The American prison system relies on retributive justice. Teshuva suggests a process of restorative justice.
Together we will read Rambam's Hilchot Teshuva (Laws of Repentance) through the lens of prison ministry to discover how confronting the potential healing of those who have done real wrong can teach us about our own relationship to God.
Who By Fire?: The Most Controversial Prayer in Jewish Life, R' Elie Kaunfer
Are you troubled by reciting: “Who Shall Live and Who Shall Die?” every year on High Holidays? Does God really mete out just reward and punishment each year? Together we will examine the Untane Tokef prayer, looking at its Biblical allusions, and discover its radically divergent internal theological approaches.
Why Don't People Ever Seem to Change? (and How We Can), R' Shai Held
Contemporary culture gives us a lot of mixed messages. On the one hand, we're told that free will is an illusion, and that we're conditioned by countless circumstances beyond our control. On the other hand, we're told that human beings are malleable, and that even our brains our "plastic." A mature spirituality recognizes, first, that it's extremely hard to change who we are, and second, that we're nevertheless obligated to work on doing just that. With the help of Rabbinic, Hasidic, and Musar texts in conversation with modern psychology and, we'll explore both obstacles and opportunities for change and personal growth.