B’nai Amoona welcomes noted Kabbalah scholar Daniel Matt for weekend of events

Daniel Matt, one of the world’s leading authorities on Kabbalah, will serve as scholar-in-residence at  Congregation B’nai Amoona Aug. 30-31. Matt has published more than 10 books, including “The Essential Kabbalah” (translated into seven languages), “Zohar: Annotated and Explained” and “God and the Big Bang: Discovering Harmony between Science and Spirituality.”

The schedule of events during the congregation’s Morris and Fannie Jick Kallah scholar in residence weekend includes:

Friday, Aug. 30

• Kabbalat Shabbat at 6 p.m. in the Guller Chapel

• Festive Shabbat dinner at 7 p.m. RSVP required for dinner to Barbara Shechter at 314-576-9990 x126 or [email protected]; the cost for dinner is $18 per adult, $10 per child; children under 3 are free.  

• Discussion following dinner is titled Shekhinah: The Feminine Half of God, at 7:45 p.m. in the Guller Chapel.

One of the boldest contributions of Kabbalah is the idea that God is equally female and male. Matt will briefly trace the development of Kabbalah and then focus on the concept of Shekhinah (the feminine aspect of God) from its Rabbinic origins to its full flowering in the Zohar, where Shekhinah is identified with the Sabbath Bride.

Saturday, Aug. 31

• Shabbat Morning Services at 9 a.m. in the B’nai Amoona sanctuary. Matt will discuss Raising the Sparks: Finding God in the Material World. Matt will explore this question with us by teaching passages from Kabbalah and Hasidism on the nature of God, the act of Creation, and the challenge of discovering God in the material world.

• Minchah, Seudah Shlisheet and Ma’ariv at 6 p.m. in the Guller Chapel. Matt discusses The Mystical Meaning of Torah. How does the Zohar interpret and re-imagine the Torah? How does the mystical approach to Torah differ from a literal approach? From a Midrashic approach? Matt will explore these questions with us by studying several passages from the Zohar.

• Pre-Selichot discussion and dessert reception at 8:30 p.m. in the Guller Chapel. Matt will discuss God and the Big Bang: Discovering Harmony between Science and Spirituality. The lecture will explore the parallels between Kabbalah and contemporary cosmology. How does the mystical understanding of Creation compare with the modern theory of the origin of the universe? Is there a way to harmonize these two approaches-the scientific and the spiritual?

• Selichot Service at 10 p.m. in the B’nai Amoona  sanctuary: Havdalah, Changing of the Torah Mantles and Selichot Service.

For more information, visit www.bnaiamoona.com.