Dr. Ruth Calderon in Conversation with Rabbi Leon Morris: Secular Talmud – A Contradiction in Terms?

Posted by Leon Morris on December 21, 2017
Topics: Pardes Live


Pardes was honored to welcome Dr. Ruth Calderon for an insightful evening on Secular Talmud: A Contradiction in Terms? Rabbi Leon Morris posed a number of thought-provoking questions during the evening’s discussion which included:

  • Can the Halakha have meaning for contemporary Israeli secular Jews? Can the entire vocabulary of Jewish life be reclaimed and reshaped?
  • Saul Lieberman: “When I pray I talk to God. When I study, God talks to me.” Do you find God in these texts?
  • What is the purpose or “end” of Torah study ?
  • What would an Israeli Jewish society marinated in classic Jewish texts look like to you?
  • Reflect on the issue of who “owns” Judaism in Israel in light of 30 years of Jewish renewal and reclaiming of the Jewish bookshelf.


About Leon Morris

Leon is the President of Pardes. He comes to Pardes from the Shalom Hartman Institute where he was Vice President for North American programs in Israel. He was also on the faculty of Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. Leon made aliyah with his wife Dasee Berkowitz (Pardes Year Program alumna 1994-95) and their three children in June 2014, after serving as the rabbi of Temple Adas Israel in Sag Harbor, NY. He was the founding director of the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning at Temple Emanu-El (now the Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center) in Manhattan. Click here to read more.

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