Scholar in Residence 2015

  • February 01, 2015

    Reflections from Rabbi . . .


    Anshai Torah’s Scholar in Residence for 2015 may represent the best of all tributes to Arnie Sweet. Arnie loved to learn; he understood the value of lifetime study. Arnie was ready and willing to learn from everyone welcoming all into his hevre. The Shalom Hartman Institute (SHI) identifies its mission today, in part, with the following text, “SHI is committed to the significance of Jewish ideas, the power of applied scholarship, and the conviction that great teaching contributes to the growth and continual revitalization of the Jewish people.” Arnie would have been so proud to welcome Donniel to Anshai Torah for Shabbat of learning and growth. The platform of ideas attributed to SHI would resonate with a man like Arnie Sweet, reminding us how much we all share in the quest to improve the lot of our world.

    Donniel Hartman is President of the Shalom Hartman Institute, named for his grandfather. In 1976, David Hartman launched his dream to create a place of study for rabbis and community leaders of all denominations. Together at the same table, they would learn with and from each other, appreciating the reenergized experience of studying in Jerusalem with world-class teachers. Sitting side by side with Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, and others the energy pervading a study hall at SHI is, simply enervating.  

    Donniel Hartman honors us by accepting our invitation to teach at Anshai Torah as our Scholar in Residence. He is a world renowned teacher who has access to thousands of communal leaders across the world.  

    He is on the cutting edge of Jewish thinking today, bringing those insights and perspective to Anshai Torah. Following in the tradition of Yossi Klein Halevi, Yitz Greenberg, and Ed Feinstein we continue an extraordinary line-up, introducing the Anshai Torah community to our world’s finest thinkers.  

    I had the opportunity to experience the SHI for rabbis firsthand two and a half years ago. The Weinberg family spent a portion of the summer studying in Jerusalem - we will never forget that summer...Wende and the girls at the Conservative Movement’s Yeshivah, and I studied at Hartman, before joining them for the remainder of their program. Each of us returned to Anshai Torah with a renewed sense of study and deeper appreciation of value of Jewish learning.  

    We live in a world that is classified by boundaries. We choose who we will speak to, who we will listen to, and which news stations we will tune into. We build walls around as if to say, let me not be influenced by an alternative view of reality. Donniel Hartman visits us with the message that we must find ways to break through these barriers. We must do so in Israel, in our own communities and within our own families. To have a man of his stature at our shul is a tremendous honor for all of us. Don’t’ miss this opportunity to be introduced to one of the brightest lights on our Jewish horizon.


    Rabbi Stefan Weinberg