Sinai Sundays

Welcome to our newest series of adult education classes! All of the classes below begin in November. The cost is $72.00 per class. For more information, contact Lisa Thorner at 303-759-1827 or

You Be the Judge! Jewish Law and Rabbinic Decision Making:

A Participation in the Art of Responsa

- Rabbi Rick Rheins

The heart of modern Judaism is found in the embrace of hard questions and our process of gathering different explanations and perspectives to guide us toward wise and just actions. The questions are called she’elot. The attempts to find suitable responses to those questions are called teshuvot. Accordingly, the popular term for this process is responsa. The accepted responses form the basis of halakhah, “Jewish law and practice.”

Rabbinic literature is dominated by she’elot u’teshuvot as every community throughout every generation has sought to better understand how best to live our lives in accordance to the sacred values and principles of Judaism. Each branch of Judaism, Orthodox, Reform and Conservative, has its own extensive library of responsa. Unfortunately, this rich treasure of questions, challenges, perspectives and responses is deemed by many to be too intimidating to explore. Thankfully, new publications are now available to make this essential Jewish experience available and accessible to all! Most significantly, the Reform Movement’s Responsa Committee has published two new volumes of its deliberations

For over 25 years Rabbi Rick Rheins has been either a voting member or a corresponding member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) Responsa Committee. He is also the Vice President of the Freehof Institute of Progressive Halakhah. In this year’s Sinai Sundays class, he will guide the class through selected responsa using the CCAR: Reform Responsa for the 21st Century.

The class will be designed so that each participant will be given the background information to actively engage in wrestling with the issues and questions. In this class, you will be like one of the Rabbis who help form the appropriate responses!

The class fee includes a copy of Volume One of Reform Responsa for the 21st Century.

November 6, 13, 20; December 4, 11; January 8, 22, 29; February 12, 26; March 5
9:00-10:20 a.m. 

Learn the Hebrew Aleph-Bet and Hebrew Prayer Skills

- Rabbi Susan Rheins

This class will be a three-week intensive “Learn the Hebrew Aleph-Bet,” followed by a 3-week “Hebrew Prayer Skills” course. We will be using the book Learn the Hebrew Aleph-Bet by Paul M. Yedwab with Howard I. Bogot. In addition, each student will need to own a copy of Mishkan T’filah.

November 13; December 11; January 8, 22, 29; February 12; (March 5 - make-up) 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Samuel I: Israel's Kingdom Begins

- Rabbi Raymond Zwerin

Samuel I is the third book of history, following Joshua and Judges in Tanach. It is presented as two books, but in truth is one continuous narrative with Samuel II. This first book is especially interesting because it depicts the beginning of the monarchy. Saul, the first king of a fractious people, is chosen out of spite by Samuel the prophet-king maker. Saul sits upon an uneasy throne. A young David enters the picture and Saul, feeling increasingly threatened attempts to kill him.

Here are wandering bands of prophets on hallucinogenic drugs, a giant felled by a smooth stone, best friends conspiring against a king, daring escape scenes worthy of Hollywood, awesome battles, political deceit, outrageous adultery, "dirty dancing," a conjuring witch, and a whole lot more. Concerning love, hate, power, and politics the book of Samuel shows us how very little things have changed in 3000 years.

November 13, 20; December 4, 11; January 8, 22, 29 10:30-11:50 a.m.

Conversational Hebrew and Beginning Hebrew

- Nevet Montgomery
Contact Lisa Thorner at 303-759-1827 or for more information.

Thu, August 17 2017 25 Av 5777