Adult Study Group
Everyone is welcome.
The Adult Study Group was established in 2011 to provide a forum for the sharing of ideas and information on religious and philosophical topics.  The group meets monthly from October through June to discuss a wide range of topics from Biblical archaeology to issues of contemporary Jewish significance.  
The group has about 15 regular members and others join particular sessions depending on their interests.  While most of our members belong to the WRSSJCC, non-members are also welcome.  New members are  encouraged to join at any time.  There is a nominal annual fee to help defray expenses.  For more information, contact the group leader.

First Session, Monday, October 1, 2018

As you recall from last spring, this season we will be looking at important Jewish figures, be they from the Bible,  or from any place else where they earned a role on the world stage.  I’ve picked the first character for our October session, and no, it is NOT a white male. 

Our October character is Sarah, the first Jewish woman in history.  After Rosh HaShanah you will be receiving a hefty list of readings about Sarah, but FOR Rosh HaShanah, here is her role in the reading for the second day – the Binding of Isaac.  No, Sarah wasn’t on Mount Moriah when Abraham was about to kill their son, but, as the first Jewish mother in history, Sarah coined  the verb “to plotz.” And she wasnt just plotzing, but…….read on.  

From  Sarah – Women in the Bible

……. “when Avraham and Yitzhak returned home from the intense experience and test which they had passed, they were faced with this last painful aspect of the "Akeida"

" – they found that Sarah had died. She was not destined to be a part of the "post-Akeida" family.

 She screamed six times, corresponding to the six "tekiah" notes of the shofar. She had not finished doing this when she died. (Midrash – Vayikra Rabba 20:2)

In her death, Sarah began a process of "tekiot" – wails correlating to those which emanate from the shofar which we blow every year on Rosh Hashana.

These tekiot remind us not only of the binding of Isaac, culminating in the sacrifice of a ram instead, and not only of Sarah's crying upon hearing the news of the Akeida, but also of Mount Sinai, when the sounds of the shofar emanated at the national revelation of God and the receiving of the Torah.

 Every year, as we hear the shofar blow, the memory of Sarah – our purposeful, clear-sighted matriarch – comes to mind, as we continue the process of introspection, of searching for clarity amid confusion and despair, finally reaching the ultimate confirmation of certainty and meaning that is found in God and Torah."

Shanah Tovah!


 The Study Group is guided by the following principles:
  1. Sessions are intended to be spirited discussions by the whole group.  They are not lectures.
  2. Topics may be proposed by anyone, but are normally adopted by consensus.
  3. Each session has a facilitator, usually the person who initially proposed the topic.  The facilitator is responsible for identifying a set of readings which will be published on the Adult Study Group web page, and which participants are asked to read before the session.
  4. If a participant, and especially a new participant, has not had an opportunity to read the selections, then that person is welcome to come to the session more as a listener than as a contributor.

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