These courses will be offered at the NHC Winter Retreat. The final schedule will be provided when you arrive, and you can attend any courses that you wish. When you register, please indicate your preferences by number, so that we can try to schedule courses in appropriate spaces.
1 Music of the Temple: eyewitnesses accounts
The Babylonian Talmud offers descriptions to show that song was an essential part of Temple sacrifices. These Talmudic reports, and the Biblical texts that they cite, offer a fascinating and exhilarating journey of interpretation and inference, especially given that there seems to be no direct Torah commandment about singing over sacrifices. We'll be using both original and translated texts.
Carl Woolf, participates in several Jewish spiritual and learning communities, including the NHC. His interests include music-making, davening, mystic meditation and movement.
2 Puns and Anagrams in the Bible
Hebrew lends itself well to puns and double meanings and there are interesting examples throughout the Bible. We will explore many of these - both intentional and (perhaps) unintentional.
Aliza Arzt is a long-time member of Havurat Shalom in Somerville, and long-time teacher at the NHC.
3 The mystical "Power" of the Shema
Is it possible that the "power" of the Shema rests not in the particular words, but in the setting in which it is recited? We will use the opening passages of the Mishna Berachot (Blessings) to consider the Shema in a new light. The text will be available in both English and Hebrew, no previous experience with rabbinic texts is necessary.
Louis Rieser is the rabbi of Etz Hayim Synagogue in Derry, NH. He is the author of "The Hillel Narratives", from Ben Yehuda Press and numerous articles. He has taught at many NHC retreats and Institutes.
4 Legends of Joseph and his brothers
Did Joseph forget his family while he was in Egypt? Did Judah know he was actually talking to Joseph during his confrontation with Pharaoh's grand Vizier? Sefer Ha'agadah (The Jewish Book of Legends) lists eight agadot about Joseph & his brothers. Using a Bibliodrama approach we will explore and extend our understanding of the Joseph story.
Hal Miller-Jacobs is a member and founder of Minyan Katan, a 20-year-old lay-lead davvening group within Temple Emunah, Lexington, MA. He is also a graduate of the Davvening Leadership Training Institute at Elat Chayyim, and is an expert practitioner of Bibliodrama.
5 The Invisible Chariot: A taste of Kabala learning
We will cover the basic precepts of kabalistic traditions with the intent of experiencing spirituality from a Kabalistic view.
Eitan Zeira lives in New Hampshire and has led Kabala learning experiences for people of all ages for the last 10 years.
6 Bible Stories You Didn't Learn in Hebrew School
Hear the unusual and off-color adventures chronicled in the books of the prophets. These are the ones your Sunday-school teachers skipped over!
Ronnie Levin, with a graduate degree in Bible, is a long-time Havurah teacher.
7 "Becoming" Rosh Hashanah: the evolution of a holy day
In this session, we will review the development of Rosh Hashanah through the centuries, observing the deletions and additions to its liturgy, and examine the rationale for further evolution.
Joe Rosenstein is a founder and former chair of both the NHC and its summer Institute, and a member of the Highland Park (NJ) Minyan. He is the author of Siddur Eit Ratzon and High Holidays Machzor Eit Ratzon (see www.newsiddur.org).
8 Find Your Personal Shabbat with Song!
Explore Shabbat via new Shabbat and liturgical repertoire, through contemporary renditions of ancient and sacred Jewish spiritual song, chants and dance.
Rahel reaches audiences throughout New England with her compelling innovative Hebrew repertoire. She is also an active teacher of Hebrew and radio host (www.rahelmusic.com).
9 Prayer and Poetry: In the Echo of Yehuda Amichai
Yehuda Amichai (1924 – 2000) is one of Israel’s most admired poets. Many of his works expand upon and respond to themes in familiar Jewish prayers. In this session, we will sample Amichai’s prayer-inspired poems, using both Hebrew and English texts. Building upon key features of poetry, we will also begin composing our own prayer-inspired creations. No prior writing experience or knowledge of Hebrew needed.
Miriam Diamond is a published author on religio-spirituality and education. A returning NHC teacher, she is a poet in both Hebrew and English.
10 Eggs and Kreplach: food-based midrash, folklore and symbolism in Jewish culture
Why do we eat Kreplach at Yom Kippur? We will look at biblical sources, folktales, cookbooks and popular culture to explore the symbolism of food in Jewish customs, celebrations, humor, and culture over the cycle of the year.
Joan Vick has been a member of the Greenfield, MA Rosh Hodesh group, and has done kosher catering in the wilds of New Hampshire, where she is a member of Etz Hayim Synagogue and the NH Jewish Artists Connection.
11 The passion of Rebbe Nachman: Dance for your soul
According to Rebbe Nachman of Bratslav, there are deep kabbalistic secrets expressed in the simple act of clapping our hands and dancing for joy. In the year of Rebbe Nachman's 200th yahrzeit, we'll study his passion for dance and explore how we can embody it ourselves.
David Seidenberg is a longtime Havurah teacher, ordained from the Jewish Theological Seminary and by Reb Zalman, and holds a doctor of theology from JTS in ecology and Kabbalah. He is the founder of www.neohasid.org.
12 Typos in the Torah
According to tradition, the Torah we have today is not precisely the one received by Moses. “Tikkunei Soferim,” scribal emendations, were introduced during the early second temple perriod. Find out why! According to modern biblical criticism, many errors also crept in. How did the Rabbis deal with these obvious typos? Find out what editing marks were introduced into the text – they are still there in your schul’s Torah scrolls.
Solomon ("Mosh") Mowshowitz is a past chair of the NHC and loves the Cape Cod Retreat.