New class offered by Chabad Lubavitch of Park City will go ‘Beyond’ what is right
Six-week course starts June 29
- June 29 — “Beyond Good Neighbors.” Most laws are designed to protect the rights of people and their property. But Judaism's civil code is driven by a different goal. Explore how laws of damages and disputes support a uniquely Jewish view of the human mission.
- July 6 — “Beyond Restitution.” In seeking to restore the rights of plaintiffs, Jewish courts actively assist offenders in achieving full repentance too. Why? Discover the advantage of properly undoing damage over mere compensation.
- July 13 — “Beyond Taking Offense.” You may feel a moral urge to speak up against an offensive action. But might you have a legal responsibility to deter someone from certain behaviors? Judaism says: Yes. In this lesson, we discuss why and when.
- July 20 — “Beyond Personal Freedom.” With 613 commandments in the Torah and myriad rules expounded in the Talmud, can Judaism ever be called 'liberating'? Let's delve into the Exodus, the covenant, and the ways in which laws can lead to the purest human freedom.
- July 27 — “Beyond Lawful Ownership.” Is the claim of ownership anything more than a subjective social agreement? A foundation of Chassidic thought is that material possessions contain spiritual energy specific to their owners. Let's consider the owner's rights and responsibilities through this lens.
- Aug. 3 — “Beyond Presumption of Innocence.” While a presumption of innocence can protect defendants from liability, it is not quite a declaration of uprightness. Jewish law goes so far as to presume every person's core goodness. See how this view can lead us to a truly upright world.
As a member of the town’s religious leadership, Rabbi Yudi Steiger of the Chabad Lubavitch of Park City is always looking for ways to help local residents and visitors create a stronger, more unified community.
This is why he will teach a class titled “Beyond Right: the Values That Shape Judaism Civil Code.” The six-week Jewish Learning Institute course, which will be held in person at 2669 Canyons Resort Drive and virtually on Zoom weekly at 3:30 p.m. every Wednesday, starting June 29, will combine an exploration of Jewish values with an in-depth study of practical Jewish law, according to Steiger (see accompanying schedule and class rundown).
“We will focus on the connection between these two concepts and show how values shape law,” he said. “Judaism contains an ethical value system as well as a legal system, and we will see how the two of them are related.”
Every lesson will explore the core Jewish values from Torah sources and explore how they have been shaped over the years, according to Steiger.
“We hope to give a whole new perspective on practical, legal and ethical dilemmas people come across in life,” he said. “I think a lot of people and Jews will say Jewish values are important to them and an integral part of what being Jewish means to them. But at the same time, when you ask them to define what is unique about Jewish values and what they are, they are hard pressed to give a detailed answer.”
Another goal for the course is to show how the community can go further than just the letter of the law, Steiger said.
“While the Rabbis and the Torah will teach us how to keep the Jewish holidays, how to keep the Sabbath and the laws of Kosher, there are things they don’t teach,” he said. “For example, is it stealing if my neighbor’s wifi doesn’t have a password, and I use it without their consent?”
As an added bonus, attorneys who take the course will receive nine continuing legal education (CLE) credits.
According to state law, Utah attorneys must earn 24 hours of CLE credits every two years, and the requirement must include two hours covering ethics and one hour that covers professionalism.
Steiger is looking forward to teaching the class because he believes education is important in the community.
“Through education, we can learn from our mistakes and our past, and we can see what is really important in life,” he said. “That’s why Chabad is always looking forward to bringing new programs and new activities to Park City.”
A Park Record intern spent three weeks in New York City thanks to a Columbia University program.
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