Torah Study

Rabbinic Judaism 


Chevruta: Sundays 9:00 am – 10:15 am
Begins July 11 –  Through the Lens of Mussar Masters

Join Rabbi Hershenson for Rabbinic Judaism adult learning on Sunday mornings.

What is a Chevruta? Chevruta (pronounced chev-roo-ta) is a group of adults committed to lifelong Jewish learning together, where camaraderie and friendships are cultivated through discourse. A fitting name for TBT’s adult education group!

The Chevruta topic, the Chasidic Masters, ended on Sunday, June 27 and we are now transitioning into a new area of study. Starting Sunday, July 11, Rabbi Johanna Hershenson will lead a weekly Torah study through the lens of Mussar Masters.

Having dabbled in wisdom of the Chasidic Masters, we will now turn to the Mussar, written by those who opposed the inherent criticism of intellectualism in populist Chasidic movements. The Litvak (Lithuanian) rabbis provided a viable alternative to meet an emerging hunger for spiritual practice in a legalistic Jewish establishment.

Mussar is best described as a character development practice. Its rabbis taught that the ethics we derive from our sacred stories and legal codes call us to behave differently in the world and in relationship with others. In many ways, Mussar provides a balanced middle point between the overly legalistic concerns of rabbis and the attraction to charismatic pastoral leadership of the rebbes.

For this Torah study, we will be referencing a text called The Mussar Torah Commentary: A Spiritual Path to Living a Meaningful and Ethical Life edited by Rabbi Barry H. Block. By no means must you purchase your own copy of the book, as Rabbi Johanna will cite from excerpts in accompanying slides. You are welcome to purchase a copy for your own use, if you wish.

If you are interested in participating, please email TBT’s program coordinator, Lauralei Garrity at

Check the calendar for the current schedule. Click here for this week’s parashat.