Limmud Bible Studies


The Meaning of Shalom

Shalom is a word so interconnected with the Jewish faith that it has become almost a symbol of Judaism. But what is the true meaning of shalom? And how can we as people of faith incorporate this quality into our own lives? That's what we'll look at in this month's Limmud study.

The Seder Plate: Food for Thought

On Passover, the seder table is brimming with symbolic foods and objects that are used throughout the evening in order to tell the Exodus story. The focal point of the table is the seder plate, which contains six specific foods that take on a spiritual and ritual role.

Prayer: Expression of the Soul

In the previous Limmud study on prayer, we learned about the Jewish perspective of prayer as the “work of the heart.” Prayer is the great change agent — not that we pray for God to change His mind; but in praying, our minds and desires will change and conform to God’s will. In this study, we will explore prayer and its centrality to the Jewish worship service, tracing the evolution of liturgical prayer from the first collection of prayers, known now as the book of Psalms, to the Shema, the Jewish mission statement for life, to the Amidah, the most important Jewish prayer dating back to the fourth century BCE, which observant Jews today recite three times a day. In addition, the study will explore how this key Jewish prayer possibly served as the basis for the prayer Jesus as a rabbi taught his followers, the Lord’s Prayer. Finally, the study will look at the “garments of prayers,” and their significance in preparing ourselves – heart, body, and soul — to engage in this most ancient and revered practice.

Prayer: Work of the Heart

Judaism defines prayer as "the work of the heart," and thinking of it that way changes the dynamic of prayer from asking God for what we want and hoping that He obliges, to an act that transforms who we are, not what God does for us. Join us in this month's as Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein shares his teachings on the Jewish perspective on prayer, the power of prayer, and the importance of persistence in prayer
little boy with tzedakah box

Tzedakah: Righteous Giving

Tzedakah, which means righteous giving, goes far beyond the traditional concept of charity and charitable giving. It is not simply a choice, but a requirement — an act of justice and righteousness. Rabbi Eckstein shares more about this fundamental value in Judaism in this month's study.

Atonement: At One With God

Judaism defines prayer as "the work of the heart," and thinking of it that way changes the dynamic of prayer from asking God for what we want and hoping that He obliges, to an act that transforms who we are, not what God does for us. Join us in this month's Limmud as Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein shares his teachings on the Jewish perspective on prayer, the power of prayer, and the importance of persistence in prayer.
man at the western wall before observing Tisha B'Av

Tisha B'Av: A Time to Weep

In this study, we learn about the time of mourning, Tisha B'Av, and how from the tragedies we experience, our faith can grow stronger.

Bikkurim: Giving God Our Best

In this study, we learn about the ancient ritual of the bikkurim, which means offering God our firstfruits. This observance has much to teach us today about gratitude and giving back to God from all He has given us throughout each year.

Omer: Making Every Day Count

In this study, we discover the significance of the omer, which means "sheaf," and the counting of the days between the Jewish holidays of Passover and Shavuot — and how these observances are tied together spiritually.

Haman: The Role of the Villian

The book of Esther reads almost like a fairy tale — there's a king and a beautiful queen, an awful villain, and a hero. And yes, the good guys ultimately conquer the bad guys.

Matzah: The Bread of Freedom

This study details the significance of eating matzah, unleavened bread, during Passover and its spiritual meaning for us today. Also known as "the bread of freedom," learn how matzah powerfully captures the symbolism of the Passover story.

Tefillin: Bound to God

In this month's Limmud we will look at one of Judaism's least understood rituals: the act of binding two black boxes and a number of black leather straps to our heads, arms, and hands. This practice is called "wrapping tefillin."

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