Adult Learning for You, August 2021


It’s summertime and the living is easy! While we’re preparing for early High Holiday celebrations in September, adult education will continue, as detailed below. Once again, we’re hunting for congregants or friends/relatives of congregants who would enjoy leading classes in the upcoming fall, winter, and spring. Just drop me an email and I’ll be delighted to work with you!

Deborah Pollack
VP of Adult Learning

Introduction to Kabbalah

Rabbi Mike Lotker

Rabbi Mike Lotker
Wednesdays, July 14, 21, and 28, 7:00 p.m. via Zoom 

In our 3 week exploration of the world of Kabbalah we will explore the simple (is it kabb-a-LAH or ka-BAL-ah?) to the deep (how does the interpretation of word echad in the Shema affect our understanding of God’s nature and our relationship with God). We will address the history and practices of Kabbalah and have time for questions and discussion of this fascinating subject. Our first class will be an Introduction to some of the key ideas of Kabbalah and to its interesting history. Class #2 will introduce the central text of Kabbalah, The Zohar which is a work of pseudepigrapha (don’t know what that means? Come and find out!). We will discuss the 10 Sefirot, the world of Gematria, the mystical names of God and more. In the next class, we will explore Lurrianic Kabbalah, the Soul, Angels, Hasidim and focus on enhancing our own Jewish spirituality.

Children of Abraham: Comparing Judaism, Christianity and Islam

Rabbi Mike Lotker
Wednesdays, August 4, 11, 18, and 25, 7:00 p.m. via Zoom

About half the people of the world worship the God of Abraham as members of faith traditions that trace themselves back 4000 years to this inspired individual. In four classes, Rabbi Lotker will introduce these three faiths with special emphasis on where they are similar and where they differ. We will read texts from the Hebrew Bible, the Christian Scripture and the Koran relating to the Garden of Eden, Abraham, Moses, and others to help understand the fascinating history and theology that shape our worlds to this day. Differences in beliefs, historical origins and the reasons behind historical and current conflicts will be explored. We will also take a detailed look at Holy Neighborhood of Jerusalem and the sacred sites to be found there.

For more info, lotker.com/

Rabbi Lotker’s work is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Ventura County and Joel & Barbara Aaronson & The Affordable Living Choices Trust in his role as Community Rabbi. You may donate to them at https://www.jewishventuracounty.org/ways-to-give.

Register by sending an email to Rabbi Lotker at Lotker@aol.com with the message “I’m in!” He will remind you of dates and alert you to changes. 

GOD FORBID YOU SHOULD RUN OUT OF READING MATERIAL AT THIS TIME, THE TEMPLE BETH TORAH LIBRARY IS OPEN!

If you don’t have a code for the front door, call to make sure that Temple Secretary Martha Richardson is on-site to let you in.

You may borrow up to 6 books at a time—enjoy and return at your leisure.

In keeping with CDC recommendations, please observe the following rules:

  • No more than 2 people in the library at a time.
  • Put on gloves from the box on the table before handling books and discard them when you’re finished.
  • Use your own pen or pencil to record the title(s) of books you’ve borrowed along with your name. Leave the cards in the box on the table.

DON’T FORGET TO PERUSE THE LIBRARY CART—ANYTHING TAKEN FROM THERE IS YOURS TO KEEP FOR A SMALL DONATION.

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