Are you new to Jewish culture and traditions? Or would you like to know more about Jewish rituals and how they came to be?
This 5 part series will explore the history and practices around basic life transitions from biblical times to the present. Taught by long time Vilna Shul volunteer Rabbi Sam Seicol, each session will examine a specific phase of life transitions both from the personal and home aspects and the communal relationships. Individuals of all backgrounds and Jewish knowledge levels are invited to join.
While the series is designed sequentially, each session will also be presented as a stand alone lecture/discussion. Drop in attendance at any and all sessions is welcome. A donation of $5/session is encouraged to offset the cost of dinner.
$5 validated parking is available and we are located near the green, red, and orange subway lines. For detailed directions to the Vilna, click this link.
Schedule of classes:
• December 11 - Session 1 covers birth, Hebrew names, and parenting. We will explore the history of naming from Biblical times to today, traditional and modern brit (covenanting) ceremonies, and the role of extended family and community.
• December 18 - Session 2 looks at the dynamics and expectations as a child moves into religious majority through the rites of Bar or Bat Mitzvah and Confirmation. Topics will include education in Rabbinic times through the modern era, family and community dynamics of mitzvah involvement, and connection to a minyan through history.
• January 8 - Session 3 explores marriage rituals and responsibilities are explored. The role of dating, premarital relations in the Bible, traditional and modern views of the ketubah, meanings connected to the breaking of the glass, and other aspects will be examined.
• January 15 - Session 4 deals with death, dying, and funerals. This session will explore views on the end of life, after life, and support for the survivors from biblical times into the current practices.
• January 22 - Session 5 concludes with a look at modern life transitions that have not been formally ritualized (or have minimal observances that developed) in traditional Jewish practice, including: retirement, aging, healing, major illness, and more.