• Food for thought, a feast for the soul...

  • ...a celebration of the spirit.

Jerusalem and Athens Study Night 

The Jewish holiday of Shavuot begins the evening of June 8 this year. For many, it is a time for all-night Torah study. In the spirit of the holiday, Symposium Great Books Institute is pleased to offer an opportunity to join others in the practice of extended study through a series of short seminars, all in one night. We will read aloud and discuss three Jewish texts as an introduction to themes in philosophy and law.

Online Seminars, Saturday, June 8 from 8:00 pm to 11:30 pm (Eastern Time)

All are welcome to participate, no prior knowledge of Jewish texts is required. Seminars are free of charge.

Experienced discussion leader, Jason Happel, will ask guiding questions and facilitate our participatory discussion.

 To sign up, please email symposiumsa@gmail.com 


  • Preliminary Reading (optional): Levinas, “Temptation of Temptations” in Nine Talmudic Readings Levinas’s essay offers some delightful clues to the Talmud selection (B.T. Tractate 88a-b) we will read aloud on June 8. The contrast between Western philosophy and Jewish law is presented in a striking and curious way. During the discussion we can refer to this essay.
  • Talmud, B.T. Tractate 88a-b 
  • Genesis ch 2-3; Maimonides, Guide of the Perplexed, ch 2 
  • Maimonides, Letter on Astrology, selections 



8:00-9:10 pm

  • “…and they stood at the foot of the mountain,” Talmud, B.T. Tractate 88a-b 

9:15-10:15 pm (Shabbat ends at 9:13 pm on the East Coast.)

  • Genesis ch 2-3; Maimonides, Guide of the Perplexed, ch 2 

10:20-11:15 pm

  • Maimonides, Letter on Astrology, selections 

11:15-11:30 pm

  • Conclusion 


The Education Quartet
iSymposium: A Serious Reader's Pathway Through Four Western Classics - Plato's Republic, Dante's Divine Comedy, Rousseau's Emile and Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit. Starting Winter 2018.
Jerusalem and Athens Study Night
Saturday, June 8 2019 from 8:00 pm to 11:30 pm (Eastern Time)
Journey to the East
iSymposium East: A Serious Reader's Pathway through Six Eastern Classics from India, China and Japan
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