The injunction to “know thyself” was the first of three maxims inscribed on the temple of Apollo at Delphi in ancient Greece, and it has survived as a piece of conventional wisdom to this very day. But what does self-understanding really mean, and what does it require of us, as human beings and as Jews? In this seminar course, we will examine the idea of self-knowledge from the perspective of the Hebrew Bible—the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings—alongside ancient and modern ideas from outside the Jewish tradition. In doing so, we will seek to discover greater insight into what Judaism can tell us about the human mind, body, and soul.
Rabbi Yakov Danishefsky
Yakov is a clinical therapist specializing in trauma, sex-addiction, and other life-adjustment challenges. He is also a public speaker and Jewish educator blending spirituality, philosophy, and psychology. In the classroom, Yakov is a passionate and engaging teacher whose main goal is to stimulate curiosity and independent thinking. For Yakov, the greatest teaching moments are when students develop original understandings to renew ancient ideas. Challenge, debate, and re-analysis are the staples of Yakov’s learning environment. He earned Semicha and a Masters in Jewish Philosophy from Yeshiva University, completed his Masters in Social Work from Walden University, and was a member of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship. He lives in Chicago with his wife and four children.
Meet the Instructor
Tikvah aims to make all of our courses available to as many qualified students as possible. In the event that Tikvah needs to add additional sections, this course may be taught by a different faculty member with a similarly high level of expertise.