Season One

Classes on Zoom 
Thursday, October 7 2021!

These days, it seems like nothing has a shelf life longer than a week. Every day brings another superhero franchise, fashion trend, or dieting fad. News cycles shift by the hour, social media feeds and timelines by the second. With everything flickering, flashing, and constantly updating, it’s little wonder life sometimes feel so impermanent.

For me, there’s no better way to slow things down than to pull back, if only for short while, and try to see things from a more timeless perspective. Our own Jewish traditions are filled with so many breathtaking insights, and they won’t fade away into irrelevance in a few days. Connecting to our own heritage, and ultimately to a divine wisdom, makes the all very human things we do feel richer, more meaningful, and part of something longer lasting.

The Torah Studies program at  Chabad House Jewish Center tries to make this happen every single week. Each class take a topic or idea in Jewish thought to explore, tease out, and bring into play with our own lives. Each one is built around texts that we’ll learn together so that you can see these ideas for yourself, argue over them, and apply them to life your own way. Below, you can see an outline of a few of the upcoming sessions, and I’d love if you could join me for what promises to be a fun, engaging, and deeply rewarding learning experience. They are open to everyone, of all abilities, so bring along a friend too!

Rabbi Yossi Kivman

Thursday, October 7 2021

Torah and Science: Best of Friends

The Synthesis Runs a Lot Deeper Than You Think. Just Do it Right

Many have grappled with the apparently irreconcilable differences between religion and science; “Religion is the domain of faith; science, that of reason,” is a common attitude. A new read of when G‑d disrupts a grand feat of modern engineering teaches a refreshing approach.

Thursday, October 14 2021

Lawless Leaders vs. Moral Mentors

How Important Is Character to Being a Top Dog?

When a leader’s star begins to rise, people tend to scrutinize their character. But how important are their personal morals anyway? After all, the main thing is getting the job done, right? The lengthy narrative of Abraham’s life story clues us in.

Thursday, October 21 2021

A Well of Love

Sustainable Love Is a Quiet Affair

To be “in love” is to be generous, wide open, and full of dreams. That’s a great first step—but it’s only the first step. Abraham, the first Jew, was a man of kindness, yet the wells of emotion he dug were ultimately stuffed up. It took his quiet, disciplined son, Isaac, to redig them and open them forever. It’s much the same in our lives, too.

Wednesday, October 27 2021

Lose Your Audience and Feel Good About It

Sometimes, It’s Best to Shrink Your Audience to Amplify Your Message

Was there ever something you felt strongly about, yet kept to yourself for fear of losing your audience? It’s a tough call each time, and the divergent legacies of Abraham and his wife Sarah are quite instructional. Ultimately, it’s Sarah who wins the day.

Thursday, November 4 2021

This Holy Land Is Your Land

The Uniqueness of Israel and Our Special Right to It

Debated in the halls of the UN and fought for with much spilled blood, Israel’s Jewish ownership is contested time and again. From the beginning of time itself, G‑d designated this unique land to stand apart from any other, and gave it to His people. It’s time to take a better look.

Thursday, November 11 2021

A Jerusalem Jew in Times Square

You Want to Make an Impact? Be Real

Are you a worldly Jew or a Jew in this world? What is your primary orientation? Jacob’s brash and forceful reply to his conniving uncle reveals that it wasn’t his business acumen that was so impressive; instead, it was his zealous commitment to his ideals. We can do the same.

Thursday, November 18 2021

Summon Up All Your Resources and Win the War

Lessons from Frederick the Great on How to Be the Best Version of Yourself

Have you come up short in any personal battles lately? Jacob’s tactics against his ruthless brother Esau all the way down to a great Prussian military leader teach us a timeless tactic: don’t be a one-trick pony; focus all you’ve got on one front, and you’ll win the war.

Tuesday, November 23 2021

Expand Your Life Story. Also, Be Selective

The Characters and Events Shape the Conclusion

What keeps your air conditioner working, your orange juice pulp-free, and your coffee grounds out of your cup? A filter. Your life’s story needs one, too: you should embrace, expand, and engage with as much as possible, and when you do, make sure your filter is extra fine.

Thursday, December 2 2021

It’s Dark Out There? Look Again

Chanukah Celebrates the Quest for Light. Leave the Speeches for Later

Families gathered together in raucous joy to hear the story of the holiday. Sound familiar? Yes—for Purim, not Chanukah. You want to know why there’s no Chanukah Megillah? Because when you’re busy blazing up the darkness, there’s no time for stories.

Thursday, December 9 2021

Don’t Tell Me Anything until I Know You Care

Joseph’s Master Class in Effective Communication

Arguably one of the most dramatic narratives in the Torah, the showdown between Joseph and his brothers and the ensuing emotions after Joseph’s big reveal contain timeless lessons for anyone looking to up their communications game.

Thursday, December 16 2021

A Life of Worth is a Life Worth Living

Life’s Hard? Welcome to the Chance of Your Lifetime

“If anyone would offer to sell me a moment of future suffering for a billion dollars, I wouldn’t buy,” a famous rabbi once said. “But if anyone would propose to buy a moment of my past suffering for a billion dollars, I wouldn’t sell either.” Discover his secret.

Thursday, December 23 2021

Living in “DeNile”

The Perils of Overreliance on Self, and What to Think Instead

Is the “self-made millionaire” the ultimate success story we should all look up to? Is everything really in our control, our dreams limited only by our capacity to carry them out? Not so fast. That’s an Egyptian mentality. Baby Moses floating in a basket down the Nile has a very different message to share.


Chabad House jewish Center

35 Horace St
Mansfield, MA 02048




Torah Studies is a program of the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute