100 Torah Study Posts – Some Reflections

100 Torah Study Posts – Some Reflections

Over the past three years I have posted my Torah Study Notes to the Vassar Temple Blog and am now advised by the omniscient computer monitoring the blog that I have posted 100 times. I am in the habit of taking notes at whatever learning event I am attending. It is a habit honed in law school at NYU. I once loaned my Real Property Notes to a class-mate/friend who never attended class. He received a better grade on the final than I did. In any event posting the notes has forced me to be more disciplined – not only in terms of paying attention to the colloquy in class – but also in terms of organizing my own thoughts and thinking about the discussions afterwards. Typically, I will go home after the class and edit what has been written and look up references that I did not understand. Because the discussions are wide-ranging with many digressions I am sure that most readers who are looking for a coherent train of thought or narrative have been disappointed. The notes are also difficult without a copy of Plaut easily at hand. These difficulties probably account for why I have not received more than a handful of comments from readers in the past three years. Notwithstanding, I like to think that the notes have been casually scanned by some of you and that there might be a nugget, an aphorism, a pithy comment from Rabbi Golomb or my classmates that may be evocative. I can tell you that, in addition to learning the lessons of Torah,  I have learned much about Jewish history, culture, thinkers, and writers, not to mention books and movies that I otherwise probably would not have read or seen. Part of the learning process has been looking up the names of the many theological and sociological commentators mentioned by Rabbi Golomb, or the concepts and even words that were new to me.

One of the greatest pleasures of Torah Study has been getting to better know the many other members of the Vassar Temple family (and even some non-members) who have attended over the years. Some of the attendees have proven to be amazingly learned in their own right: I must mention Sam Finnerman, Doi Cohen, Elaine Lipschutz, Muriel Lampell, Ron Rosen and  C. J. Kelly who have so frequently added to the discussion from what appears to me to be a deep reservoir of knowledge – knowledge not only of Jewish history and practice – but also of the human condition.

Finally, I must express a warm and heartfelt “thank you” to Rabbi Paul Golomb. His patience in dealing with the often inane questions and comments of this writer, and others, has been extraordinary.  He has been and continues to be an amazing scholar and guide to “peeling the onion” that is The Torah.

Lou Lewis – September 15, 2014

 

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