The School of Law Worship Committee invites faculty, staff and students to take part in a “Mid-Day Dialogue on Faith” with Senior Rabbi Norman Cohen on Wednesday, March 14, and Wednesday, March 28. Both sessions of the program will be held from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in Room 242 at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. Lunch is provided.

Rabbi Norman Cohen

Rabbi Norman Cohen

According to the event organizers, law professor Susan Stabile and Cohen, they will examine the issue for which many Christians and Jews cite biblical commands as support for the proposition that certain behavior is required or forbidden. But almost no one treats every command in the Bible as a literal guide to their behavior; therefore, they will seek to provide an understanding of how people decide what biblical commands are binding and which are not.

Although Christians read the Hebrew Scriptures through the lens of Christ’s teachings, there is such a long and established tradition of Jewish interpretation that Stabile and Cohen decided that would make a good starting point for the discussion.

The first session of the program, on March 14, will feature Cohen, senior rabbi of Bet Shalom Congregation in Minnetonka. He will speak about Jewish biblical interpretation and about the development of law in Judaism. He will help participants understand how Liberal Judaism interprets and understands the Jewish tradition, using the Bible, Talmud, Midrash, responses and reason.

Cohen will return to St. Thomas on March 28 for a dialogue with professors Mark Osler, Stabile and others who will help participants to reflect on how they read and interpret Scripture.

Although the Worship Committee invites everyone to take advantage of the information provided in each session, those who can attend only one discussion are welcome to do so. Because lunch will be served, email registrations to Bethany Fletcher; indicate whether you will attend both or only one of the programs.