Beth Jacob’s Harold & Mickey (z”l) Smith Scholar Weekend
Shabbat & Sunday Morning, May 20-22, 2016
Dr. John Davidson
- 6 pm: Kabbalat Shabbat
- 7 pm: Shabbat Dinner
- 8 pm: Shared Grace: Reflections From a Jewish Life
Each of our lives is conceived, birthed, and sustained in the context of relationships. This is especially appreciated in the case of the Jewish people past and present. Whether with strangers or intimates, we incline toward caring for others as well as ourselves. As one who was a ger 36 years ago, to one who has come to be congregant, rabbi, and friend, John Davidson reflects upon his Jewish life.
- D’var Torah in Shul- Q: What is Torah for? A: Life
For individuals, there is most likely considerable health and life benefit to be gained from participating regularly in Jewish communal activity as structured by a synagogue calendar with its cornucopia of creative, active Torah reading, study, and interpersonal engagement. Scientific medical literature offers suggestive, evidenced-based data to support this contention.
- 1 pm: Post-Kiddush Learning- Barefoot Reading: Claiming the Texts as Our Own
The essential Jewish texts are biblical and rabbinic. To a great extent, they are to us what Shakespeare is to the English and Yeats is to the Irish. Just as any English or Irish public person may claim their texts, so must we claim ours. It is a literary territory to be inhabited by scholar and non-scholar alike. Ruth Calderon, Israeli Talmudist, former Knesset member, and teacher is an exemplar of this view. Her approach of “barefoot reading” will be considered briefly and then demonstrated.
- 9 am: Minyan
- 9:45 am: Brunch/Year of Torah Event
John Davidson is a physician and Reform rabbi. He practices and teaches in the Executive and International Medicine division of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. His medical training includes board certification in psychiatry, general internal medicine, and geriatric medicine. His rabbinic education culminated in ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. His publications include reflections and reviews focused on patient-provider communication, clinical decision-making, and the relevance of rabbinic and other literary text study in medical settings.