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The Jewish Idea of Time

The great medieval Jewish thinker Maimonides writes that the shofar blast of the High Holidays is intended to awaken us from slumbering through the vanities of time. Judaism has long believed in the holiness of time. In fact, the first commandment given to the Jewish people was to sanctify time. And yet the limited and constrained nature of earthly time is perhaps mankind’s most troubling existential reality. How does Judaism confront this dilemma? How does the Jewish calendar—with its weekly celebration of Shabbat and annual cycle of holidays—sanctify the human experience of time? This seminar will explore Jewish conceptions of time and what they might mean for us in the modern age.