Online Adult Jewish learning

Foundations Course Information:

Course InfoDetailsSyllabusSample Lecture
Other Courses in this Series:

Foundations 2: Responsible Leadership

Foundations 3: Encounters with G-d

Foundations 4: Oral Torah & Midrash

Foundations 5: Divine Providence

Foundations Series:
Foundations of Judaism

Pre-course Information Packet


Lesson 1: Origin of Judaism - The Exodus [part 1]

  1. Laying the Groundwork: the Book of the Kuzari
  2. Historical Background to the Exodus Miracles
  3. G-d's Introduction at Sinai
  4. Supporting Torah Verses
  5. Moses' Role in the Exodus
    1. The Divine Origin of the Plagues
    2. The Truth of Moses' Teachings

Lesson 2: Origin of Judaism - Revelation at Sinai [part 2]

  1. Solidifying the Foundation of Judaism
    1. Judaism: A Unique Creation
    2. A G-d-based Religion
  2. Supporting Torah Verses

Lesson 2: Origin of Judaism - Keeping G-d's Messages Alive Forever [part 3]

  1. Perpetuating Judaism through Tradition
    1. The Exodus Tradition
    2. The Tradition of the Revelation at Sinai
  2. Preservation through Commandments

Lesson 3: Free Will

  1. The Foundation of Free Will
  2. The Benefit of Free Will
  3. Boundaries of Free Will
  4. Divine Intervention In Man's Free Will
    1. Exceptionally Evil Behavior
    2. Leaders of the People
    3. Requesting Divine Assistance in Exercising our Free Will Wisely

Lesson 4: Balancing Trust in G-d with Human Effort

  1. Defining Emunah (Belief in G-d) & Bitachon (Trust in G-d)
  2. Objective of Bitachon in G-d
  3. Human Effort
    1. Test man
    2. Occupies man
    3. Functioning in Nature
  4. Balancing Bitachon with Human Effort

Lessons 5 & 6: The Confusing Consequences of Good and Bad Actions [two parts]

  1. Overview of the Issues
    1. A Non-comprehensive Study
    2. General Attitudes Towards G-d's Justice
    3. The Emotional Element
  2. Asking the Question
  3. Answers
    1. Incomplete Information
      • "Good" People
      • "Good" & "Bad" Situations
    2. Only G-d Knows Who is Good & Bad
    3. This World & the World-to-Come
    4. Reward and Punishment Correspond to One's Life Focus
    5. Other People Influence the Way We Are Judged
      • Associating With Others - Either Righteous or Wicked
      • Intergenerational Influences

Lessons 7: The Centrality of the Land of Israel

  1. Overview: The Kuzari King & Jewish Sage
  2. The Uniqueness of the Land of Israel: Living Responsibly with G-d
  3. Application of Responsible Living: Tithing Produce of the Land of Israel

Lessons 8: Prayer - The Basis of Human Life

  1. Introduction: Why Pray?
  2. A Relationship with G-d
    1. Establishing the relationship
    2. Creating the need for a relationship
  3. An Understanding of G-d
  4. Tefillah: The Definition of Prayer