Jews' Next Dor

Congregation Beth David's Young Adult Group for Jewish 20 & 30 Somethings

Reflections on Scholar in Residence

Posted by Scoby on February 5, 2009

On the weekend of Jan 30- Feb 1, Rabbi Judith Z. Abrams came to Congragation Beth David as a Scholar in Residence. Her topics included Women of the Talmud, what the sages teach us about self-esteem, and baseball’s parallels with kabbalah. Here are a few things I learned from her.

-Turns out the ritual search for chametz is based on the ritual cleansing of a leper described in Parshe M’tzora.

-She loved our stained glass windows. Serendipitously, one of the windows has the letters of the Name of God arranged on the corners of a diamond, much like a baseball diamond.

-Baseball is considered by many to be a very Jewish sport. Rabbi Abrams published a collection of essays written by people in the community discussing the connections between Judaism and Baseball. Based on the conversations that ensued from her talk at Beth David, she thinks it’s time for a new edition.

-The smelling of the spices part of Havdalah used to be the time when we would relight our incense that would burn out over Shabbat. Apparently, the original incense recipe included urine.

-Most anything you like about another religion, in Judaism we can get it for you wholesale! (Her words!) Like the Indian greeting “Namaste”, “The light in me honors the light in you,” the sages agree we should acknowledge and respect the God in all of us. How can you love your neighbor as you love yourself if you don’t have very high self esteem? Remember that we are all made in God’s image.

-She helped write a musical about the Talmud. I love this woman!

For more information about Rabbi Abrams or her school for Adult Talmud Study, Maqom, visit


One Response to “Reflections on Scholar in Residence”

  1. […] Reflections on Scholar in Residence […]

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