“Judaism: The Covenant”
CLAL education lectures, 1990
from the series Turning Points in Jewish History: Living the Covenant
“Judaism’s Vision of the Covenant: The Triumph of Life”
An exploration of the Jewish view of the covenant and how it manifests in our lives. Rabbi Greenberg contends that the covenant is the most important message Judaism brings to the world
“Turning Points in Jewish History: Covenant”
Rabbi Greenberg discusses Jewish history to elucidate aspects of the covenant, a notion central to Judaism. Covenant is an unfolding process which allows humanity to realize its full potential for life and partnership.
Note on quality: tape has echo.
“Covenant: The Holidays”
Covenant offers the world a model on how to reach perfection through partnering humans with God in order to make moral progress in accordance with human limitations. The Torah’s legislation of slavery and unequal position of women are to be seen as measures intended to improve the society in which they were originally legislated with the longer-term goal of the eventual abolishment of these practices as the covenantal process continues. Covenant works toward the treatment of all people with dignity, starting with our own Jewish family while moving toward treating the rest of the world in a similar manner. Covenant provides human models such as Abraham and Sarah and is passed down from generation to generation. It is reinforced on the Jewish holidays through the reliving of slavery on Pesach, the learning to take responsibility for freedom on Sukkot, and the commitment to the covenant on Shavuot.
Rabbi Greenberg explores the personality of Moses, the greatest leader of the Jewish people.
“Human Nature: Covenant/Conscience”
Human perfection is both the beginning of the world and the goal of humankind.
Covenant: Individual Uniqueness”
The basis of the convenant is a recognition of the uniqueness of each individual. The covenant is the commitment of the Jewish people to work towards the perfection of the world.
Beginning of lecture is cut off.
“Dynamics of Covenant: After the Destruction of the First Temple (Ezra and Nehemiah #2)”
Study session in which Rabbi Greenberg and Irwin Kula study the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. These books present a renewal of the covenant and a move from a priestly leadership of the people to a scribal leadership of the people.
“Genesis: Covenantal Limits”
Rabbi Greenberg teaches about the movement in the book of Genesis from moral ideas to the real-world reality of human affairs.
“Covenant and the Individual/the Nation”
Covenant must be made with a nation, not an individual. The individual is significant only in the context of the nation. Covenant symbolizes God’s respect for human emotion and limitation.