What is? Rethinking Everything we Know About Our Universe. A fascinating, new six-session course by the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute

Join us for a whirlwind tour—an entertaining, and mind-bending introduction to the complex architecture of the universe, and the role we humans play in this weird and wonderful world. Imagine you were able to rethink everything you knew about the universe, the laws of nature, your own consciousness, and the very idea of existence and reality itself. Imagine the new insights you’ll gain, the fresh perspective with which you’ll embark on the journey of life each morning.


Our newest JLI course, What Is? Rethinking Everything We Know About Our Universe does exactly that. Drawing on the wisdom of Chassidic teaching, the most basic building blocks of existence are reexamined from the bottom up, revolutionizing our understanding of life, reality, and our place in the world. What Is? takes us to the frontiers of our knowledge: to the most minute reaches of the fabric of space, back to the origins of the cosmos, and into the workings of our minds. This exciting journey celebrates the joy of discovery.


Here, on the edge of what we know, in contact with the ocean of the unknown, shines the mystery and the beauty of the world, and it’s breathtaking! For centuries, Jewish rabbis and sages have turned to Kabbalah in their quest to discover the deepest meanings of life. It has also attracted the attention of modern business leaders, Hollywood celebrities, and people around the world. Now I am inviting you to take part in an amazing journey—to discover everything that is true, and what is at the core of our existence.


What is? Rethinking Everything We Know About Our Universe is a six-week course that begins on Tuesday 24 July, 2018.  


6 Tuesdays
8:00-9:30 p.m.
Beginning July 24


$120 per person (textbook included)
$200 per couple


Chabad North Shore
27 College Crescent
St Ives NSW 2075


9488 9548

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What is? Course Overview


Everything that we experience, we experience inside our heads, leading to the intriguing question: Maybe there is no existence outside of our minds? But perhaps a more fundamental question would be: What practical difference does it make if the world is real or not?


Is time the engine that drives the whole of existence, or is it just a product of our subjective experience? If the future is impenetrable, the past irretrievable, and the present moment too fleeting to meaningfully inhabit, what part of our lives can we call our own?


Why do bad things happen to good people? The question has been asked—and answered—for thousands of years. But even if we understood the purpose of evil, would this make it more palatable and acceptable? Would it aid us in our efforts to defeat evil?


What are we talking about when we talk about G‑d? Is “G‑d” just a word we use when we can’t explain something? If G‑d cannot be explained or described, does this not render the concept of “belief in G‑d” completely meaningless?


All injustice and strife, and even personal unhappiness, can be traced to selfishness. Yet self-esteem is essential for a healthy psyche and a productive life. To navigate this paradox, we first need to unravel the mystery of self-awareness: Where does our sense of self come from?


If G‑d already knows what we will do tomorrow, is our “free choice” nothing more than an illusion? And with so many powerful influences outside of our control—or even our awareness—influencing our choices, how “free” could they possibly be?

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