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Faces of the Goddess: Images of the Divine Feminine in Medieval Kabbalah

Past Sessions
Wednesday, March 6, 2024 26 Adar I 5784 - 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM - Zoom
Wednesday, February 28, 2024 19 Adar I 5784 - 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM - Zoom
Wednesday, February 21, 2024 12 Adar I 5784 - 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM - Zoom

Many people think that Goddess-worship is a 20th or 21st century Jewish reclamation. However, our mystical tradition has always held a complex picture of divinity, and the kabbalistic Tree of Life explicitly designates certain sefirot, or aspects of the godhead, as “female.” In this class we will dive deep into Shaarei Orah, Gates of Light, a 13th century kabbalistic text written by Rabbi Yosef Gikatilla. Explaining how different Biblical names of God give us clues about the very fabric of reality, Shaarei Orah contains history’s first systematic exposition of the sefirot in text. Through it, we will explore several faces of the Goddess, including the Garden, the Well, the Bride, the Foundation Stone, the Ocean, the Ark, the Mother, the Grapevine, the Moon and of course, the Shechina. Together we will unpack these images of divine presence in the world, discussing how we relate to them and to our understanding of God. All source materials will be provided in a new English translation as well as in the original Hebrew. The class will meet weekly for 6 weeks via zoom, hosted by Hebrew College's Open Circle Learning Program. Fee: $240

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Mon, April 22 2024 14 Nisan 5784