The Global Day of Jewish Learning: “Speaking Volumes: How And Why Words Matter.”
Join Jews all around the world, of all types and backgrounds, in considering issues of language and silence. No requirements other than a wish to learn and participate! We use a common curriculum, a set of modules, including:
Names: Meaning and Memory. Names are words we use – for ourselves and for others – to demonstrate the nature of our relationships and how we view the world. We will look at texts that explore how names connect us with meanings and memories.
Moses: Not a Man of Words? Moses is remembered for his many teachings, but did you know that Moses did not consider himself a man of words? We will take a closer look at the tension between Moses’ actions and his words, and what this teaches us about leadership.
The Silence of Aaron. Silence can be a kind of speech, and what is unsaid is often as important as what is said. In the Bible, Aaron’s response to tragedy is summed up in two words: “Vayidom Aharon – and Aaron was silent”. What meanings does his silence hold?
Hurling Words Towards Heaven: Hannah’s Prayer. The Talmud holds up Hannah as a model for how to pray. Though she appears in the Bible only briefly, she makes a lasting impression. What can we learn from Hannah’s prayer about how we converse with the Divine?
Hurtful Words. What can Jewish texts teach us about the ways our words can cause harm? In this unit, we will explore how the words we choose and use can affect those around us, whether or not we intend for those words to wound.
Not One Empty Word. The Bible is a book that speaks volumes, through the ongoing act of interpretation known as midrash. How do those interpretations affect our understanding of the source texts, and what is our role in that tradition.