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JLI explores mysteries, myths of Judaism

LONGMEADOW — Does Judaism believe in guardian angels? Why do Jews use matchmakers? Who wrote the handwriting on the wall? Find out this fall by joining a fun Jewish Learning Institute (JLI) course in Jewish cultural literacy, full of surprising facts, myths, and mysteries surrounding Jewish tradition and practice. Fascinating Facts: Exploring the Myths and Mysteries of Judaism will be offered at Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy (LYA), 1148 Converse St., for six Wednesdays, beginning Nov. 9 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Fee for the course, which includes a student textbook, is $100 with a couple’s discount of $70. Fascinating Facts will also be offered at law offices of James Smith, 1331 Main St., Springfield, for six consecutive Thursdays beginning Nov. 10 from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. “As the People of the Book, we strongly believe Jews should know the richness of their Jewish heritage and that is what we hope to accomplish with this entertaining new educational offering,” Rabbi Wolff, local JLI instructor, explained. Spanning a wide range of intriguing subjects, Fascinating Facts includes sessions on Jewish myth and urban legend, biblical stories and events, Jewish foods, the Hebrew language, life cycle events, and mysteries of the occult. The course will address issues such as the Jewish view on Satan and the evil eye, whether angels have wings, and why pork is considered the quintessential non-kosher food. “We’ve designed this course as a fun and insightful overview of Jewish heritage to promote a Jewish cultural literacy within the community,” Rabbi Zalman Abraham of JLI’s Brooklyn Headquarters, said. “We aim to enlighten even the most seasoned trivia buffs with a treasure trove of ‘Who knew?’ Jewish factoids.” Like all JLI programs, Fascinating Facts is designed to appeal to people at all levels of Jewish knowledge, including those without any prior experience or background in Jewish learning. All JLI courses are open to the public, and attendees need not be affiliated with a particular synagogue, temple, or other house of worship. Interested students may call 348-4978 or visit www.myJLI.com for registration and other course-related information.

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