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Valley Beit Midrash: When was the Last Time you Invited God to a Social Get-together?

Monday, July 24, 2023 6 Av 5783

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM


Our journey to come close to God is often sought out alone. Even when praying in a congregational quorum, each individual ties the words of prayer to their own private thoughts. In this class, we will learn of unique teachings which advocated genuine friendship as a prerequisite for God’s presence and asked about God’s role in a social get-together. For those wanting to discover new and perhaps unexpected ways that lead to the path of God, let’s go visit some of the most innovative and socially sensitive minds of early twentieth-century Poland.


Jonnie Schnytzer is probably the only PhD in Jewish Philosophy, focusing on medieval kabbalah, who can say that he once beat the head of Israeli Naval Commandos in a swimming race. His dissertation focused on the scientific kabbalah of Rabbi Joseph ben Shalom Ashkenazi. Jonnie’s forthcoming book is about Ashkenazi’s Kabbalah as well as a critical edition of the kabbalist’s magestic commentary on Sefer Yesira. Jonnie’s also the author of Mossad thriller, The Way Back, which paints a picture of contemporary Israel. Jonnie also orchestrated the publishing of an English edition of ‘The Hitler Haggadah’, an important piece of Moroccan Jewish history from the Holocaust. Jonnie has also taken on several leadership roles in the Jewish world, including advisor to the CEO of Birthright and executive manager with StandWithUs. He lectures on a wide variety of topics relating to Judaism and Israel, especially about the untold stories and unspoken heroes of Jewish history. Jonnie is happily married, with four gorgeous little kids, lives in Israel and thinks that Australian Rules Football is the greatest sport ever invented.


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Wed, May 31 2023 11 Sivan 5783