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 A 6 lesson course by JLI on the evolution of Jewish teachings through history


A lot can change in 3,000 years. We've gone from camel backs to Cadillacs, and have entered a world of fast-paced technological advance. We've gone from a Jewish world marked by prophets and pilgrimages to a world where students study Torah in cyber-classrooms and rabbis address ethical question posed by organ transplants.

Yet the elemental questions about our tradition remain the same. How do we know what G-d wants of us in this world? Do we have any evidence that the Bible text is divine and true? How can we understand its cryptic passages? Why are the rabbis so concerned with minute details? Who has the right to interpret the Bible? How do we adapt its laws to modern times and changing influences?

The answers to these questions are addressed in "Judaism Decoded," the most popular course ever offered by the Jewish Learning Institute. Newly revised on the basis of feedback from students like yourself, this interactive course promises to intrigue and inspire as you explore the history and development of Jewish law and tradition.

The journey "Judaism Decoded" represents the inner story of our lives and of our people. We invite you to join us for the ride.

  • Have you ever questioned the authenticity of our Jewish tradition?
  • Is there any evidence supporting the veracity of Judaism as we practice it today?
  • What was invented by the rabbis, and what can be traced back to ancient biblical verses?
  • And how do contemporary rabbis know how to adapt biblical law for modern times?
  • Just as science follows the scientific method, Jewish tradition has its own system to ensure its authenticity remains intact.
  • Judaism Decoded sheds light on the mysteries surrounding biblical interpretation. How do we know our interpretation is true? If it is true, why is it subject to differences of opinion? And with so many interpretations to choose from, how do we know which one reflects its original intent?
  • Discover the sheer elegance of the “source code” on which Torah law is built; enjoy the razor-sharp reasoning, intelligent debate, and compelling arguments of the Talmudic dialectic; and get a fascinating, behind-the-scenes glimpse of the most intellectually sophisticated religion in existence.


Chabad Chai Center 3871 Post Rd, Warwick, 02886

Judaism Decoded: The Origins and Evolution of Jewish Tradition
6 Mondays
Beginning 05/11/2015
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

$ 80.00

Early Bird Special , 10% off before April 10

Phillys Siperstein TAMARISK Assited Living 3 Shalom Dr, Warwick, 02886

Judaism Decoded: The Origins and Evolution of Jewish Tradition
6 Tuesdays
Beginning 05/12/2015
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

$ 80.00

Early Bird Special , 10% off before April 10


6 Wednesday, 6:30pm, in Lincoln RI

For more information visit us at or call or email us at 401-884-7888

Scolarships available, just call or email and we are happy to have you join 



If we have a written law, why do we need tradition? And if we have a tradition, what’s the point of a written law? Discover the brilliance of this binary system, and how it has kept Jewish tradition intact for millennia.



Circumstances change, and, in most cases, so do the rules—unless, that is, the rules were created as principles with a unique formula to make them apply to any situation that may arise. Explore the systematic formula through which Jewish law is applied to solve new, modern-day dilemmas.



Is my rabbi allowed to change the law when he deems it necessary? When do rabbis have the power to legislate new laws? And what prevents a rabbi from unilaterally changing the face of Judaism?



The Talmud is filled with all kinds of debates. If the law is Divine, should there be any room for discussion? When there are differences of opinion, how do we determine the law? And why does the Talmud record opinions that were ultimately overruled?



While most Jewish practices are as relevant today as ever, some laws have reasons that no longer apply. When does a law expire? How is it revoked? And why might we choose to continue a practice even once its rationale is no longer relevant?


Judaism encourages us to question. How do we know the Torah is true? Why was Maimonides so  convinced about the historic truth of the revelation at Sinai? Is there any empirical evidence to support his claim?

Dr. Eugene Kontorovich
Professor of Law, Northwestern University

An extraordinarily sophisticated examination of Talmudic methodology, tackling the toughest questions about the nature and legitimacy of rabbinic law, combining high academic rigor with fundamental rooting in Jewish tradition.

Dr. Susan Handelman
Professor of English, Bar-Ilan University

This superb course will enable each participant to enter into the fascinating world of Talmud, sharpen his or her mind, and understand the foundations of Jewish law and its application to critical contemporary issues.

Dr. Jeremy Rabkin
Professor of Law, George Mason University

Anyone with an interest in legal reasoning should engage with the Talmud, which records some of the oldest and most subtle interpretations of fundamental law. Judaism Decoded offers a fine introduction to Talmudic methods.



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A branch of the world's largest Jewish Camping network, Camp Gan Israel International

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