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Shabbat Scholars Program Debuts at Sixth Street

11/23/2014 08:43:11 AM


Sixth Street Community Synagogue hosted its first Shabbat Scholar event, welcoming Rabbi Dr. Lawrence J. Kaplan for a series of lectures and discussions around the topic: Maimonides Today.

Rabbi Kaplan is a distinguished Maimonides scholar, and recently reviewed Moshe Halbertal’s biography Maimonides: Life and Thought for the Jewish Review of Books. He is a professor of Rabbinics and Jewish Philosophy at McGill University.

Events began Friday night with Kabbalat Shabbat, dinner attended by 70 community and synagogue members, and sheva brachot said for Matt and Stefanie Johnson who were recently married. After dinner, attendees filled the Beit Midrash to hear  Rabbi Kaplan’s first lecture “The Purpose of the Guide of the Perplexed: God’s Wisdom in Torah and Nature.” Rabbi Kaplan discussed issues such as the use of parable in key sections of scripture and the role of Maimonides’ Guide in understanding those constructs.

Rabbi Kaplan also delivered the Saturday morning sermon titled “The Wooing of Rebecca: Test of Character or Auspicious Omen?”  After the service, Kiddush featuring herring, cholent and kugel was served. Thanks to Elly Kramer, who sponsored the Kiddush in memory of her grandfather Abraham Getzler and to Annie Watman who sponsored the Cocktail of the Week (the Dark n'Stormy) in celebration of Jeremy Watman's 25th birthday.

Rabbi Kaplan concluded the Shabbton’s events addressing a gathering of 30 for Seudah Shelishit on the topic of “Was Maimonides a Pluralist?”

Many in the Sixth Street community came together to make the Shabbaton a success. Thanks to Ellen Cherrick, Jeff Katz and the Education Committee for inviting Rabbi Kaplan and organizing the multiple events. Thanks to Social Committee members Joan Nachmani and Leora Walter for their help in organizing the Friday night dinner and to the PR Committee chaired by Mike Miles for their efforts to help publicize the events. And of course, thanks especially to Rabbi Kaplan for joining us and inaugurating our Scholar series.

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