This is the advice of the great sage Hillel the Elder, who lived more than 2000 years ago. Hillel was asked by a scoffer to teach him the entire Torah while he stood on one foot. Instead of rebuking his mockery, Hillel told him “That which is hateful to you, don’t do to others. That is the entirety of the Torah. Now go and learn!”
We can trace the Jewish reverence for learning far back into our history. And we can see the fruits of this reverence in the incredible legacy of Jewish scientists, physicists, chemists, economists, writers and peacemakers who continue to demonstrate the great gifts the Jewish people have brought to the world.
This week, I had the opportunity to learn from leading experts on issues around antisemitism, hate speech, and community security, a very timely opportunity in light of the threat warning from Federal agents in New Jersey last Thursday. I have been engaged both professionally and in lay leadership roles in these matters for 35 years, but I was certain that as these issues evolve and sometimes metastasize, there is always more to learn.
We have some more conventional opportunities to learn coming up in Rockland in the coming days. This Sunday, November 13, Federation is hosting and presenting our Global Day of Learning, with dynamic sessions shared by our beloved and esteemed Rabbis who have partnered with Federation on this project for years. The theme of this year’s learning sessions is rebuilding. See Global Day of Jewish Learning page for free registration and details.
As we’ve described, we are also launching a Jewish and Israel advocacy discussion group to aid and equip members of our community with effective tools and better understanding of the challenges of identifying as a proud Jew in 2022. Our first session will be in the first week of December. Date and time will be conveyed soon, but the location will be at the Federation offices on the Jewish Community Campus, 450 West Nyack Rd. in West Nyack.
Finally we are sharing one more opportunity to learn next week. We recently hosted Israeli political expert Gil Hoffman for a number of speaking engagements around Rockland. Gil returned to Israel in time to vote, and next Thursday at 12:30 pm he will be sharing his perspective on the results and implications of the decisive election in Israel, as well as what the new government could look like. Don’t miss this opportunity! Click on the flyer, or watch a livestream on our Facebook page.
So take a look below, and remember what Hillel said.