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New B’nai Sholom Course Examines Israel in Jewish Thought

The special character of the Land of Israel and the unique relationship of the Jews to that Land loom large in Jewish thought. But what are the sources that make the bond so special?

That will be the focus of a new two-part course at B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation.

“The Land of Israel in Jewish Thought – Part I” will be offered Mondays beginning November 3 at 7:30 p.m. at B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation, 420 Whitehall Road, Albany, N.Y.

Taught by Rabbi Donald P. Cashman, B’nai Sholom’s spiritual leader, Part I of this two-part course will cover the Biblical, Rabbinic and Medieval periods. The course will look at the Biblical sources of the Abrahamic Covenant, the Mosaic traditions, exilic and post-exilic prophets; the rabbinic writings of Talmud and Midrash; and medieval writings such as liturgical texts, poetry, philosophy and mystical literature (Kabbalah). These express a wide variety of themes including love for the Land, special laws applicable only to activities taking place there, rituals based on the Land’s climate and agricultural cycles, and attempts to imbue the Land with meaning even from the vantage of distant exile.

Registration for the eight-session Part I is required. Cost is $45; for B’nai Sholom members, it’s just $30.

For more information, visit or contact the B’nai Sholom office at 518-482-5283 or e-mail

B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation in Albany is a home for contemporary Reform Judaism in the Capital Region, creating a vibrant Jewish present that links ancient traditions with the promise of the future. More than 130 diverse households from five counties seek religious, educational and social fulfillment at B’nai Sholom.

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