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An Invitation to Ask

by Sherry Shapiro, Vice President for Jewish Living and Learning

As Jews, we enthusiastically connect Judaism to learning and education. We understand that learning develops when it is impelled by our curiosity. The ability to think beyond “what is?” requires the ability to think critically and to question what we may take for granted. Beyond this, to move our thinking into “what might be?” demands the development of our imagination. Here is the fundamental component of Jewish learning: morality — the ability to take what we know into the realm of “what should be?” and what it means to be and to live as a Jew and as a human being.

“What should be?” requires us to go beyond merely thinking towards action that can draw on guidance from our texts, scholars, rabbis, and experience. We look toward tomorrow with knowledge and a critical understanding so that we can contribute to the repair and healing of our world. Our traditions teach us that knowledge must be anchored in a moral understanding that is always grounded in compassion and care. As the Rebbe Nachman of Breslov reminds us,“If you are not a better person tomorrow than you are today, what need have you for a tomorrow?”

As Jews, our tradition emphasizes the idea of continuous and lifelong learning. We begin with precious young minds helping them develop their imaginations and questioning abilities. As they develop, questions of “why?” become questions of “why not?” and then “how?” Here, Jewish tradition implants and nourishes the seeds for a desire to continue to learn, challenge, and create.

At Beth Meyer, from earliest ages, to later maturity, we cherish and respect learning experiences of all kinds. Find “what is?” that we offer, ask “how?” it might benefit you and others, imagine “why not?” Below, you will find a vision for life-long learning for our community.

Our hope is that you too, will join us as we seek meaningful lives guided by our many learning opportunities and experiences.

Lifelong Jewish learning is fundamental to Beth Meyer Synagogue, a vibrant community that strives to be a place of sacred encounter and experience.

We are a beit midrash — a house of study — where we take learning seriously and joyfully. Learning, along with prayer and acts of loving kindness, transforms our understanding of ourselves, the world, and our responsibilities to it. We integrate Jewish ritual, spirituality, history, texts and Torah to engage our diverse community wherever they are on their journey. We affirm the power of Jewish learning to create deep and meaningful lives.

Thu, July 18 2024 12 Tammuz 5784