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Haggai Confronts the Second Temple Community

Date: Sunday, Aug. 15 | 11:00 AM–12:30 PM EDT

Downtrodden, bereft and thoroughly dejected, the early community of the Second Temple period had given up hope. These pioneers that had returned to Israel from the Babylonian exile had begun their journey with optimism and hope. After facing obstacle after obstacle, however, they had given up on their dream of ever building the Second Temple and solidifying the values of their community. It is up to an obscure prophet, Haggai, to teach the people to persevere in the face of hardship, to reach out to others when all they want to do is survive alone, and to form a new and lasting relationship with God that will form the basis of Jewish religious life in the diaspora. Haggai’s speech uplifts as it creates new pathways for the people to understand their Jewish experience. In what may be the most successful prophecy, Haggai achieves his aims after this one invigorating, moving and relevant speech. In this seminar, we will explore Haggai’s message to the Jews and its lasting lessons.

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