A lunch and discussion program co-sponsored with Greenwood House and JFCS
Song of Songs Thursday, May 23 | 12:30 pm
The Song of Songs (Shir ha-Shirim in Hebrew) is an unabashedly sensuous, even at times quite erotic, paean to love. Throughout its eight short chapters, an unnamed young man and young woman pursue one another through verdant fields and valleys lush with flowers. It is unsurprising, given the racy nature of the Song of Songs, that its inclusion in the biblical canon was a matter of some controversy. In fact, it seems that it would have been excluded from the Bible altogether, if it did not have a powerful champion: As the Sages debated which books were to be included in the Scriptures, it is said that Rabbi Akiva – certainly the greatest rabbi of his era (late first century, early second century) – weighed in that “while all of the sacred writings are holy, the Song of Songs is the holy of holies!” Commentaries suggest that Rabbi Akiva’s affinity for the Song of Songs stems from his metaphorical understanding of its contents, reading the Song as an extended allegory to the loving relationship between God and Israel. Join us and spend an afternoon exploring the poetry and meaning of this beautiful text.
$5 donation for lunch; food is provided by Greenwood House
Pre-Registration is Required - contact JFCS at 609-987-8100