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Two upcoming programs at Mt. Sinai: The Kabbalah and ‘Great God Debate’

June 21, 2016 By Francesca Norsen Tate Brooklyn Daily Eagle
This image is part of Congregation Mount Sinai’s promotion of a class on the famous debate between self-acclaimed atheist Christopher Hitchens (pictured at left) and Rabbi David Wolpe. Hitchens died in 2011. Image courtesy of Congregation Mount Sinai
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Congregation Mount Sinai begins a new series this week, “Intro to the Ineffable: What Kabbalah Can Offer to Non-Orthodox Jews.”

When long-bearded scholars and pop stars like Madonna use words like mysticism and Kabbalah, what do they mean? This four-part series aims to provide an introduction into this holy science, with a special emphasis on the central work, the Zohar. In a world in which extremism has taken over so much of religion, these classes will show what Kabbalah can offer modern, even rational, Jews.

Instructor Joshua Schwartz, a doctoral candidate at New York University in Jewish Studies, focuses on the relationship between mystical states and emotional experiences.

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The series runs Wednesday June 22 & 29, and July 6 & 13, from 7 to 8:15 p.m. The cost is $75 for the series; $60 for CMS members and students.

Register at:, or call (718) 875-9124.

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Prior to his 2011 death, author, social critic, and principled atheist Christopher Hitchens debated Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles about the existence of God and the use of religion. Benjamin Resnick, a rabbi in New York and doctoral candidate at the Jewish Theological Seminary, focusing on Jewish mysticism, is the instructor.

In this one-session class, on Monday, June 27 at 7 p.m., participants will learn about this landmark debate and explore if it is possible to argue rationally about the existence of God and what it means to have a debate about theology today. The cost for the class is $10.

Register at: [email protected], or call (718) 875-9124.

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