(Lubavitch.com/LNS) How did the world get here? If the Universe has a Creator, does He run the world? How does G-d communicate with us? Who wrote the Torah? Are we rewarded and punished for our behavior? What is the meaning of the Jewish concept of a Messiah? Is there an afterlife?
These ponderous questions are the impetus for a new course by Chabad's Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI). Beyond Belief: Reflections on Jewish Faith, Reason, and Experience, is scheduled to begin in early February.
JLI anticipates some 12,000 students will enroll in the course, to be taught concurrently, in 260 cities worldwide. The course will examine the Maimonidean 13 Principles of Faith, foundational to Jewish life and its practice.
“Taken together, the principles are a set of building blocks that allow us to construct a deep and nuanced understanding of what it means to live as a Jew,” says Rabbi Efraim Mintz, director of the Jewish Learning Institute.
Chabad representatives will guide students through a well developed curriculum with an accompanying workbook designed to help them tackle some of the source materials. Like all JLI courses, Beyond Belief presents the fundamentals of Judaism in a way that is both challenging yet accessible. Students will have the opportunity to encounter classic primary texts and engage in thoughtful, open discussion.
“Many people grapple with fundamental questions of belief and its place in their lives,” says Rabbi Levi Shemtov, spiritual leader of Chabad-Lubavitch of Riverdale. “Beyond Belief will address the inner struggle that many people feel when considering issues of faith.”
Rabbi Shemtov will be offering the course at The Riverdale YM-YWHA over six consecutive Tuesdays, Feb. 5–Mar. 11 at 8 PM.
For a listing of all JLI’s affiliate cities where the course will be taught, click here.