Finding Purpose from the Past
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Why do we do what we do as Jews? Is it guilt, force of habit, passion or because we think we have to? In contemporary Jewish life we think of our Jewish identity as a series of choices. But so many texts and traditions describe a different force that bears on us–that of being commanded by God, or burdened by our history–to do things that we may or may not want to do. So we are left wondering: What role does “commandedness,” or obligation, play in one’s modern Jewish identity? What can commandment mean in the 21st century?
Join Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer for an evening of study and discussion whose research at Harvard University and leadership as the inaugural Charles R. Bronfman Chair in Jewish Communal Innovation at Brandeis University have given him unique insights into the challenges facing Jews in the 21st century. He is currently the President of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America.
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