Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Never Too Late to Learn

I enjoyed reading Sam Sokol's Jerusalem Post article about Matan, even though it is about their Talmud department and not the Bible classes Ive been taking the past few years. 

My Matan courses are the highlight of my week.  I've become a great fan of the TaNaCh, Bible.  I'm taking three courses at Matan, each totally different.
  • Al HaPerek- Matan has divided the Bible from Joshua until the last book into a five year program.  Each week we receive questions based on two (sometimes more) chapters.  I learn with a small group of friends.  Other participants learn alone or with a family member or an Al HaPerek group.  This is a wonderful opportunity.  No matter how strong or weak your Bible learning background it's possible to learn a lot here.
  • From King David to the Davidic Dynasty-Dr. Yael Ziegler, I love politics, modern and Biblical.  I've been fascinated by King David, his rise and fall for many years.  Now, this year, we'll be learning about his children and their rivalries.
  • From Adolescence to Maturity in Sefer B´Midbar-Atara Snowbell, this will be the third year I'll be studying with Atara Snowbell and the second year year we'll be delving into the mysteries of the Book of Bamidbar, which means "in the desert," although it was translated as "Numbers" by the early English language printers.
Some of the courses, at least the English ones, are also open to male students.  Al HaPerek isn't restricted to women at all.  Classes resume next week, so if you're interested in studying, either in Hebrew or English, now's the time to look into it. There are also some other branches, not only in Jerusalem.  And it's also possible to sign up to listen to all of the courses.

Students are all ages.  Many of us are using our time now to make up for the fact that we have a very weak Jewish studies background.  They certainly didn't teach this in New York Public Schools.  And other fellow students come from very strong Jewish studies backgrounds and find the level of teaching in Matan so high that it's truly inspiring. 

Remember that adult classes and curriculum are nothing like even what the best Jewish school offers.  Yes, it's never too late!

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