The workplace has the water cooler. The high school has the lunch room. European cities have the town square. Jews have text. We often use our sacred scriptures as a meeting ground of sorts. A gathering point where we come together from diverse locations to discuss, to argue, to forge friendships, and to figure out where we fit in. We meet across a page to let the text speak to us and for us to speak to the text. Throughout many years of Jewish learning I have enjoyed getting to know people of different religions and streams of Judaism through the lens of Torah study. At times our differences melt away in a shared love of study and a similarity of approach to the material. At other times, those differences are heightened by vastly different readings and understandings of the text in front of us.
For all these reasons I have invited two colleagues and friends to join me at Chizuk Amuno for an evening of “Texting Together” Rabbi Etan Mintz of B’nai Israel The Downtown Synagogue and Rabbi John Franken of Bolton Street Congregation. On Wednesday February 4th at 7:30pm the three of us, from three different congregations and ordained from three different Jewish denominations, will meet each other across and through the study of traditional texts. Our topic will be: What Really Happened at Sinai?
Using the format of traditional study, prior to the program at 7pm there will be an opportunity to study a text of Revelation (Exodus 19) together in hevruta (pairs or small groups) in preparation for the rabbis’ discussion at 7:30. It is our hope that through understanding how we read text, we engage with each other and build bridges.