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Sixth & I

Thinking Jewishly: Ancient Jewish Wisdom for the Modern World

Session Five: It’s My Life: Jewish Bioethics

Mar 13, 2018 • 7:00 pm ET
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This session meets on Tuesdays, March 13, 20, and 27 and April 10 and 17

With scientific advancement providing more choices than ever about how we care for our bodies and the health of our loved ones, Jewish values can inform decisions about healthcare in the modern age. While ancient rabbis could have never predicted a world filled with organ donations, stem cell research, or in vitro fertilization, this class will explore ancient Jewish sources in order to analyze the Jewish understanding of a human life.

Given a modern outlook that privileges individual autonomy and choice, what can Judaism teach us when making complicated ethical decisions about issues such as abortion, circumcision, and end of life care? By comparing the ancient Jewish concept of mitzvot (commandments) within the broader context of covenant, study the scope and limits of the autonomous Jewish self.

About this six-session series:

Being a Jew in the modern world is complicated. Over the course of a year, each session in this six-part series will focus on a different hot topic in modern Jewish thought. Uncover transformative Jewish ideas that have led our society closer to peace and justice while grappling with complicated ethical dilemmas provoked by our most ancient texts.

Even someone who went to Hebrew school may feel that the Torah isn’t relevant to their lives. This series aims to smash the idols of irrelevance and bring Jewish thought into the 21st Century. Through the exploration of key texts from the tradition, learn how to integrate ancient wisdom into everyday life.

Throughout the year we will explore questions such as: How can the Torah teach us to pursue justice and equality for all, while at the same time calling Jews the Chosen People? How do we understand our obligation to seek peace when the Torah is riddled with stories of war? Who gets to decide if I’m Jewish “enough”? What is the ideal relationship between politics and religion?

Who Should Sign Up?
This class is meant for anyone who is looking for a series of classes focused on Jewish philosophy and thought. If you have any previous Jewish education—Hebrew school, university classes, intro to Judaism classes at Sixth & I or elsewhere—this is a great way to explore some of the most challenging ethical dilemmas of the modern age. Basic knowledge of Jewish concepts and terms is helpful (but not mandatory) because this is not an introductory course. For questions, contact Rabbi Suzy.

Register for other upcoming sessions: Session Six

No one will be turned away from any of our classes due to lack of funds. For more information, please contact our Jewish Programming Associate, Annie