Limmud Toronto

at Limmud Toronto
Sun Life Financial Tower, 150 King St West
Toronto, ON
More Info / Registration

Join Jay Michaelson at Limmud Toronto, a one-day festival of transdenominational Jewish learning.

Jay will be teaching the following sessions:

After Equality: A Queer Lens on Torah

Progressive Jews are beyond “it is okay to be gay?” and have begun asking more interesting questions about the intersections of Judaism with queer sexualities and genders.  Here, we”ll explore two or three “queer” readings of Biblical texts on masculinity, informed by Kabbalah and contemporary gender theory — David & Jonathan, Abraham & Isaac, and Jacob & the Angel — and explore what they have to say about the ideal Jewish man.


The Gate of Tears: Joyful Sadness and the Spiritual Path

“Even when the gates of prayer are closed, the gates of tears are open.”  So says the Talmud (BT Berachot 32b), and so many of us have seen that when the heart is broken, it is also the most open.  And yet, in American culture today, sadness is often seen as a defect, a capitalist sin.  (It’s the pursuit of happiness, after all.)  And in many religious and spiritual worlds, it’s sometimes assumed that the goal is just to be happy all the time, create your own reality, and get blissed out.  In fact, though, deep happiness and deep sadness go together, like two notes of a minor chord.  And authentic spirituality opens us up to the whole range of human experience.  Based on Rabbi Michaelson’s new book The Gate of Tears: Sadness and the Spiritual Path, this session will draw on Hasidic, humanistic, and Dharma sources to propose an authentic contemplative path for today’s postmodern age.