Stanley Rudoff Memorial High Holy Day Lecture Series

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Ne’ilah: Ends and Beginnings

Posted: 10/06/2019
Ne’ilah: Ends and Beginnings
The Neilah prayer, the last of the five Yom Kippur Tefillot, is recited at the waning moments of the holiest day of the year. Exploring a range of liturgical, Talmudic and Halakhic texts, we will consider how Neilah serves to carry over Yom Kippur into the rest of the year. Located at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, 125 East 85th Street | New York, NY This lecture is free and open to the public, but please register in advance. Sponsored by the Rudoff family on the occasion of the 28th yahrzeit of Stanley Rudoff z”l.  
Love in the High Holy Days

Posted: 09/27/2017
Love in the High Holy Days
Aaron Koller on “Love in Akedat Yitzchak The first person in the Torah who “loves” another person is Abraham – and we hear of this love an instant before he is told to offer his beloved son as a sacrifice. Why does the Torah discuss love in this context? How does it affect the story of the Akedah, and how does the Akedah allow us to understand love for fellow humans, love for God, and the potential for a clash between those loves? Elana Stein Hain on “On Love, Hatred and Loyalty” During the Yamim Noraim season, we are bidden to consider our relationships to one another, to community and to God. In light of this tall task, in this shiur, we will explore the terms of אהבה and שנאה in Tanakh, with an eye towards how their definitions may guide us for the new year. This is part of the Stanley Rudoff Memorial High Holy Day Lecture Series
Holy King: Music and Meaning in the Tefillot of Rosh Hashana

Posted: 09/18/2017
Holy King: Music and Meaning in the Tefillot of Rosh Hashana
Here Dr. Chaim Kranzler and Rabbi David Silber sing and discuss the highlights of the Rosh Hashana service.
Yonah vs. God: A Prophetic Polemic?

Posted: 10/09/2016
Yonah vs. God: A Prophetic Polemic?
This unmatched prophetic novella tells the story of a prophet fleeing his mission and God’s presence. This confounding behavior is difficult enough to understand – but why is this the last public reading of the season of introspection? This shiur will address Sefer Yonah both textually and liturgically.
Everyone Believes: Rosh Hashana and the Renewal of Faith

Everyone Believes: Rosh Hashana and the Renewal of Faith
In the prayers of the High Holy Days, we sing ‘Everyone Believes’ –  a poem by Yannai from the Byzantine Era. In this lecture, we’ll explore the nature of faith, ask whether God has faith in us, and recast the holiday of Rosh Hashana in terms of a renewal of faith: Human and Divine.
Reflections on the Yamim Noraim: Are There Limits to Forgiveness?

Reflections on the Yamim Noraim: Are There Limits to Forgiveness?
part of the Stanley Rudoff Memorial High Holy Day Lecture Series.
All These Vows: The Kol Nidrei Conundrum

All These Vows: The Kol Nidrei Conundrum
Yom Kippur opens with this most powerful, albeit peculiar, communal prayer of Kol Nidrei. This year, part 1 of the Stanley Rudoff Memorial High Holy Day Lecture Series will explore the history and halakhah of this controversial tefillah with special focus on how annulling past and/or future vows sets the spiritual tone for the Day of Atonement. Part of the Stanley Rudoff Memorial High Holy Day Lecture Series.
Yom Kippur or the Challenge of Authenticity

Yom Kippur or the Challenge of Authenticity
The central motive of Yom Kippur is teshuva (Repentance). In order to engage in the process of teshuva, one must first come to terms with oneself. Several elements of the Yom Kippur service are meant to enable us to engage on the challenging path of authenticity. Part of the Stanley Rudoff Memorial High Holy Day Lecture Series.
Symbolism and Meaning in the Seir Hamishtaleach: Reenacting the Story of Creation

Symbolism and Meaning in the Seir Hamishtaleach: Reenacting the Story of Creation
A midrashic analysis of the central sacrificial ritual of Yom Kippur. Part of the Stanley Rudoff Memorial High Holy Day Lecture Series.
Introduction to Kohelet: Confronting Religious Challenges

Introduction to Kohelet: Confronting Religious Challenges
The Sages nearly censored Kohelet out of Tanakh due to their concerns over its often contradictory messages regarding life and wisdom. How did they ultimately reconcile themselves to its theological influence? Part of The Stanley Rudoff Memorial High Holy Day Lecture Series.
The Death of the Martyrs: A Lesson for Living

The Death of the Martyrs: A Lesson for Living
We go into this time of year believing that we have control over the divine decree by committing to Teshuvah, Tefillah and Tzedakah. How does the brutal death of ten blameless, righteous leaders of a generation fit into this paradigm? Part of the Stanley Rudoff Memorial High Holy Day Lecture Series.
From Purging the Temple to Cleansing Our Souls: Transformation in Atonement

Posted: 09/10/2012
From Purging the Temple to Cleansing Our Souls: Transformation in Atonement
Let Me See That Good Land: The Story of a Human Life

Let Me See That Good Land: The Story of a Human Life
Moses' fundamental sense of himself as 'not a man of words' comes to a poignant consummation in the long speeches he makes to the people before he dies. What is his purpose in these speeches, and particularly in his narrative about his desire to 'cross over to the other side' (of the Jordan)? Part of the Stanley Rudoff Memorial High Holy Day Lecture Series.
“The whole world is inside and I am outside”: Midrashic Reflections on Erev Yom Kippur

“The whole world is inside and I am outside”: Midrashic Reflections on Erev Yom Kippur
This podcast discusses some of the midrashim which look at events that occurred on Erev Yom Kippur.
Understanding Our Selichot Service: A Rabbinic Tapestry of Biblical Themes and Verses

Understanding Our Selichot Service: A Rabbinic Tapestry of Biblical Themes and Verses
How is the Selichot service different from our regular prayer service? Through analysis of its structure, key sections and themes, this podcast explores Selichot's Biblical roots and Rabbinic history in order to better understand its purpose and meaning.  Part of The Stanley Rudoff Memorial High Holy Day Lecture Series.
Fast of Gedalia: Then and Now

Posted: 09/12/2010
Fast of Gedalia: Then and Now
The Fast of Gedalia mourns the extinguishing of the last ember of Jewish leadership in the Kingdom of Judah. How could the death of one person measure up against the destruction of all of Jerusalem and the Temple? Part of the Stanley Rudoff Memorial High Holy Day Lecture Series.
Gates of Favor: Sephardic Cadences of the Akeida

Gates of Favor: Sephardic Cadences of the Akeida
New Year, Judgment Day, and Coronation: The Many Faces and Single Nature of Rosh Hashana

New Year, Judgment Day, and Coronation: The Many Faces and Single Nature of Rosh Hashana
Is God’s Presence Within Us?

Is God’s Presence Within Us?
Hagar, Ishmael, and the Phantom Akeidah

Hagar, Ishmael, and the Phantom Akeidah
Teshuva Drasha

Teshuva Drasha
What Have They Done to My Holiday, or Rosh Hashana Through the Ages

What Have They Done to My Holiday, or Rosh Hashana Through the Ages
The Torah dubs Rosh Hashana the "Day of Trumpet Blasts;" it is not presented as the beginning of the New Year, and certainly not as a day of divine judgment. What does this holiday's evolution through post-biblical Jewish writings, the Mishnah and the Babylonian Talmud teach us about the very idea of Torah? Part of the Stanley Rudoff Memorial High Holy Day Lecture Series.
Ani Ledodi Vedodi Li – I am for my beloved and my beloved is for me: Forgiveness, Atonement, and Humility

Posted: 09/26/2006
Ani Ledodi Vedodi Li – I am for my beloved and my beloved is for me: Forgiveness, Atonement, and Humility
Awaken: A Maimonidean Imperative

Posted: 09/17/2006
Awaken: A Maimonidean Imperative
The Rambam's famous metaphoric interpretation of the shofar blast as a wake-up call must be read as part of a panoply of Maimonidean sources that advance a profound religious imperative to awaken spiritually. We will study passages in the Mishneh Torah and Guide for the Perplexed that explore this motif, and highlight its particular resonance during the High Holiday season. Part of the Stanley Rudoff Memorial High Holy Day Lecture Series.
Fellow Passengers: Teshuva as a Community

Fellow Passengers: Teshuva as a Community
Judaism is unique in its approach to personal atonement by striving for collective Teshuva. How does we reconciling ourselves to each other ultimately reconcile us to God?