Summertime Jewish Learning Across the Twin Cities

Re-Emerge, Re-Enter: The Same or Changed?

All classes are FREE and open to anyone.
Drop-in for one session or come to all of them! No registration required.

Many thanks to the participating clergy for giving their wisdom and time to make this program possible.

All sessions will be held in person at each synagogue, with a Zoom option available.
For this program, masks will be required at all venues.

Meeting ID: 889 7522 4913
Passcode: hineni


Click to view or download a flyer of the complete series.
Click the arrows below to read class descriptions.

Does the Pandemic Require Liturgical Change?
Rabbi Adam Stock Spilker
Mount Zion Temple – 1300 Summit Ave, St. Paul
Thurs, June 30; 12:00 PM 

An Exploration of M’chayei HaMeitim, Giving Life to the Dead.
The second blessing of the Amidah about God’s power traditionally ends with the phrase m’chayei hameitim, “Who gives life to the dead.” All streams of Judaism have struggled with the meaning of this phrase and have interpreted it through translation or by changing the Hebrew text. We will look at the meaning of this phrase from the Talmud to today and consider whether it may take on a new meaning considering Covid.

Kneading Dough:  Life Lessons from Talmud Yerushalmi Tractate Challah
Rabbi Max Davis
Congregation Darchei Noam – 2950 Joppa Ave S, Minneapolis
Tues, July 5; 6:30 PM 

This summer’s theme “Re-emerge, Re-enter: The Same or Changed?” can only be referring to the ancient and complex science of kneading dough!  Delicious morsels of wisdom emerge when viewed through the lens of one of the Talmud’s lesser-studied tractates.

At first we did things that way… but now…”
Rabbi Jill Crimmings

Bet Shalom Congregation – 13613 Orchard Road Minnetonka
Wed, July 13, 11:00 AM 

The rabbis of the 1st -4th centuries were challenged with the task of making rulings for a rapidly changing present while still wanting to connect themselves to a well-known past. This session will look at how the term barishona (at first) was used in early rabbinic literature as a way of introducing the need for changes to the legal system.

Emerging From Judaism's Gender Binary
Rabbi Sharon Stiefel
Mayim Rabim Congregation – 4401 York Ave S, Minneapolis 
Tues, July 19; 7:00 PM

Hebrew is a gendered language. Everything - from humans, to animals, to rocks, to God, - are all gendered. As we live in a world where we understand that there are more than two genders, one of our challenges is what to do with our classic texts. In the session, we will explore new expressions of gender in prayer and Torah.

**Special COVID precautions for this space**

  • Only people fully vaccinated against Covid may enter the meetinghouse.
  •  If you have symptoms of a cold, flu, or Covid, or have recently been exposed to someone who has Covid, please stay home and participate virtually
  • Please wear an effective mask such as a surgical mask, N95, or KN95 while you are in the building.  Service leaders may choose to remove their masks and will maintain distance from those in the room.
  • Please maintain distance from others unless they are part of your household. Chairs are placed in the meeting room so as to encourage this.

Chadeish Yameinu K’kedem (Renew our days as of old)
Cantor Ben Tisser
Beth El Synagogue – 5225 Barry St. W, St Louis Park
Wed, July 27; 12:00 PM 

We sing these words each Shabbat, and in the weeks ahead we will chant them from Eicha (Lamentations) on Tisha B’Av. Historically, these words represented a yearning to return to the Temple in Jerusalem, but how should we understand them today? What does it mean to “renew our days as of old?” Can we possibly return to what was “before”? If we can, do we really want to? As we prepare for Tisha B’Av and the New Year ahead, let’s find renewed meaning in these ancient words.

Soul Sisters: The Curious Story of Serach Bat Asher
Hazzan Joanna Dulkin 
Adath Jeshurun Congregation – 10500 Hillside Ln W, Minnetonka
Thurs, August 4; 10:30 AM 

Learn the time-hopping, mind-bending story of Serach, barely named in the Torah but expounded in the midrash. Beginning with the Biblical text, continuing through the world of Rabbinic midrash, and pulling from contemporary commentators, poetry, music, and scholarship, we will use the text as a mirror we hold up to our own experience.

Same Difference: Sinking into personal reflection, repetition, and change.
Rabbi Jason Klein
Temple Israel – 2323 Fremont Ave S, Minneapolis
Tues, August 9; 11:00 AM 

Jewish tradition uses the imagery of Teshuvah—of turning around—to describe the daily task of repentance and the central imperative of the coming High Holiday season. As we strive to do better, to what degree are we seeking to turn into someone different or to turn back to the essence of ourselves?

Emerging from the Cave and Seeing with New Eyes: Lessons from R. Shimon bar Yochai
Rabbi Tamar Magill-Grimm
Beth Jacob Congregation – 1179 Victoria Curve, Mendota Heights
Thurs, August 18; 7:00 PM 

After twelve years of isolation and deprivation in a cave with his son have little impact on R. Shimon’s capacity for empathy, a Divine voice orders the two of them to return to the cave for one more year. Those additional 12 months prove transformative. We’ll explore this story and what we might learn from it about empathy, personal transformation, and Tikkun Olam.

The Ladder of Song: Exploring the Pathway of Teshuva (Return) through Song and Text
Rabbi Arielle Lekach-Rosenberg
Shir Tikvah – 1360 W Minnehaha Pkwy, Minneapolis
Tues, Aug 23; 6:00 PM 

The practice of singing a niggun (wordless melody)  allows us to discover the power of return.  With each repetition, we go deeper and gain insight enabling us to emerge changed, if only for a moment.  We will study a teaching on the power of song by Rabbi Kalonymous Kalma Shapira, the Piaseczner Rebbe, and then sing a niggun that is sourced from his Hassidic courtyard.  We will sing, connect and be open to reflection on what we have learned from these years of iterative re-entering into community.


If you have questions or would like to request an accommodation, please call 651-698-8807 or email [email protected].
We will do our best to accommodate any requests made.

Hineni: Adult Jewish Learning and Contemplative Practices | Talmud Torah of St. Paul

In partnership with Adath Jeshurun, Bet Shalom, Beth El, Beth Jacob, Darchei Noam, Mayim Rabim, Mount Zion, Shir Tikvah, and Temple Israel.