Baal Shem Tov, or Besht — the founder of Chasidism —
Rabbi David's teaching
Rabbi David Seidenberg, the creator of NeoHasid, teaches text and music, dance, and ecology, and all aspects of Jewish thought and spirituality, in their own right and in relation to ecology and the environment. Areas include Kabbalah and Chasidut, Talmud, davening, evolution and cosmology, sustainability, Maimonides, Buber, and more. David has smikhah (ordination) from the Jewish Theological Seminary and from Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, and is one of the world's foremost scholars on Judaism and ecology. His book on ecology and Kabbalah, based on his doctorate at JTS, will be published in 2013. David has also worked as an activist and community organizer, and he founded the first Chasidic-egalitarian minyan in the world on NYC's Upper West Side, which was the inspiration for neohasid.org. He has taught at well over 100 synagogues, communities, retreats and conferences across North America (and a few in Israel), and is published widely on ecology and Judaism.
David's teaching empowers learners to become creators of Judaism through deep study and communion with texts and tradition. He brings not only expertise in science (ecology and cosmology) and texts (midrash, Talmud, philosophy, Kabbalah and Chasidus), and but also engagement with spirit (mysticism, meditation, davening and nigunim), embodiment, and ritual. His personal practice includes a focus on the "shamanic" dimension of rituals and religious practices like Shabbat and Sukkot.
David does scholar-in-residence Shabbatonim across the country, and is also available for lectures, seminars, and Jewish Studies-related editing and writing. Here are some examples of Shabbaton themes:
The following list of classes, workshops and lectures, which Rabbi David taught from December 2006 through April 2008, gives a good idea of his work. For more recent activity, and for links to his online publications, click here.
Tel Shemesh, Dec 7: "Is There Really Evil? Kabbalah, the 'Death of the Kings', Brokenness and Tikkun Olam", New York
Kehilat Romemu, Dec 8: Shabbat Torah talk, continuation of "Death of the Kings", New York
The Carlebach Shul, Dec 9, 2006: Seudah Shlishit talk, New York
Rabbis for Human Rights, Dec 11: "Jubilee, the Land Ethic, and Human Rights", at the first national rabbinic conference on human rights, New York
Mitziut, Dec 12: "The Spinning Wheel: Reb Nachman on the Dreidl, Redemption, and Reincarnation", Chicago
Ohalah Conference of Renewal Rabbis, Jan 9, 2007: "Ruach Hakodesh in Social Action and the Izhbitzer's Quest to Know God's Will", Boulder
Ikar, Jan 17: "An Inconvenient Truth" - discussion of film, Torah and activism, Los Angeles
Chochmat Halev, Jan 18: Beit Midrash Ruach v'Lev, monthly series, Berkeley
Milken High School, Jan 30: "Global Warming, Kabbalah, and Our Responsibility as Jews", Los Angeles
Congregation Beth Am Israel, Feb 2–4: Tu Bish'vat Shabbaton, scholar-in-residence, Penn Valley (Mainline Philadelphia)
Friday Evening: Chasidishe davening and Tu Bish'vat seder; Saturday Morning: "Evolution, Ecology, and our place in the Universe"; Davar Torah: "Ani v'Ata: Changing the World and Embracing the World"; Tisch: "The Earth as an Image of God"University of San Francisco, Feb 12: Guest lecture on Judaism and the environment at in San Francisco
Chochmat Halev, Feb 12: Beit Midrash Ruach v'Lev combined with Monday night meditation, Berkeley CA
Mitziut, Mar 6: "Unlocking the Mysteries of the Haggadah", Chicago
Torat Hateva, Mar 7–9: Scholar-in-residence at national conference on Judaism and the environment, Toronto OT
Chochmat Halev, Mar 22 & Apr 26: Beit Midrash Ruach v'Lev, Berkeley
Congregation Bet Haverim, Apr 27: "Tsfat Shabbat", Davis CA
University of Judaism Continuing Ed, Apr-May: "Blessing the Trees", "A Crash Course in Kabbalah"
Congregation Beth Shalom, May 5–7: Scholar-in-residence at Marin County retreat, San Francisco
Teva Learning Center, Jun 4–7: Scholar-in-residence at the annual Educators Seminar, Cold Spring NY
Elat Chayyim, Aug 6–12: "Liberty In the Land for All Her Inhabitants: Justice, Ecology, Sustainability and Human Rights"; teaching at Adamah Farm program on Rebbe Nachman
Kohenet Training Institute, Aug 8: "A Room of Her Own: The Place of the Divine Feminine in the Light of Kabbalah"
Teva Learning Center and Adamah Farm, November 4: in-service training for interns and staff.
Beit Midrash at the Jewish Community of Amherst,Weds starting November 7: Seminar on Chasidic text and thought.
Hazon Food Conference, Dec 8: workshop on genetically modified foods and Jewish law, Isabella Freedman.
New England Regional Retreat of the National Havurah Institute, Dec 14-16: Kabbalah and eco-Torah at the annual winter retreat in Cape Cod.
Torat Hateva and Narayever shul, Dec 18: "The Alter Rebbe's Divine Ecology and the Radiance of the Earth" in Toronto (to be rescheduled due to snowstorm).
Congregation Bonai Shalom, Jan 4-5, 2008: Scholar-in-residence Shabbaton, Boulder CO.
Congregation B'nai Israel, Weds Jan-Mar: Kabbalah for Beginners and Mystics, weekly class, Northampton MA.
Chochmat Halev, Mar 17: "The Masks of Purim and the Authentic Self", text study and meditation class.
Congregation B'nai Israel, Feb 15, Apr 11, ongoing: Kabbalat Shabbat - egalitarian neo-Chasidic ecstatic davening, Northampton MA.
Hi David! Looks like you are doing great work.
Posted by: Lisa Horvitz at February 5, 2007 4:46 PM
Design in progress © Rabbi David Mevorach Seidenberg 2006