Temple Isaiah classes for adults exploring Jewish life, history, and practice.

Texts and Readings

The text for Exploring Judaism is Settings of Silver, by Stephen M. Wylen.   Copies will be available for sale in class, but if you prefer there are also used copies available on book sale sites around the Internet.  Settings has a good index and a decent short history of Judaism; it can serve as a nice Basic Judaism reference book.

Every Jewish household should have a copy of the Tanakh, the Jewish Bible.  Why a Jewish Bible, and not, say, a King James Bible?  First of all, Jews arrange the Bible in a particular way:  Torah, then Nevi’im [Prophets] then Ketuvim [Writings].  Christian bibles are organized differently. Secondly, a Jewish scholar often translates the Hebrew differently than does a Christian translator.  We’ll talk more about this in class.


pirkeiavotcommentaryFor the Ethics class first term, I will give a series of handouts, because we’re going to look at material that isn’t collected into one book.

For the second term, we’ll use Pirkei Avot: A Modern Commentary, edited and translated by Leonard Kravitz and Kerry Olitzky. Even if you own a different copy of Pirkei Avot, I strongly recommend you acquire a copy of this particular translation, because translations differ wildly and a student with a different translation is likely to feel lost. It’s a popular translation, and has been in print for some time, so used copies are fairly easy to obtain.


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