Text Study 5779

Deepen Your Experience with Torah

Subscribe now at our mid-year discount price:

BOTH Text Study Tracks for Just $225!

(50% off full price!)

Student Rate: $50 for either program, $75 for both.
If you are a student, please email [email protected] for information on how to register at the student rate.

For fifteen years, hundreds of rabbis, cantors, lay leaders, and individual learners have used the Text Study program to deepen their experience of Torah, enrich their teachings and sermons, lead community study groups, and grow in practice. Join us in the profound and spiritually uplifting world of Torah study with the Institute for Jewish Spirituality.

Sign up for text study this year with Rabbi Sam Feinsmith, Rabbi Marc Margolius, or both!

Touching an Expansive Mind:
The Maggid’s Teachings

Hasidic Text Study with Rabbi Sam Feinsmith

Rabbi Sam Feinsmith offers a deep dive into the teachings of Rabbi Dov Ber, the Maggid of Mezeritch (1704-1772), the Ba’al Shem Tov’s successor as the leader of the Hasidic movement.

One of the most influential figures in the history of Hasidism, Rabbi Dov Ber inspired a generation of devoted students to spread the teachings of the Ba’al Shem Tov to communities across Eastern Europe, transforming Hasidism into a popular movement. Yet he differed from the Ba’al Shem Tov in adopting an orientation to Jewish practice that was less ecstatic and more contemplative. As such, his teachings provide a rich foundation for meditation practices to cultivate the mind and point us toward the expansive ocean of divine awareness within.

Using Sefer Torat Hamagid (compiled 1969) as our base text, each week Sam provides an annotated translation of one of the teachings on the weekly Torah portion, along with a commentary that elucidates the interpretive dynamics at play, text-to-life reflection questions, reflections on subtle aspects of the inner life brought to light by the text, and a practice to bring the lessons of the text into everyday life. As always, his commentary will support your capacity to situate and deepen your mindfulness practice within native Jewish teachings and practices. Though this text study stream assumes some knowledge and experience with Jewish learning, Kabbalah, and Hasidic text, it is a great opportunity to those just beginning to explore these types of text. If you are just getting started, we recommend joining our new processing group on reading Hasidic text to deepen your learning!

For an example of Sam’s teaching style, check out his recent webinar based on his text study teaching streams:Touching the Wisdom Mind: the Maggid of Mezeritch on Mindful Jewish Living

Click here to read the first five teachings of Touching an Expansive Mind for free!

Mindful Torah for Our Time:
Meeting Challenges with Clarity and Wisdom

Text Study with Rabbi Marc Margolius

Challenging times can induce paralysis or elicit our lesser selves. When we notice these things arising, could can integrating mindfulness practice with Torah study help us actualize our innate capacities for resilience, awareness, wisdom and goodness?

This year, join Rabbi Marc Margolius in exploring the weekly Torah portion through the lens of mindfulness practice by paying close attention to middot, core spiritual/ethical qualities within each of us. Rabbi Margolius will use Jewish texts as a foundation for ongoing spiritual practice to help us wake up, grow in discernment, and bring our best selves to the challenges of life today.

Drawing from both contemporary sources and classic Rabbinic, Hasidic, and Mussar commentators, this study program will offer an overview of middot-related themes arising in each parasha. Each week will delve deeply into at least one middah to inform our spiritual practice and enhance our daily lives. Rabbi Margolius will include specific practices (such as suggested focus phrases, daily actions, prayers, poetry, and music) to help integrate the teaching into daily living through ongoing mindfulness practice and application of the week’s middah. This text study has something for everyone, and is written to be fully accessible for less experienced students, while also rich and meaningful for those with more background.

For an example of Marc’s teaching style, check out his recent webinar based on his text study teaching streams: Mindful Torah for Our Time: Meeting Challenges with Clarity and Wisdom

Click here to read the first five teachings of Mindful Torah for Our Time for free!