Heroes & Villains,
Saints & Fools:
The People in the Book
The Second Season of 24×24 was broadcast on November 16, 2014
|Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz||Worldwide||English (with subtitles)||Why Study Biblical Characters?
Rabbi Steinsaltz examines why it is important for us to study biblical characters, how best to study them, and why they resonate with us still.
|Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz||Worldwide||English (with subtitles)||Balaam: A Good Criminal Lawyer?
Rabbi Steinsaltz explores who Balaam is, why Balak chose him and his place in the archaeological record. How do we reconcile Balaam being a flawed person who also possesses great gifts? And what about the donkey?
|Sarah Lefton||San Francisco, CA, USA||English||Drawing Meaning Out of Text (Literally)
Tanach is full of heroes AND villains AND fools (oh my)! Delve into texts through a new lens: filmmaking. We will explore together how cartooning, voiceover and creative anachronism are exciting new ways of doing midrash, using one example G-dcast has produced – Judges – and one we’d like to, with your help – Samuel! Downloadable materials – Sourcesheet: Animating Elkanah, Sourcesheet: Samson, and Worksheet: Observations
|Michaël Sebban||Paris, France||French||Les anges déchus / The Fallen Angels
Il y a des personnages cachés dans la Torah dont les noms ne sont jamais cités. On connaît les anges d’Abraham ou de Jacob mais on connaît moins les anges descendus parmi les hommes (Genèse 6,4). Des anges qui tombent et font tomber les hommes et qui sont porteurs d’un enseignement. La leçon que nous proposons suivra ces anges, leurs noms, leurs histoires, leurs fonctions. Anges de lumière et anges de l’ombre.
|Rabbi Eiran Davies||Stockholm, Sweden||English||When Moses Meets Rabbi Akiva: Time Travel in the Talmud
Menachot 29b contains a fascinating (and well-known) story about Moses and Rabbi Akiva which explores the concept of time travel and contains a remarkable model of time and space. It often surprises me when I discover that the rabbis of the Talmud had a sophisticated view of the physical universe that rivals the understanding that we have developed through our knowledge of science. In this session, we will examine the content of the story to try to understand its impact and to gain insight into Moses and Rabbi Akiva. By mapping the structure of the text itself we will attempt to unlock further meaning that is not immediately apparent.
|Rabbi Dan Makogon||Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine||Russian||«7 Заповедей Ноаха, как универсальный ключ к гармоничной жизни человечества» / Seven Commandments of Noah
Интерактивная лекция – урок, построенный на разборе жизненных ситуаций, которые показывают каким образом 7 Заповедей Ноаха функционируют и влияют на нашу жизнь, (на примере фильма о Гарри Поттере, в котором с помощью главных героев фильма можно увидеть влияние 7 заповедей Ноаха на окружающий мир)
|Rabbi Aryeh Katzin||Brooklyn, NY, USA||Russian||Слезы Радости / Tears of Joy: Joseph and his Brothers
Йосэф и его братья. В чем природа конфликтов в отношениях между людьми и пути к примирению. Испытания в нашей жизни и как они могут способствовать нашему духовному росту.
|Rabbi Elie Kaunfer||New York, NY, USA||English||A Prayer with Hidden Biblical Characters: The Mourner’s Kaddish
Join us as we explore the essence of the kaddish, moving on an interpretive journey that has implications for all prayers we read. Along the way we will encounter the hidden biblical characters that stand behind the kaddish, and discover the meaning these characters can provide to our own prayer life.
|Arthur Kurzweil||Great Neck, NY, USA||English||Abraham’s Servant Wanders Into Sodom
While we do not learn much detail about Abraham’s trusted servant, Eliezer, from the Bible, three incidents recorded in the Talmud concerning Eliezer’s visit to the evil city of Sodom help us to understand both the cleverness of Eliezer and the true nature of that wicked city. Download the Sourcesheet and the Broader Context
|Rabbi Zvi Hirschfield||Nashville, TN, USA||English||Jethro: A Non-Jewish Hero of the Jewish People
Together we will explore how outside perspective is such an essential tool, even for a leader like Moses. The character of Jethro not only offers us an inspiring example of the caring and interested outlier, but also reminds us how valuable such perspectives can be for us on a personal and national level today. Download the sourcesheet
|Rabbi Pinchas Allouche||Scottsdale, AZ, USA||English||The Cry of Four Biblical Mothers: How to Transform Tears Into Triumph.
Seldom does the Bible describe mothers crying. But when it does, we ought to pay attention. Join us on a four-step journey as we explore, and learn life-lessons from the unique cries of four biblical mothers: Hagar, Rachel, Hannah, and Sisera’s Mother. Download the Sourcesheet
|Aharon Ariel Lavi||Shuva, Israel||English||Jeremiah, Shmita and the quest for Liberty: Was it real or only a dream?
The Jubilee commandment instructs us to “reset” the entire economic system by returning all lands to their original owners and freeing all slaves. But can this standard of liberty be met at all? How did it play out in later times and how can it be realized in a relevant manner in the future? Download the Sourcesheet
|Ruth Weiss Bergman & Rabbi Morey Schwartz||Jerusalem, Israel & Detroit, MI, USA||English||Amalek: Remembering the Arch-Enemy of the Jewish People
The biblical instruction to remember does not demand of the Jewish nation to merely preserve information about a bitter historical moment. Preserving the memory of our arch-enemy Amalek places that incident at the beginning of a time trajectory that offers hope for a better tomorrow. This specially designed Melton text-based lesson focuses on the linear dimensions of the Jewish responsibility to remember the attack of Amalek against the Jewish nation just a short time after leaving Egypt, as well as considering the short term and long term relevance of this instruction in all generations.
|Judy Klitsner||Israel||English||Would You Murder and Also Inherit? A Biblical Story of Crimes, Misdemeanors, and Other Addictions
In a shocking biblical narrative, a king of Israel embarks on a spiral of crimes culminating in murder. We will examine the appetites and processes that lead from misdemeanor to crime; we will then address the larger issue of how the trajectory of sin resembles that of addiction.
|Rabbi Asher Lopatin & Rabbi Peretz Wolf-Prusan||Riverdale, NY, USA & San Francisco, CA, USA||English||The Entrapments of Balaam, Balak and the Ass
Our approach is to look at the peshat of the text and discuss the existential dilemmas of these iconic Biblical characters. Download the Sourcesheet
|Tali Adler & Rabbi Meir Tannenbaum||New York, NY & Dallas, TX, USA||English||Satan: Judaism’s most vile villain, or helpful hero?
We are probably familiar with Satan from popular culture (red skin, horns, tail) and other religious traditions (God’s nemesis, pure evil, ruler of Hell), but he is none of those things in the Hebrew Bible. In this class, we’ll examine Satan’s role in the Bible and in Jewish interpretation, and may find that he has helped shaped Judaism in more ways than we could imagine.
Moderated by Marni Rein
|Alicia Jo Rabins & Judith Rosenbaum||Portland, OR, USA & Boston, MA, USA||English||Miriam: The Complicated Life of a Biblical Woman
In this hour of text study and live music we will delve into Miriam’s experience of leprosy and exile. Alicia Jo Rabins and Judith Rosenbaum will discuss Torah’s rarely-examined, surprisingly intimate glimpse into the family life of Miriam and Moses with the aid of creative interpretations from rabbinic commentaries, visual art, and the contemporary indie-folk midrash of Girls in Trouble. Download the Sourcesheet
|Esther Kustanowitz & Sal Litvak||Israel & Los Angeles, CA, USA||English||Esther, Mordecai and What Happens When Jews Really Do Control the Media
From the letters condemning the Jews to the letters that saved them, most of the Purim story depends on written messages. It’s no coincidence that the Persian-Medean kings drew much of their power from a precedent-setting communications system – the same system Mordechai and Esther needed to control in order to save the Jewish people. Join us for a discussion about cautious speech, responsible media practices and the power of the written word, through the lens of Purim and the Book of Esther. Download the Sourcesheet
|Dana Pulver||Kedumim, Israel||Russian||«Агарь – чужая среди нас» / Hagar: A Stranger Among Us
Рабыня или дочь фараона? Послушная жена или дитя пустынного ветра? Знакомство с образом Агарь заставляет задуматься, почему у самого истока еврейского народа присутствует Чужая. скачать текст – Sourcesheet
|Rabbi David Silber||New York, NY, USA||English||Playing by the Rules: Samson’s Mission
Samson, strong man and lover of Philistine women, is a unique character in the Bible. Is he a hero or an anti-hero? We will study this unusual story and discuss its place within the Book of Judges and the Bible as a whole.
Source: Judges Chapters 13-16, via Sefaria.
|Dr. Daniel Fainstein||Panama||Spanish||Noé versus Abraham: dos solitarios, dos héroes, dos estilos de diálogo con Dios / Noah vs. Abraham: Two Solitudes, Two Heroes, Two Ways of Speaking to God
Noé y Abraham, son figures claves de la Biblia hebrea en el libro de Génesis. El autor bíblico usa términos similares (con significativas y sutiles diferencias) para describir sus trayectorias personales y relaciones con Dios. El Midrash discute cuál de los dos fue más grande en su postura ante la justicia de su tiempo, y ante Dios, abriendo la discusión sobre que significa ser una “persona moral en un mundo inmoral”. En esta clase se analizarán diversos aspectos de estos hombres, que vivieron alienados frente a rasgos prominentes de sus sociedades, y que cumplieron papeles fundamentales en el desarrollo de la humanidad en diálogo con Dios.
|Guershon Kwasniewski & Rabbi Uri Lam||Bahia, Brazil & Porto Alegre, Brazil||Portuguese||Eva: Separação e Santidade no Jardim do Eden / Eve: Separation and Wholeness in the Garden of Eden
O objetivo dos nossos estudos será explorar a criação dos seres humanos através da história de Eva e de como ela surgiu através de um ato de divisão. Esta sessão irá analisar como as primeiras pessoas se tornaram seres separados e independentes, com desejos conflitantes – e o resultado da busca pela re-união e pela totalidade.
|Sara Wolkenfeld||Chicago, IL, USA||English||Rachel: A Voice for the Ages
Rachel’s voice – her speech, her cries, and her prayers – serves as a focal point in defining this intriguing matriarch. We will examine the way her voice emerges over the course of her life and her death, and will focus on how the Rabbinic tradition consistently views her voice as a transformational force throughout her story. Get the Sourcesheet at Sefaria
|Rabbi Mishael Zion||Philadelphia, PA, USA||English||Young Moses: Hero or Villain?
Moses, our revered teacher, didn’t start out that way. One of his first acts of leadership ends with a murder. When discovered – he flees, effectively retiring from heroism. How did Moses turn his story from Egyptian villain to Jewish hero? We’ll explore Moses as a young man, looking closely at Exodus 2, contrasting traditional rabbinic commentaries and new perspectives from Yehuda Amichai and Franz Kafka.
Rabbi Steinsaltz’s mission is to “Let My People Know”, and he has committed his life’s work to making Jewish texts more accessible. 24×24 propels this vision forward in a digital age. To make this possible we are using Google Hangouts On Air. Google generously allows not-for-profit organizations free use of this platform, and we are so excited to be the first to use it for Jewish education on this scale. We hope that this platform will become a useful, powerful tool for bringing more Jewish learning to communities and for strengthening Jewish culture worldwide.
Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz | Tali Adler | Rabbi Pinchas Allouche | Ruth Weiss Bergman | Rabbi Eiran Davies |
Esther Kustanowitz | Rabbi Guershon Kwasniewski | Rabbi Uri Lam | Aharon Ariel Lavi | Sarah Lefton | Salvador Litvak | Rabbi Asher Lopatin | Rabbi Dan Makogon | Dana Pulver | Alicia Jo Rabins | Marni Rein | Judith Rosenbaum |