Beit Midrash: Study with the Rabbi

Spring 2017 Class: A Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism Reader

Every Fall and Spring of the year, the Rabbi teaches a class in Jewish history and/or ideas.

We will study Rabbi Danny Horwitz’s new book, A Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism Reader.

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Class is held downstairs at Ohev, starting at 7:00 p.m, on Tuesday evenings. We have lively discussions with a wide range of interests and opinions. Whether it is your first class or your tenth class with the Rabbi, you are sure to get something meaningful out of the time spent with us.

This Spring, we will hold classes on:

  • February 7, 2017
  • February 14, 2017
  • February 21, 2017
  • February 28, 2017
  • March 7, 2017
  • March 14, 2017

There is no cost for the class. We appreciate donations.

We will serve dessert, following class. And we appreciate knowing if you plan to come by contacting us online or calling the office at 913-642-6460.

About the Book

(From the Publisher’s site)
An unprecedented annotated anthology of the most important Jewish mystical works, A Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism Reader is designed to facilitate teaching these works to all levels of learners in adult education and college classroom settings. Daniel M. Horwitz’s insightful introductions and commentary accompany readings in the Talmud and Zohar and writings by Ba’al Shem Tov, Rav Kook, Abraham Joshua Heschel, and others.

Horwitz’s introduction describes five major types of Jewish mysticism and includes a brief chronology of their development, with a timeline. He begins with biblical prophecy and proceeds through the early mystical movements up through current beliefs. Chapters on key subjects characterize mystical expression through the ages, such as Creation and deveikut (“cleaving to God”); the role of Torah; the erotic; inclinations toward good and evil; magic; prayer and ritual; and more. Later chapters deal with Hasidism, the great mystical revival, and twentieth-century mystics, including Abraham Isaac Kook, Kalonymous Kalman Shapira, and Abraham Joshua Heschel. A final chapter addresses today’s controversies concerning mysticism’s place within Judaism and its potential for enriching the Jewish religion.

About Rabbi Horwitz

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Rabbi Danny Horwitz

Rabbi Daniel Horwitz has served as rabbi of Congregation Beth Jacob in Galveston, Texas from 1980 to 1986, and Congregation Ohev Sholom in Prairie Village, KS (metropolitan Kansas City) from 1986 until 2004. Following the family’s move to Houston, he was the interim rabbi at Brith Shalom. He was born and grew up in Oklahoma City, and while a student at Rice University attended Shabbat services at the Greenfield Chapel of Beth Yeshurun, where he now serves as the part-time Chapel Rabbi. He also teaches in the Melton Adult Mini-School through the Jewish Community Center.

Rabbi Horwitz was ordained by the Academy for Jewish Religion in 1980 and has also served as President of the Mid-Continent Region of the Rabbinical Assembly (Conservative). He received his Doctor of Jewish Studies degree in 2013 from the Spertus Institute of Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago. He is married to Tobi Cooper, the daughter of long-time Beth Yeshurun members Leon and Shirley Cooper. Rabbi Horwitz and Tobi have four children and one grand-daughter.

Reviews

“Rabbi Horwitz has done a masterful job of collecting important excerpts from the vast storehouse of mystical literature, and annotated each selection with a perceptive analysis. This collection will remain the classic book of study on kabbalah and Jewish mysticism for decades to come.”—Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins

“A gateway into the world of Jewish spirituality. . . . An important resource, very well done.”—Rabbi Jack Riemer, editor of The World of the High Holy Days

“Rabbi Horwitz has written a fine book of accessible scholarship, one that will be welcomed by rabbis, educators, and adult education classes. Strongly recommended.”—Rabbi Judith Abrams, the late former head of Maqom, School for Adult Talmud Study, and coauthor of The Messiah and the Jews

“Very solid, carefully thought-out, and well researched, making a very complicated subject quite accessible.”—Rabbi Dr. Byron L. Sherwin, the late former Distinguished Service Professor, Spertus Institute