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Yehuda Kurtzer to Speak at Washington Synagogue

Kurtzer’s topic on Feb. 11 to be: “Commandedness: Finding Purpose from the Past”

Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer , President of Shalom Hartman Institute of North America , will speak at the historic Sixth and I Synagogue in Washington, D.C., on February 10, 2011, on the subject of "Commandedness: Finding Purpose from the Past."
The synagogue’s announcement described Yehuda’s talk this way:  
Why do we do what we do as Jews? Is it guilt, force of habit, passion or because we think we have to? In contemporary Jewish life we think of our Jewish identity as a series of choices. But so many texts and traditions describe a different force that bears on us–that of being commanded by God, or burdened by our history–to do things that we may or may not want to do. So we are left wondering: What role does "commandedness," or obligation, play in one’s modern Jewish identity? What can commandment mean in the 21st century?  

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