What kind of holiday is Rosh Hashanah? David Weinshtein suggested comparing Rosh Hashanah and the secular New Year. Despite the similar name, these holidays are diametrically different from each other in many aspects - time, duration, reason, character, ideas, and way of celebration. By comparing, we can begin to understand one of the most interesting, deep, and multifaceted holidays in the Jewish calendar.
During this fascinating lecture , David spoke about the different approaches to the New Years in Jewish tradition, and the Talmudic commentaries on Rosh Hashanah as the day of the creation of Adam and the creation of all humanity. It is also the complex time when we sum up the results of the past year. We learned why the Jewish people are compared to the moon and much more. Thanks to David and Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli for this excellent and informative lecture!
This spent a cozy evening with very special guest Rabbi Yosef Hersonski. It wasn't a lecture but more a conversation about Rosh haShana. Yosef shared 10 main things that we should know about this very special holiday. And then we talked and asked questions about different customs and concepts connected to the upcoming Fall holidays.
I want to thank Shishi Shabbat for the opportunity to meet very interesting people in an informal atmosphere and encouraging me to learn more about Jewish traditions. It was so interesting to talk to Yosef, even though I felt shy at first talking to a rabbi!
In a relaxed, homey atmosphere, we shared our speculations, doubts, and questions about Rosh Hashanah with Rabbi Igal Dubinsky.
Thank you for the warm atmosphere and the opportunity to talk very sincerely in an informal setting about Rosh HaShana. This is an example of how Jewish holidays and wisdom should be studied. Thanks to the organizers and the incomparable Rabbi Igal.
Gennady Zharnikov is a candidate of Philology and literary critic who wrote his PhD thesis about Isaac Babel.
He spoke to us about the Jewish Isaac Babel, the Jewish people's difficult simple fate in the Russian Empire as described in its stories, and his story hero Hirsh - a real character who lived in the 18th century
Hirsh was ritual slaughtere with a sharp tongue who many did not like, and went to wander the world, connecting himself to the court of a Tzadik as his court jester, [Educated, but he was a butcher of a bird with a sharp tongue, for which they did not like him and went to wander the world and nailed to the court of the tzadik and was his jester.]
We analyzed such stories and works of Babel, which describes the Jewish people's lives at that time.
Together with Boris Khanukaev, a lawyer and business consultant, we tried to understand how Israeli Tax system works. We discussed how the National Insurance Fund works (Bituah Leumi) and how we pay income taxes as individuals or businesses. Boris also explained tax incentives for Olim Hadashim, and touched on topics of fees and licenses.
This was a lot of new information for me. Before this lecture I didn't really know what I am paying for and how it all works. Now I feel a little bit more comfortable in that field, but I do appreciate if you invite more professionals to provide more specific information on each of the topics that Boris was talking about.
On Thursday evening 10.09.20, we offered a new look at the architecture of the center of Tel Aviv, Bauhaus style with guide Mikhail Dukhovny.
Mikhail called the excursion “Four Squares of the White City”. The 2-hour excursion began at Dizengoff Square, and covered the architects of the 1930’s –1960’s. Mikhail used photographs to share the history of individual houses and entrances that remain in their original form.
In addition, he spoke about the influence of the political and social background of the times they were built, the availability of various building materials and stories of famous Tel Aviv Squares: Dizengoff, Mugrabi, Bialik, and Magen-David.
These squares are all striking ensembles of Tel Aviv architecture with a rich history and excellent angles for photographs.
I liked everything on this tour and learned so much. Now I know about the history of architecture and the architects of the buildings that I walk by every day. Many thanks.
The themes of Rosh Hashanah are so flamboyant that one can look at the history and essence of this holiday from very different angles. Psychologist and coach Eva Levit discussed what transpired on the first of Tishrei from the creation of the world according to Jewish sources, and how the events of several hours in Paradise impacted the spirit of the New Year for the next millennia. For an hour and a half, the participants delved into events that occurred at the dawn of time, interpreting events, asking many questions, and reflecting on the Kabbalistic and psychological messages from the time of Adam and Eve.
Konstantin Schweibish, director of the Association of Repatriate Teachers - IGUM, as well as the network of schools and kindergartens, shared important information for young families about the education system in Israel answered many questions on topics including:
How is school and preschool education organized in Israel?
What determines which school or kindergarten your child will go to?
How did Israel become one of the five leading countries in the world where it is best to raise children?
How is the Israeli approach to child education different from that of other countries?
What if you have just moved with your children or are planning to move to Israel?
Eliezer Lesovoy -Translator, journalist, lecturer of Jewish tradition and history
The literature evening with Eliezer Lesovoy was devoted to the great writers of the Land of Israel: Agnon, Avihai, Lea Goldberg and ect. They left their homes and travelled to the land of their ancestors, they believed in the dream - the country for all jews. However, half of their hearts was left at home. Together with Eliezer we explored the texts, finding the pieces of that nostalgie, matching together the two different worlds.
I left my home 5 years ago because I've always wanted to live in Israel and I am happy to be here. But like the characters from the poems I do feel that I've come from the different world. Sometimes, like them, I feel that too. Many thanks to Eliezer and Shishi shabbat for this evening, I really enjoyed it.
Rabbi Eliyahu Gladshtein - Doctor of Psychology and Yad Rama community founder.
Together with Eliyahu Gladshtein we talked about the connection of astrology, zodiac signs and jewish texts. We started with the fact that apart from astrological predictions there is one more external level of the divine. Using as an example the story of Abraham, Eliyahu explained to us how divine intervention can influence the "fate" of the person. Then we talked about how Talmud defines the connection and influence of the zodiac signs, using as examples two stories (about the daughter of rabbi Akiva), how the actions of the person can overcome astrological prediction and change his fate.
That was a really interesting lecture. I've never thought that Torah and Talmud have discourses about zodiac signs and astrology. The thing that I like the most in Judaism is that it has an amazing conception about free will and how it could influence your life. I really wish to hear more lectures about how our religion interacts with science and other familiar concepts.