"When I daven (pray) I speak to God. When I study [Jewish texts] God speaks to me."
-Rabbi Louis Finkelstein
Whereas all religious traditions hold the notion of prayer as a viable and central vehicle of communication between human beings and the Divine, very few of these religions, if any, place the same weight upon religious study as a vehicle for communication with God as does Judaism. As important as prayer is to an authentic Jewish practice, nothing is more important for a Jew than Talmud Torah, studying ancient and holy Jewish texts.
Jews, for millennia, have placed a premium on study. We are dubbed "A People of the Book" for a reason “ we love to learn. It is for us, as Rabbi Finkelstein suggested, a Divine enterprise. It is a pathway to knowledge, to self-improvement, to the holy.
CSH holds, at its center, this commitment to Talmud Torah, Jewish Learning. And yet, Jewish learning, just like Jewish prayer, was also never conceived of as a "one size fits all" model. Jews have been exploring ancient texts, applying them to modern life, for thousands of years. Judaism does not revere answers nearly as much as grappling with the questions and we have always celebrated a diversity of opinions, ideas and responses as each and every Jew lends their voice to the conversation.
The key, however, is that a Jew or the Righteous Gentiles in our midst, feel comfortable in coming forward, participating in the conversation, lending their unique and holy voice to the ongoing conversation. CSH is committed to both providing a dynamic framework of life long learning opportunities as well as doing so in an environment which feels inclusive and nurturing for all.