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Spirituality, Torah, and Trump | Judea Reform Congregation, Durham, NC

at Judea Reform Congregation

Durham, NC

Rabbi Michaelson will be the scholar in residence this weekend at Judea Reform Congregation in Durham, North Carolina.  Times and venue locations are available on their website.

Friday Night: God Does Not Exist, God is Existence Itself

God-concepts evolve over time. In the beginning, our Western ancestors were polytheists, animists, and nature-worshippers. Later, they developed monotheistic notions of one God in the sky, and a philosophical monotheism of one unchanging deity.  Still later, they came to see God as all that there is — in Kabbalistic language, as Ein Sof, the Infinite, filling and surrounding everything in the world, including every molecule in your brain and thinking your thoughts.  This  nondual (“not-two”) view is strikingly similar to non-Western concepts of non-self (i.e., that the notion that you are a separate “self” is only one way of looking at things) and contemporary neurological accounts of the brain and mind.

Saturday morning: Jacob, the Queer Patriarch

How does the story of Jacob complicate conventional understandings of gender?  What is conveyed, in the text and in later interpretations of it, about masculinity, leadership, and eros?  In this Torah study, we will explore these and related questions.

Sunday morning: Spirituality in the Age of Donald Trump

What does serious, engaged spiritual practice look like at a time in which societal conceptions of decency and fairness are challenged by a nativist minority and their elected leader?  What are the ways in which our present social/political moment affects how and why one might engage in spiritual practice in a serious way?