Join Geoffrey Stern and Rabbi Adam Mintz on Clubhouse Friday June 18th at 4:00pm (ET). The Red Heifer purifies the defiled and defiles the pure and is universally taken as a commandment that defies reason and logic. According to science, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction so where’s the illogic? Even according to Rabbinic scholars such as Saadia Gaon and modern scholars such as Jacob Milgrom there is nothing unreasonable about this enigma. So why is the ḥoq of the Red Heifer so troubling. Why does it keep God up at night?
Join Geoffrey Stern and Rabbi Adam Mintz on Clubhouse Friday June 11th at 4:00pm (ET). A “Talit that is wholly blue” (טלית שכולה תכלת); arguably the first fashion statement, has entered popular Jewish and Israeli folklore and culture. We use this popular account of the Korach rebellion to continue our exploration of the Bible’s rejection of class privilege, pride, entitlement, and the corruption that they invite and a democratized vision for Judaism and Israel.
Join Geoffrey Stern and Rabbi Adam Mintz on Clubhouse Friday June 4th at 4:00pm (ET). We will explore the thoughts of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, Rabbi Yitz Greenberg and Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach with regard to what it takes to build a homeland, renew a people and to find a lovemate….
Join Geoffrey Stern and Rabbi Adam Mintz on Clubhouse Friday May 28th at 4:00pm (ET). We theorize regarding the relationship between the Biblical Pesach Sheni (2nd Passover) and the later instituted Ibur Shana (Leap year). We hypothesize regarding the theological and social ramifications of correcting an irregular and seemingly imperfect planetary system.
Join Geoffrey Stern, Rabbi Adam Mintz and Rabbi Hirsh Chinn on Clubhouse Friday May 21st at 4:00pm (ET). The Torah is ambivalent with regard to the sobriety of the Nazarine. Is the Nazir a holy man striving for greater spirituality or an addict seeking rehab for a moral shortcoming… or both? Rabbi Hirsh Chinn was Geoffrey’s roommate at Yeshivah Torah Vodaath. He was a student of the recently deceased Rabbi and Dr. Abraham J Twersky, who according to his obit in the New York Times was “the descendant of several Hasidic dynasties. Yet he was also a psychiatrist and a respected authority on addiction who was drawn to the 12-step approach central to Alcoholics Anonymous, a program whose origins are Christian….. (see more here). Rabbi Hirsh actually edited a Hagadah written by Dr. Twerski which is based on the premise that “The original passage from bondage to freedom, Exodus, is equated to a person with a substance abuse problem and their passage to freedom through recovery. (see here)
Join Geoffrey Stern and Rabbi Adam Mintz on Clubhouse Friday May 14th at 4:00pm (ET). Was Ben Gurion’s vision of a People’s Army which united the country and created a melting pot for Israeli Society foreshadowed in the Bible’s universal compulsory military service? What about the exception of the Tribe of Levi? Does the elimination from military service and dispercement of a militant and ideologically pure Priestly cast have lessons for us today? And what would the Torah have to say of the Haredi draft exemption? Finally, what do modern-day Israeli commanders have to say about peace?
Join Geoffrey Stern and Rabbi Adam Mintz on Clubhouse Friday May 7th at 4:00pm (ET). Judaism, along with most religions, favors consistency in practice and steadfast faith… or does it? Focusing on a single verse that has been used to support this position (Leviticus 26: 21) we argue for an alternative. We explore happenstance, serendipity, temporarily fealty, chance, accident, the unintentional, the unexpected, or as the King James translators have God put it ”adventures with Me”. We contrast those who acquires their share in the World-to-Come only after many years of toil, and those who do so in one moment. בשעה אחת
Join Geoffrey Stern and Rabbi Adam Mintz on Clubhouse Friday April 23rd at 4:00pm (ET). A continuation of our exploration of Jewish institutions with fresh eyes. This week we look at the individual. We explore the Biblical prohibition against aloneness/loneliness and how it relates to gender identity and preferences and this week’s Torah portion with its apparent prohibition of homosexuality. How do we look at aloneness differently after Covid-19 and what can it teach us?
Join Geoffrey Stern and Rabbi Adam Mintz on Clubhouse Friday April 16th at 4:00pm (ET). A continuation of our exploration of Jewish institutions with fresh eyes, and after the plague of Covid-19. This week we look at the home and towards the time when we will re-open our home as we re-open our temples. We explore the relationship between the home and the temple. The Mishkan and the Mishkan Ma’at…. the “small temple that is the home”. Which came first?Which holds the secret to the perseverance of the Jewish People?
Join Geoffrey Stern and Rabbi Adam Mintz on Clubhouse Friday April 2nd at 4:00pm (ET). As we return to Synagogue services Post-Covid and we renew our temples let’s take the death-during-services of Aaron’s sons as an opportunity to critique services that are too long, with too many additions and imagine how our services could be improved.
On Rosh Hashanah morning, the Rabbi noticed little Adam was staring up at the large plaque that hung in the foyer of the synagogue. It was covered with names, and small American flags were mounted on either side of it. The seven-year old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the Rabbi walked up, stood beside the boy, and said quietly, “Good morning, Adam.” “Good morning, Rabbi,” replied the young man, still focused on the plaque. “Rabbi Resnick, what is this?” Adam asked. “Well, it’s a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service.” Soberly, they stood together, staring at the large plaque. Little Adam’s voice was barely audible when he asked: “Which service? Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur?” source