Chabad to hold JLI course on “Secrets of the Bible”

Reservations will be accepted until Friday, October 30, for the six-session course from the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute titled “Secrets of the Bible: Iconic Stories, Mystical Meanings, and Their Lessons for Life.” The cost for the course that will be held via the Zoom platform is $59 per participant, which includes the text book.

Interested parties are asked to write to to register. Those registering after Thursday, October 29, will have to pick their textbooks up from the Chabad Center to have them on time for the start of the course. Registered participants will be able to receive a link to play back the class at a different time if Monday at 7 pm does not work for them.

“People tend to read biblical stories as they do primitive mythology,” said Rivkah Slonim, course instructor. “Our course invites participants to look deeper and discover the underlying themes and relevant life lessons that these stories were designed to convey.”

The course presents readings of the stories of Adam and Eve and the Tree of Knowledge; Noah and the great flood; the lifelong feud between Jacob and Esau; Joseph’s multicolored coat; the golden calf; and Korach’s rebellion. For each of these stories, it seeks to answer the questions: What is the deeper meaning behind the story? How does it shape the Jewish worldview? And what wisdom does it hold for us today?

Throughout its six sessions, “Secrets of the Bible” explores major life themes, including human subjectivity and bias, the underpinnings of relationships, negotiating spiritual growth with practical impact, why inspiration is fleeting and how to make it last, understanding equality and privilege, and navigating parallel spiritual and material life paths. 
“‘Secrets of the Bible’ presents wonderful ancient biblical stories in fresh and modern ways that deal with universal human dilemmas” explained Dr. Erica Brown, director of the Mayberg Center for Jewish Education and Leadership at George Washington University. “The wisdom it shares should not remain a secret.”

“‘Secrets of the Bible’ brings to an intelligent lay readership texts so formative to so many cultures worldwide that they cannot be ignored even by cultures looking on from without,” commented Dr. Joel Rosenberg, a professor of biblical literature at Tufts University. “By embracing post-biblical Jewish tradition, the course recognizes an interpretative process that begins with the Bible itself (interpreting its own past) and goes on to awaken the interpretive impulse in later readers exploring the experience of their own era.”