Through Parted Waters: Community-Wide Pesach Learning

March 15, 2021    
6:45 pm - 8:15 pm

Passover is not just an honoring of the freedom of the exodus, but is also a celebration of community and covenant.

Educators and learners from across the community will come together virtually for a night of Torah and simchah! Gather with us us for a welcome and Niggun, then all participants will have their choice of experiences with the dynamic leaders listed below, followed by a final l’chayim!

No charge to attend! Register HERE, or contact the Congregation Shaarey Zedek office at 248.357.5544.

Presenters and session topics:

RABBI AARON BERGMAN – Yizkor for the Difficult Relative
One of the most emotional parts of Pesach is the Yizkor service on the last day. It can be so emotional if we are remembering a loved one who was good and kind for us. It can be more challenging if we are remembering someone who was hurtful. We will look at sources on honoring one’s parents, and alternative texts. We will discuss ways of saying the yizkor prayers while being true to our emotions, and by doing so, find true comfort.

RABBI ROB DOBRUSIN – The Four Children of the Haggadah: Brilliant Rabbinic Wisdom, Tragic Rabbinic Mistake
Each year at the Seder table, we are visited by four additional guests: the four children, identified as wise, rebellious, simple and silent. The parent-child conversations which the rabbis added to the Seder ritual are classic examples of brilliantly creative midrash. But, sadly, the ancient rabbis made a grievous mistake in composing this Midrash. We will study the text closely to appreciate this great example of traditional Torah interpretation and identify and discuss the serious mistake that the rabbis made.

RABBI DAVID FAIN – The Exodus Journey – Lessons About Coping with the Unknown
We will analyze text from the Pesach Seder and Exodus story in order to gain insight and strategies for how we can cope with the unknown and uncertain events in our own lives. All are welcome. Please come ready to discuss and share your ideas.

RABBI ROBERT GAMER – Rabbinic Storytelling in the Haggadah and Beyond
We will explore some classic Rabbinic stories from the Haggadah, Talmud and Mideast Aggadah to learn about their values and meaning today.

RABBI BRENT GUTMANN –  The Meaning of Freedom
Explore the meaning of free will, covenant and halacha with Rabbi Brent Gutmann through texts and discussion.  

RABBI SHALOM KANTORCelebrating When We’re Not Yet Free: Why We Eat The Meal Of Freedom Before We Have Actually Reached The Other Side Of The Sea
While the Israelites did not reach freedom until early the next morning – we begin the full on celebration with Hallel and a celebratory meal before we even conclude the seder. This unique situation opens a window into understanding how Judaism, and the seder in particular, point us in the direction of hope and a positive future.

RABBI MITCH PARKER – Is it PC to Continue to Recite “Pour out Your Wrath” During the Seder?
For hundreds of years one of the main after dinner components of the Haggadah has been the selection entitled “Pour Out Your wrath on the nations who do not know you.” During this session we will explore the origins of this passage that calls for revenge, analyze its contents, discuss whether it is still appropriate for recital today and investigate how contemporary haggadot have dealt with this traditional urgent ask of God.

Come to learn and/or come to teach!  Our Freedom Slam offers participants a chance to teach on any topic related to Pesach for 3 minutes. It is inclusive & participatory and usually includes songs, stories, memories and words of Torah. Everyone welcome.

RABBI ARIANA SILVERMAN – When Moses Left His Children Behind
In the first chapter of Exodus we learn that the Israelites were extremely fertile. There were lots and lots of children. But after that first parasha the lived reality of those children, and those who cared for them, fades into the background. What happens when we examine Exodus from that perspective? This is a class for anyone who has ever loved a child.

RABBI AARON STARR – One and Done? Faith, Miracles, and Prophecy in the 21st Century
At Passover, we celebrate our Creator’s saving power. Yet, in the thousands of years since the Exodus, it seems that God no longer performs miracles for the Jewish People – even in the face of the most horrific of antisemitism. Does God act in the world today? Do you believe that God still sends us miracles and prophets? Join Rabbi  Starr for a lively, surprising, perhaps controversial, and perhaps difficult discussion about God’s role in our lives today.

RABBI JEFF STOMBAUGH – A Discussion About Friendship Maintenance
How have your friendships evolved over the past year? What has changed in how you connect with others since the pandemic began? What have been my expectations for myself and my friends as we’ve lived through the past year? What should they be in this next year? This Passover marks a year of being in the pandemic. We’ve innovated how we connect, held onto friendships, let go of others, maybe even made some new ones. This discussion will be an opportunity to learn, reflect, and talk about how the Jewish wisdom tradition evaluates friendship, and what’s at stake. The hope for our time together, will be for you to walk away with insights and tools to continue maintaining and strengthening your friendships in this next year. Hope you will join us!

RABBI JENNA TUROW- Passover’s Powerful Women
The Passover story is full of strong female characters that propel the story forward. In fact, without the women in this story, there would be no story at all! We will be studying the stories of these wonderful women, and what we can learn from them about how to be empowered in our own right. We will also look at some case studies for contemporary figures, in the Jewish community and in popular culture, to consider how they have followed in the footsteps of our female heroes; where do we see the continued cultural impact of the powerful Passover women?


With thanks to: Adat Shalom Synagogoue, Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue, Congregation Beth Ahm, Beth Israel Congregation Ann Arbor, Congregation Beth Shalom, B’nai Israel Synagogue, Congregation B’nai Moshe, Congregation Shaarey Zedek, Hillel Day School, MSU Hillel, Temple Kol Ami and The Well.