Sefirot Tree of Life Kabbalah Meditation

In partnership with The Witness Institute

What is this course?

The Torah begins with the story of creation, and Jewish canonical works of many periods weave Halacha and Aggada, law and legend, into a singular tapestry.


Why are stories and storytelling so important? How can stories, especially those that transcend time and space, work on us, change us, deepen or even heal us? What do Midrashic and Hasidic sources say about the power of stories? And how, in a time of crisis, might we use stories to heal our world?


In this online course with Rabbi Ariel Burger, we will together explore tales from the biblical, rabbinic, and Hasidic periods, including some lesser-known stories that challenge and complicate simplistic notions about God, what it means to be human, ethics, and meaning. Among them we will find tales of conflict, of miracles, of hope in the face of despair, and of redemption. We will consider the relationship between law and narrative, and the ways in which stories have helped Jewish thinkers as they wrestle with difficult Torah texts.


Each class will include careful text study, time for reflection and discussion, and take-home exercises.


All texts are provided with clear line-by-line translations, and no prior knowledge or experience with the subject matter is necessary. This course is open to novices and advanced learners of all backgrounds and orientations.

How does it work?

The course consists of four sessions, of approximately 1-1.25 hours each. Participants are invited to join the live Zoom sessions, and each session will be recorded and shared with all course participants to enjoy at their own leisure and convenience.


Each session includes studying primary texts, reflection and discussion. Participants will also be given clear instructions for take-home exercises, to help continue to develop and integrate the themes of the class.


After each class, a video recording of the class will be shared with all registrants, to enjoy at your convenience.


Registrants gain lifetime access to all the course materials, including the recordings of every class, and are also invited to join a Whatsapp group facilitated by Rabbi Ariel where course members can give and receive support from one another, ask questions and share their experiences along the way.

Dates and Times

The course will meet on Mondays at 7pm Israel time / 5pm UK / 12pm US Eastern / 9am US Pacific and the relevant hours in your time zones. 


Course Dates:

November 22

November 29

December 6

December 13

Click here to register

Click here to get in touch or to try a class for free


About the Witness Institute

The Witness Institute, founded by Rabbi Dr. Ariel Burger and Elisha Wiesel, is a project dedicated to continuing the work of Elie Wiesel. Its flagship program is a 15-month fellowship for emerging leaders. By studying Elie Wiesel’s life and legacy, and the important themes and methods to which he returned again and again, in a nurturing and supportive environment, leaders with high potential to influence society will become morally empowered people who will influence their communities. Consisting of semi-annual retreats, ongoing online learning, weekly 1-1 study, and summative projects, the Witness Institute is creating an ever-expanding community of leaders to build a more moral world.

Rabbi Dr. Ariel Burger

Rabbi Ariel is the author of Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel's Classroom, which was an Indie Next List Pick, A Publishers Lunch Buzz Book, and which won the 2019 National Jewish Book Award in Biography. He is also an artist and teacher whose work integrates education, spirituality, the arts, and strategies for social change.  Ariel received Orthodox semicha from Yeshivat Bat Ayin, and his PhD in Jewish Studies and Conflict Resolution under Elie Wiesel. A lifelong student of Professor Wiesel, Ariel served as his Teaching Fellow from 2003-2008, after which he directed education initiatives at Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston. A Covenant Foundation grantee, Ariel develops cutting-edge arts, storytelling, and educational programming for adults, facilitates workshops for educators, consults to nonprofits, and serves as scholar/artist-in-residence for institutions around the U.S. When Ariel's not learning or teaching, he is creating music, art, and poetry. He lives outside of Boston with his family. Visit him at


"I thoroughly was moved by the classes I attended with Rabbi Ariel Burger and oftentimes I was moved to tears. He is by far one of the great gifted teachers who possesses the quality of utmost humility which is so rare to find in someone with such knowledge."

- Tali Ann Katz, CSP, Orange County, CA

"My time learning with Rabbi Burger was inspiring. Using art and stories, his teaching beckoned my imagination and creativity. I felt newly invited to bring my whole self to my Jewish identity and community."

- Genevieve Greinetz, M.A. Jewish Studies

"Rabbi Burger is a master at both telling and teaching the wisdom stories of Jewish tradition. I have been in class as he has taught the stories of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov and the stories of his teacher, Elie Wiesel. Rabbi Burger has a deeply thoughtful approach with deep reverence for his material as well as his students. He diligently prepares and is always thinking ahead. Once people have studied with Rabbi Burger, they keep returning for more. People who have attended his sessions come away moved and inspired. In addition to sharing his extensive knowledge and deep questions, he is a focused listener. He sees Jewish story-telling and learning as a journey we take together."

- Rabbi Joseph Meszler, Temple Sinai of Sharon

"Of the 500+ educators I’ve worked with, Ariel is really special."

- Arie Katz, Irvine, CA

Click here to register

Click here to get in touch or to try a class for free