Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 7 pm—Does Judaism have an end goal for spiritual growth? Is Buddhist enlightenment the same as Hindu liberation or Christian mystical union? The Congregation Emanu-El Adult Education Team invites you to join Rabbi Matt on Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 7 pm as he considers these questions.
Religions are both traditions and innovations. Their innermost spiritual expressions change over time. In our culture, we embrace newness in technology, science, business, and the arts, but we leave spiritual innovation largely unexplored—at least openly. Religions are storehouses of tremendous wisdom that originate in ancient civilizations. However, to fully actualize their potential, we must take even their most transcendent lessons, and juxtapose them to today’s needs.
In Beyond Enlightenment, Rabbi Matt Ponak will explore different forms of spiritual realization—the end goals of meditative schools—from a multitude of mystical traditions. In so doing, he will paint a picture of what contemporary forms of enlightenment could look like. Contrary to the common view, the later stages of mystical progression vary quite dramatically from system to system. Could it be that new forms of spiritual development are waiting to be discovered?
Rabbi Matt Ponak is a teacher and student of embodied transformation. Rabbi Matt has studied with many of this generation’s leading teachers of Jewish mysticism including Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, R. Arthur Green, R. Zvi Ish-Shalom, R. Tirzah Firestone, and R. Rami Shapiro. Also holding an MA in Contemplative Religions from the Buddhist-inspired Naropa University, Rabbi Matt weaves world wisdom with ancient Jewish insights.
Sponsored by the Emanu-El Adult Education Team. Donations to our Adult Education fund are always welcome. You may donate ONLINE or through the office at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, March 24, 2019, 2 pm at Congregation Emanu-El — Andrew Gow and Francis Landy will delight us with tales of How the Sephardim “Worlded”. This is the fourth presentation in the Exploring the Sephardic Legacy series sponsored by Congregation Emanu-El’s Education Team. Entry is by donation: light refreshments will be served.
Pre-Isabellan medieval Spain lived on in the post 1492 Sephardic diaspora: in the 1920s a Spanish envoy remarked on the “purity” of the “Castillian” (Ladino) he encountered at Thessalonika in the 1920s. The Sephardim “worlded” an alternate or parallel Spanish empire, an empire consisting not of military conquest and oppression, but of a shared language and culture—a largely urban constellation characterized by commercial and intellectual vigour, an urbane and relatively relaxed religiosity (if not downright, apikorsut), and a simultaneous openness and clannishness that preserved such communities in splendid separation, whether in Salonika, Amsterdam, London, or New York, until well into the 20th century.
About the presenters:
Andrew Gow is a historian who has followed his family to Victoria to retire after a career of research and teaching about pre-modern European culture and religion at the University of Alberta (and elsewhere). He has written all the books and articles he cares to publish, and continues to edit both a series of scholarly monographs in his field and an 18-volume scholarly reference work on pre-modern Europe.
Francis Landy is a biblical scholar who has recently made his home in Victoria, after a career of over thirty years at the University of Alberta. He is a member of Congregation Emanu-El. He has published a number of books and many articles, and is in particular a specialist in the poetry of the Hebrew Bible. He has written on the Song of Songs, Isaiah, Hosea and other books, as well as the theory of the study of religion.
Rabbi Harry opens the second series of lunch time lectures
(noon to 1:00 pm) on Religions of the World on Thursday, January 19, at Christ
Church Cathedral, Chapter Room, Quadra and Rockland.
Christ Church Cathedral
and the Multi-Faith Society are the co-sponsors for this series of talks which
take place on Thursdays through to February 16 with a different speaker each
week. For more information call 250-383-2714 or go to website www.christchurchcathedral.bc.ca.
Other speakers are:
January 26 – Sri Ganti (Hindu)
February 2 – Wayne Codling (Buddhist)
February 9 – Parminder Virk (Sikh)
February 16 – TBA (Aboriginal Neighbours – The
Bring your lunch or just sit and listen. Coffee and tea will be