July 15, 2024
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Aish HaTorah Brings Discovery Seminar to Teaneck

For the first time since the pandemic lockdown, the Aish World Center is bringing their Discovery Seminar to the U.S., and specifically with the first location in Teaneck. An Aish Discovery Seminar will be held at Temple Emeth, 1666 Windsor Road, Teaneck on Sunday, February 12, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. and there will be coffee and light refreshments.

The Discovery Seminar is Aish’s signature transformative in-person seminar, challenging participants to rethink the way they view the world through Torah. The Discovery Seminar is a three-hour, thought provoking demonstration of the case for Judaism. Through an interactive, audio-visual examination of Jewish history and Jewish texts, participants will gain a deeper appreciation of how a rational person cannot deny the divinity of Judaism. There will be time for lots of Q&A.

The agenda will include seeking answers to penetrating life questions such as what constitutes a rational foundation for a belief system, how to take steps toward being a confident and proud Jew, how one finds clarity on our purpose in this world, and how to contemplate things that no human being could possibly know, and much more.

“In today’s world of everything digital, we are also seeing a strong return to in-person experiences,” said Lisa Barkan-Matitya, director of Aish’s global events and experiences. “At the Aish World Center our classes and the Discovery Seminar are attracting visitors of all backgrounds and ages. Young professionals are taking time off for a ‘learning vacation’ and the heavy return to tourism in Israel is bringing masses to our Western Wall Experience. It was this increase in demand that both prompted and inspired us to bring Discovery back to the U.S.

Within a week of announcing this Teaneck Aish Weekend, requests from other cities started arriving. Of course we are excited because every step of engagement with learning Jewish wisdom brings us closer to fulfilling our mission of a worldwide culture of Jewish learning.”

Two presenters will speak at the Discovery Seminar, Rabbi Dov Ber Cohen and Rabbi Mikhail Zalman Dubov (MZ Dubov).

“I was always a truth seeker,” said Rabbi Dov Ber Cohen, a senior lecturer at Aish HaTorah. “I studied philosophy at university and then spent six years living in the Far East studying martial arts and the local philosophies. But I always had a question: How do you know this is true? What’s your evidence? It was only once I got to Israel and reconnected with my Jewish roots that I got an answer to my question. We have rational evidence that there is no way a human being could have written the Torah. So I’m not a truth seeker anymore—I found the truth. Now I’m just trying to live it in the most conscious, joyful way I can.”

Rabbi Mikhail Zalman Dubov, director of the FoundAISHons program, said: “My journey to receiving the Jewish education I never had as a child began with a fight for truth. Over a decade ago during my undergrad years at Boston College, the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movements appeared on our campus, spreading polemic against Israel and stirring up antisemitism. When I saw that no one was going to take a stand, I led a small group of Jewish and non-Jewish students who wanted to fight those lies with truth, and we started an organization on campus to do just that. Our activities spread to the greater Boston area, and I found myself making acquaintances in the Orthodox Jewish community for the first time in my life. Rabbi Chananel Weiner, a student of Rav Noah Weinberg. zt”l, became a partner of ours and even a good friend and was my connection to Aish.

“Upon my graduation, he challenged me to go to Israel and learn about the depth, beauty and relevance of a heritage that’s been in my family for over 3,000 years, but largely ignored for the past 100. What I came to discover is that not only is Torah wisdom all that he assured me it would be, it was true. I always thought that to be religious, one had to ‘turn off their brain’ and trade reason for faith. The Aish Discovery Seminar propelled me to a lifelong journey of learning, and now teaching, the rational basis for our eternal commitment to the Torah and its Sagely guidance for life.”

In 1974, after meeting five backpackers at the Kotel, Rav Noach Weinberg, zt”l founded Aish HaTorah (which translates to ‘the Fire of Torah’). Today, Aish is a Jewish education center and yeshiva, located a three-minute walk from the Kotel, 6 HaTamid Street, Jerusalem. Aish’s mission is to “inspire people to live more thoughtful, spiritual and impactful lives through learning and sharing timeless Jewish wisdom.” Aish’s vision for the next 10 years is “to create a culture of Jewish learning, with 3 million Jews around the globe learning, incorporating and sharing timeless, Jewish wisdom and values.”

Through the challenging Aish Discovery Seminar, participants will come away infused with a profound connection to Judaism, discovering its depth, beauty and practical significance in their daily lives.

For more information and to register: https://DiscoverySeminarTeaneck.eventbrite.com

By Susan R. Eisenstein

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