Through Parted Waters: Community-Wide Pesach Learning

March 15, 2021, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

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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! All participants will have their choice of experiences, with moments of coming together for song and celebration!

Presenters and session topics (in formation):

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 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 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.



No charge to attend! For information, contact the Congregation Shaarey Zedek office at 248.357.5544.

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With thanks to: Adat Shalom Synagogouue, 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, MUS Hillel, Temple Kol Ami and The Well.