The Jewish people has had an ambivalent relationship with the Sabbath since its inception. The Sabbath has occasioned love poems, but it was also the occasion of one of the earliest biblical transgressions. Now, 3000 years later, why is there a renaissance of interest in the Sabbath, both in Israel and the Diaspora, across the religious and political spectrums? Why do we remain both drawn to the Sabbath and repelled from it? More than“a day to chill” or simply an ancient ritual, the Sabbath continues to inform Jewish identity and shape Jewish consciousness. This seminar will explore some of the concepts from which the Sabbath experience is woven—body and soul, labor and leisure, individuality and community, time and eternity, creativity and creaturehood, law and love—as expressed in the Bible, rabbinic thought, poetry, and literature
Rabbi Gamliel Shmalo
Rabbi Gamliel Shmalo has taught Jewish philosophy and law at Yeshiva University. He holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MA from Hebrew University in Jerusalem in Jewish Philosophy. He has also studied at Machon Shlomo, Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh, Heichal HaTorah B’Tzion, and Beit Ariel Jerusalem. He has published widely on Jewish themes, and he lectures internationally. He was the Director of Education for Meor NYU, and before returning to the U.S. he was on the faculty of Michlalah Jerusalem College and Yeshivat Ohr Yerushalyim for ten years. His book Learning to Grow is published by Kodesh Press.
Director, Tikvah Scholars Program