Course Description

 
 
Machaon Alte Summer 2017 Course Descriptions
 
Pnimiyut (Inner Dimension)
This course explores the mystical dimension of a range of Jewish topics, such as: the Jewish Holidays, the Hebrew letters, and the Jewish calendar. Students will be guided into an experience of the beauty of the inner dimension of the world around us, and instructed maintaining an awareness of it in our daily lives.
 
Tehillim (Psalms) 
Students will take on the ancient Tehillim of King David in this course. By working with the Hebrew text and timeless commentaries, they will gain insight into the meaning behind the words.
 
Chassidus
Using a focused collection of Chassidic texts in Hebrew, this interactive, two-part class provides students with a comprehensive and thorough view of a topic (i.e., Jewish holidays; significant dates on the Jewish calendar, etc.). It also promotes the acquisition of learning skills through the use of partner, where students get into the text, using their new tools and skills to analyze its ideas and concepts.
This course is divided into two levels:
  1.  More advanced students who can read Hebrew and have the skills to learn with a partner.
  2.  Beginners who will gain a basic background in Chassidic concepts and the skills to be able to learn with a partner.
 
Jewish Perspectives
In today’s ever-evolving world, it is important to know what the Torah has to say on a range of global issues. This class will cover topics like: same sex marriage, marijuana use, end-of-life issues, and more.
 
Halacha (Jewish Law)
This course focuses on the practical application of Jewish Law. Using a collection of texts, the course covers topics like: Shabbat, Kosher, and the Jewish festivals. The goal is to provide the students with a foundation in Jewish life as it’s lived in practice.
 
 
Parsha in a Nutshell
In this course, students will get an experience of the weekly Torah portion. It focuses on grasping the basic story and outline of the Parsha, and acquiring a strong foundation upon which to delve deeper.
 
Tanya
The Tanya is the Chassidic masterpiece of Chabad founder, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi. It brilliantly outlines the foundations of Chabad-Chassidic thought, living, and personal growth. Using an English-Hebrew text of the Tanya, this course focuses on a selection of chapters that address life’s most challenging issues. Students will encounter the Tanya’s approach to finding inner happiness, excitement, and feelings of renewal in daily life.
 
Gemara
This course provides a glimpse into the ancient and brilliant texts of the Gemara: the main work of the Torah’s orally transmitted component. Students will learn Aramaic vocabulary and some of the skills and tools necessary for deciphering the Gemara’s logic and back-and-forth style of debate and reasoning.
 
Hebrew Beginners
This interactive and fun course focuses on practical, conversational Hebrew. Using vocabulary, stories, and conversations, students build a solid base of the language. It will also explore interesting Hebrew slang.
 
Parsha in Depth
Students will gain a deeper appreciation for key subjects in the weekly Torah portion. The course focuses on the different interpretations of various biblical events, and their lessons for today. Although this is not a text base class, an original of the text is provided for reference.

Contemporary Jewish Women
With millions of women marching in the street on behalf of various issues, this course will explore the Torah's perspective on the Contemporary Jewish Woman. Using Primary Source texts, this interactive class addresses misconceptions, empowers Jewish Women of the 21st century, and provides them a path for balancing their many roles in life.
 
 
 
Chumash and Commentaries
  1. Level 1: focuses on understanding and appreciating Judaism’s most primary text in its original Hebrew, with a focus on gaining vocabulary and appreciating the story and context. Students will learn to carefully evaluate and question each verse and word. Emphasis will be on Rashi (outside of the text) – Judaism’s renowned commentator – and understanding the questions he raises and the answers he provides.
Prerequisite: Ability to read Hebrew with vowels. No vocabulary background necessary.
 
  1. Level 2: introduction to independent learning skills in the subject of Chumash and its Commentaries. Throughout the year, several topics within the Chumash are covered, with an emphasis on basic learning skills. Students are exposed to the various cantillation markers, common grammar rules essential for understanding the flow of the text, and some of the more intricate differences between various commentators. A major objective in teaching these learning skills is to help the students cultivate a love and appreciation for Jewish texts.
 
13 Principles of Faith
A key to connecting with Judaism is understanding its foundations. Based on the teachings of Maimonides, the author of the 13 Principles of Faith, the course explores the depth and meaning of each principle. Fundamental ideas discussed include: in one G-d, the role of the commandments, and Mashiach.
 
Evolving Halacha
This course examines the evolutionary path of Jewish law and custom from the Five Books to our lives today. It examines this progression by exploring various Jewish works and their impact on our daily life choices.
 
Q&A Session
Students get a chance to ask a Rabbi any questions they may have. Questions are submitted in advance to ensure proper flow to the class and facilitate the answering process.
 
Living with the Times
This lecture-style class discusses various fundamental ideas in the Weekly Parsha and how they are explained according to Chassidic philosophy. Students gain an understanding and personal connection to events that transpired centuries ago, and an awareness of how they come alive in daily life.
 
Tanach
The course explores the Tanach, with an emphasis on discovering the roots of the people, ideas, and events encountered therein. Each class begins with a reading of text and posing questions, which are then answered and discussed according to the commentaries, the Gemara, and the teachings of Kabbalah.
This course has two divisions:


For students with a background in Tanach.
For students seeking basic knowledge and text skills.  
 
Shir Hashirim
Delve into the beautiful and timeless text of King Solomon. This text based,in-depth course uses the original Hebrew text as well as commentaries. Students will also learn how the poems and messages apply to modern-day women.
 
Chassidic Melodies
“Music is the pen of the soul.” The Chassidic movement is known for its soulful melodies – both worded and wordless. The course uses song to help students connect with their souls and become more in-tune people. It teaches melodies, as well as their origin, history, and meaning.
 
Prayer
This class covers the history, structure, and explanation of the main parts of the siddur/prayer book. Using different commentaries to probe the text’s deeper meaning, students learn to connect to prayer in a deeper, meditative way.
 
Reflections Through Creative Writing
Success in learning and growth requires taking time to reflect, contemplate, and allow our studies to merge into a wholesome unit. Creative writing offers a powerful tool for such inner unification. In this course, students learn different writing techniques to help them reflect on what they’ve learned.
 


 
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