Season FOUR

New Season Starting
Wednesday, July 12, 2023!

Torah Studies is a series of stimulating text and discussion-based classes that take place on a weekly basis. Each class introduces ideas and issues from the current weekly Torah portion and, through discussion and debate, creates a meaningful connection between the timeless wisdom of the Torah and modern-day living.

Wednesdays, 8:00-9:00pm at Chabad of Downtown.

This series is free of charge. The course outline is listed below. Each class is a standalone unit, so feel free to join us when you can. These classes are open to everyone, of all abilities, so bring along a friend too!

Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

Hope to see you there,
Rabbi Dovber Dechter

Wednesday, July 12 2023

G‑d Doesn't Want It Darker

If It Seems That Way, Great Things Must Be Coming

We all go through difficult, dark times-sometimes excruciatingly so. Judaism has long held the view that like the Jews' original odyssey through the desert, no stop on this journey of life is so dark as to be meaningless. In fact, the more difficult it is, the greater the growth thereafter.

Wednesday, July 19 2023

How to Make a Successful Remake

Transmitting Values in a New Language Is an Art Form

A remake is always hard. How do you maintain the original authentic theme and flavor while injecting new and relevant language? Two drastically different historic attempts at translating the Torah teach us how to ace this tough task: with creativity and an abundance of caution.

Tuesday, July 25 2023

Struggle Isn't a Bug. It's a Feature

Reframing Negativity Isn't Only about Looking to the Future

A Talmudic story of a sage laughing at the scene of tremendous destruction teaches us profound truths about the destruction in our lives: it's not just getting better ''some day''; the destruction is the very feature that's making it better right now.

Wednesday, August 2 2023

The Big Picture

Your Life Really Only Centers around One Thing

Modern life is a dizzying abundance of ''splintering.'' Every day brings so many different places to be, roles to fill, and projects to carry out. World events regularly turn things upside down. How do we maintain our sanity and peace through it all? By centering everything around one thing: serving G‑d-in whichever capacity He wishes.

Wednesday, August 9 2023

Jerusalem: Our Eternal Undivided Capital

The Meeting Place of Heaven and Earth

It's the most hotly contested piece of real estate within the most hotly contested land in the world. What's so special about Jerusalem that evokes so much passion? Walk its cobblestone streets and you will feel that it is the nexus of Heaven and earth.

Wednesday, August 16 2023

Don't Worry; There's No Reason to Fear

How to Maintain Calm When Life Goes Sideways

Jewish people throughout history have maintained legendary faith in G‑d, no matter how worrisome the future may look. But how? How do we allay fears about the future when we truly don't know what will be? It's all about trusting in G‑d and relying on His master plan.

Wednesday, August 23 2023

Why Evil Exists

When Opposition Demonstrates the Greatest Support

Squaring the idea of an omnipresent G‑d with the reality of evil has always been a thorny theological problem. Discover the surprising premise that upends this entire conversation: it's along the lines of, ''G‑d can make a rock He can't pick up-and then pick it up, too.''

Wednesday, August 30 2023

''G‑d, Once in a While, Can't You Choose Someone Else?''

The Privilege, Responsibility, and Humility of Being ''Chosen''

Our claim as the ''chosen nation'' has too often been misconstrued and misunderstood. It's time to set the record straight and internalize what this idea really means: We are entirely humble before G‑d and here to serve. Now it's time to get to work.

Wednesday, September 6 2023

Kowtowed into Submission?

Judaism Doesn't Believe That G‑d Is Waving a Pitchfork over Your Head

''Fear of G‑d'' and submitting to authority are central planks to religious Jewish life. But who wants to live in fear and submission? No one. The good news is that Judaism doesn't demand that from us. In fact, ''fearing G‑d'' is quite the opposite: It is an edifying and empowering awareness to enrich your life. Discover how.

Wednesday, September 13 2023

''You Matter,'' G‑d Said

Discovering Our Immutable Value in the Shofar-Blowing Ceremony

There comes a time when thinking people stop and ask themselves, ''Do I really matter?'' It's a scary question. The shofar-blowing ceremony provides a reassuring answer: Beyond anything you might do, G‑d decided you matter-and that's who you are. Go ahead and relish that.

Wednesday, September 20 2023

There's Always Room for Improvement

It's Not Just Something Your Therapist Says. Your Soul Demands It

That we can always improve is pretty much a no-brainer. Yom Kippur comes along each year and adds: Today, your soul receives a reboot. You're a new person now. You can improve-and dramatically so.

Wednesday, September 27 2023

The Ascetic Materialist: A Welcome Paradox

Developing a Cunning Approach to Everyday Life

Jewish tradition abounds with stories of pious ascetics who ate black bread and slept on wooden boards. But that doesn't seem to be so commonplace these days. Should we go back? The sukkah-a primal hut, but with all the trappings of a house-provides an innovative and healthy approach.