August marks the end of yet another busy summer at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, where hundreds of North American and Israeli rabbis of all denominations came together for intensive study with leading scholars in Bible, Talmud, Jewish philosophy and theology, Jewish history, and Jewish mysticism. This year’s Rabbinic Torah Study Seminar focused on the theme of “Dilemmas of Faith: God and Spirituality in the Modern World.”
This year, Rabbi David Ariel-Joel of The Temple was among the 150 rabbis who explored the “Dilemmas of Faith” at the institute’s summer program.
World-known Jewish scholars from Jerusalem and America were among the teachers. They addressed questions such as what faith looks like in modern religious consciousness, what it means to be Jewishly committed without faith, “Jewish spirituality” and its role in modern Jewish identity, and what it means to be in a relationship with God in the modern world.
“I participate in the Rabbinic Torah Seminary every year,” Rabbi David said, “and it is always one of the highlights of my year – studying Torah with the best scholars in the world and with my colleagues, from early in the morning to late at night. It is a true joy and inspiration.
“This year,” he continued, “I will use what I have learned and teach these subjects in our Temple Scholars program. Together we will share the joy of learning, and being on the forefront of Jewish learning.
“It is great to be part of the largest and most varied group of rabbis at any single conference of its sort in the world,” he added. “Studying together in a spiritually and intellectually challenging Beit Midrash pushes rabbis to develop their own voices as intellectual and spiritual leaders, continually infusing their communities with new energy.”