable and all explanations fall flat? This course centers disability justice and other marginalized perspectives, and our enrollment process will prioritize SVARA-niks who live with disabilities and chronic illness.

About “Chevruta Plus”: You’ll learn some of the texts we love the most: the ones that show us how the Rabbis upgrade the tradition they’ve been given and empower us to do the same! Together we’ll explore the tensions that arise when we pursue radical change (which is exactly what the Rabbis did). This course is for learners who are hoping to deepen their practice with a chevruta and have more time in shiur for unpacking the text into broader themes. This is designed for learners of all levels who have learned Talmud in the original at least once – you’ll be given the tools to be challenged at your own learning level in a rigorous and supportive environment, and you will meet with your chevruta for 1-1.5 hours in advance of each shiur.

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