ATLANTA, GA — A new six-part adult-education course from Chabad-Lubavitch’s Rohr Jewish Learning Institute will explore the spiritual connection between the Jewish people and the land of Israel starting at the end of October.
Unlike courses that focus on the history or the culture of Israel, “The Land & the Spirit: Why We All Care About Israel” will explore the mystery of the deep connection between Jews everywhere and that small patch of land in the Middle East.
“Many people love their homes and their countries, but once they relocate, that love begins to fade,” said Rabbi Ari Sollish, the director of Chabad Intown’s Intown Jewish Academy. “Yet no matter where they have lived, Jews have continued to dream about the land of Israel. ‘The Land & the Spirit’ looks to answer why that dream has persisted across borders and generations.”
The course looks at the central place of the Holy Land in the mission of the Jewish people throughout history. It addresses what it means for a land to be holy and the implications for the people living within that land and living in exile from it for millennia.
“Whatever their political bent, people all across the globe have an opinion about Israel, whether positive or negative,” said Rabbi Eliyahu Schusterman, the director of Chabad Intown. “Whether people feel hope or despair, pride or concern, people care about Israel. By probing the spiritual connection Jews have with the Holy Land, we hope our students will come away with appreciation for why Israel matters so much to them.”
The classes will explore what Israel was meant to be and what it means for Jews today and in the future. Each class examines a topic by taking the class to a particular place in the Holy Land.
“The Land & the Spirit” is being offered by Chabad Intown and Chabad of Cobb on six Tuesdays starting Oct. 30 and at Chabad of Alpharetta and Congregation Beth Tefillah in Sandy Springs on six Wednesdays starting Oct. 31. The cost is $79 in Alpharetta and Sandy Springs, $89 in Cobb, and $99 intown, with discounts available for couples. Registration includes a student textbook.
“We are so sure that people will enjoy it,” Rabbi Sollish said, “that we invite anyone interested to attend the first lesson free, with no obligation.”