Welcome to AJS
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Our current courses are listed below.
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The Tanya is the magnum opus of the great mystic Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, affectionately referred to as the Alter Rebbe, who founded the Chabad-Lubavitch Chasidic movement.
Tanya is based on Kabbalah, and it guides us to achieve harmony of body and soul, of earthliness and spirituality.
The Ba'al HaTanya (as the author is sometimes referred to) offers a series of practical suggestions for attaining inner harmony, always with the emphasis on joy.
In each of our eight sessions, we will learn about, and then practice together, a specific approach to opening our heart and experiencing an elevated consciousness, which through continued practice we can then integrate into every aspect of our daily lives.
What is Jewish Meditation, and how to learn to practice it in an authentic way?
In this course we will encounter Jewish meditation intellectually and experientially, with foundational practices based on textual sources from the Jewish tradition.
The course weaves together text study and practice, to empower participants to integrate the practices into their daily lives, incorporating our whole selves – intellectual, emotional, embodied, ethical and spiritual.
Each class will include reading and discussion of a key text, followed by meditation instructions based on the text, meditation practice, and time for questions and sharing at the end.
The Ba'al Shem Tov (also known as the Besht) founded the spiritual revolution that became the Chasidic movement, in the mid-1700s.
The oral teachings of this Jewish shaman/medicine man (this is what it means to be a "ba'al shem"), are gems of transformative wisdom, and are often full of surprises.
Of the many ideas which the Besht originated, Rabbi Ruth has chosen some of her most beloved teachings which are linked to spiritual practices. You are invited to practice them between classes or keep the teachings in your hearts to use when the right time arrives...
Classes will incorporate the four worlds (levels of consciousness) of the holistic Chasidic system: Stories, Niggun, Torah and Prayer/Silence.
"The courses offered through Applied Jewish Spirituality not only provide a window into the vast world of Chasidic and mystical teachings, but translate the esoteric into practices that can be integrated into ones daily spiritual life. The source sheets for every class are a remarkable resource full of deep and powerful Torah to make the teachings accessible to learners of all backgrounds."
- Rabbi Adam Gindea
"In so many ways the AJS course I followed redefined 'learning' for me. This is because of the unique way our course leader synthesised rigorous scholarship with practical spiritual practice. Through his personal skills he also created a sense of a community amongst us all - no mean feat for online learning! I ended the course feeling transformed and inspired." - Jyll Bradley
"One of the many things I so appreciate about AJS is that the online learning platform allows me to learn with teachers I would otherwise have far fewer opportunities to learn with. I greatly appreciated the way R. Ami Silver’s class opened more doors to deepening spiritual practices around the chagim, and learning Chasidut and the Kabbalah of the calendar with R. Daniel Silverstein has been a delight. I appreciate the way AJS teachers approach Jewish text with a healthy mix of deep reverence and a willingness to address with greatest intellectual honesty the historical context of the sources." - Rabbi Lauren Tuchman
"Not only does AJS provide access to an incredibly vast and rich well of Jewish material, but the faculty are really all masters at distilling and effectively transmitting information that ordinarily would remain hidden and inaccessible to curious beginning students. That said, faculty at AJS enthusiastically welcome and cater to the beginners mind who might otherwise feel too intimidated, or perhaps a bit too shy wandering into a traditional beit midrash of learned scholars and other big-time ball players. One really does get the sense that there is a larger learning taking place that the course as a single entity - material, teachers, and students all - participates in. And the importance of this really can’t be understated because its the facilitation of that mutual transmission of mind, body, and spirit that underlies and upholds the integrity of the great worldly wisdom traditions. I don’t know if I would have a Jewish practice if it weren’t for AJS."
- Gabe Gould
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Appreciation for use of images:
Hebrew Calligraphy by Michel d'Anastasio
Ram image by Federico Parolo from Deuteronomy Press
Prayer photo (Shemoneh Esrei) by Mazhar Zandsalimi
Tree of Life image by David Friedman from Kosmic Kabbalah
Calendar image by Federico Parolo from Deuteronomy Press