Intention and the Mitzvot of Tishrei

Dr. Shana Strauch Schick

Monday, September 7, 2020

1:00 pm

If, after a long day in shul on Rosh Hashana, my mind is wandering during shofar blowing, do I have to hear it again? Can the pergola in my backyard be my sukkah? In this three part lecture series, we will explore how intenton factors into the mitzvot central to Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. 

In the first class, we will explore the talmudic debate as to whether one must have kavannah when sounding and hearing the shofar, and how this relates to the broader question of Mizvot Zerikhot Kavannah (do rituals need to be performed with intention) and how the rishonim and aharonim weighed in on this debate and decide the halakhah. 

In the next class, we turn to Sukkot and the debate regarding whether the construction of the sukkah itself must be done for the purpose of the mitzvah.We will see how the underpinnings of this talmudic discussion are reflected in discussions of brit milah as well. 

In the third class, we will probe different aspects of intentionality: whether sinful thoughts are treated with the same weight as sinful deeds, and what defines a sin as intentional or unintentional. We will see marked differences in how various sages approached these questions.

Dates: September 7, 14, 21 - NOTE: DUE TO UNEXPECTED CONFLICT CLASS ON  9/21 WILL BE MOVED TO WEDNESDAY 9/23 at 1PM Eastern.
This class will be live streamed on the following platforms:

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Note: If you attend four or more series consistently over Elul, you qualify as a Drisha Elul Fellow. Elul Fellows will have access to additional classes and discussions with members of the Drisha faculty.

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