Taste of Gamliel Lecture Series Schedule for 2nd Quarter 2021
Mourning in Moed Katan
April 7, 14, 2021, with Isaac Pollak
Journey of the Soul in the World Beyond: Wisdom from Kabbalah
April 28, 2021, with Reb Simcha Raphael
Please note: The schedule of lectures for this quarter is still being completed. Your patience is appreciated.
Two 90-minute Sessions
April 7, 14, 2021
8:00pm Eastern / 5:00pm Pacific
Course Fee: $72
Mourning in Moed Katan with Isaac Pollak
This will be a Textual study of pertinent issues relating to mourning and burial practices in the Babylonian Talmud of the Tractate Moed Katan. While the Tractate deals with the laws pertaining to the intermediate days of the festivals ; it leads to the comprehensive treatment of the laws of mourning . The common denominator is what the community is allowed and not allowed when the event at hand calls for a separation . The labors that are prohibited on the intermediate days of the festival are similar to the labors that are prohibited during the mourning period as they are derived in a parallel manner.
Isaac Pollak has been involved in the Chevrah Kadisha of the upper east side of Manhattan for 40 years, and does taharah for Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, and any other Jew desirous to meet his maker in the traditional fashion formulated by Aaron Berekhiah ben Moshe of Modena almost 500 years ago. In addition, Isaac collects and writes on Chevrah Kadisha material as well as cultural objects, and has a major collection accumulated over some 35 years, and has lectured in various institutions including, YU, JTS, Temple Emanuel, University of Vienna, University of Amsterdam, and Tel Aviv University, on the cultural and anthropological aspects of chevrah work and on objects in his collection. Professionally, Isaac is CEO of an International Marketing Company. His education includes MBA from City College, MS in Industrial Psychology and Behavioral Science from Long Island University, MA in Jewish Material Culture from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and MA in Art History from Columbia University.
One 90-minute Session
April 28, 2021
8:00pm Eastern / 5:00pm Pacific
Course Fee: $36
Journey of the Soul in the World Beyond: Wisdom from Kabbalah with Reb Simcha Raphael
Does Judaism believe in the afterlife? Unequivocally, the answer is yes! Unfortunately, in contemporary Jewish life we have lost touch with traditional Jewish wisdom on the afterlife. We shall explore Judaism’s teachings on life after death, particularly in Kabbalah – Jewish mysticism. Through discussion, storytelling and study of mystical texts, we shall explore the relevance of these teachings in dealing with the human encounter with death and the connection between Jewish teachings on the afterlife and traditional Jewish death rituals.
Reb Simcha Raphael
Simcha Raphael, PhD, is Founding Director of the DA’AT Institute for Death Awareness, Advocacy and Training. Adjunct Professor in the Department of Religion and Theology at LaSalle University, and Faculty on the New York Open Center’s Art of Dying Institute, he works as a psychotherapist and bereavement counselor, affiliated with Mount Airy Counseling Center, in Philadelphia. Ordained as a Rabbinic Pastor by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, he is author of numerous publications on death and Judaism including the ground-breaking classic, Jewish Views of the Afterlife.