2 sessions: Scholar In Residence- Jewish Views of the Afterlife

featuring Reb Simcha Raphael, PhD.

Please join us for our Scholar-In-Residence weekend,
Friday, November 8 Speaker During Services and Saturday, November 9 Brunch & Learn
Dr. Raphael will be speaking about Jewish Views of the Afterlife and offering material from his book of the same name. As both a scholar and pastoral counselor, Raphael will guide us through 4,000 years of Jewish thought on the afterlife by investigating pertinent sacred texts produced in each era.
Dr. Raphael’s book, now in its 3rd edition, is a classic study of ideas of the afterlife in the Jewish tradition and mysticism. It presents new material on little-known Jewish mystical teachings on reincarnation, a chapter on “Spirits, Ghosts and Dybbuks in Yiddish Literature”, and a foreword by the renowned scholar of Jewish mysticism, Rabbi Arthur Green. Through a compilation of ideas found in the Bible, Apocrypha, rabbinic literature, medieval philosophy, medieval Midrash, Kabbalah, Hasidism and Yiddish literature, the book teaches how Judaism conceived of the fate of the individual after death throughout Jewish history. It also explores the implications of Jewish afterlife beliefs for a renewed understanding of traditional rituals of funeral, burial, shiva, kaddish and more.
Dr. Raphael’s brief talk during Shabbat evening services on November 8 is entitled “Jacob’s Cave at Machpelah—Guidelines from Genesis for Living and Dying.” Using the scene of Jacob’s deathbed drama in Genesis, we shall discover the wisdom Torah provides for dealing consciously with end-of-life issues and see how our Biblical ancestors understood the connection between this world and the world beyond.
Immediately following Shabbat morning services on November 9, his main presentation will be part of a brunch & learn program entitled “Afterlife Journey of the Soul in Jewish Mysticism.” Today many are unaware of traditional Jewish wisdom on life after death. This presentation explores Judaism’s afterlife teachings, particularly in Jewish mysticism, and the practical relevance of these teachings in dealing with the human encounter with death. RSVPs to the office@betheljc.org are appreciated so we have enough food.

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