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Text-based study enhances Torah study skills

Developed specifically for online, interactive learning

Taught by scholars with a personal interest in the subject

Engaging topics made relevant to real life issues

This course was generously sponsored by
Charlie & Sarah Gottlieb
in honor of their son David's birthday

About the Course

The story of Noah is perhaps the most epic biblical narrative. Despite the passage of time, it continues to live in the consciousness of humanity, as the subject of Hollywood movies, archaeological adventures, material for theme parks and, most recently, life-size replicas (one of which actually travels around the world). What is it about the story of the flood that makes it so universally relatable and so prevalent in the narratives of cultures around the world? And what is its message to contemporary times?

Take a journey into the world of Noah with the Talmudic sages, Chassidic masters and Kabbalists as your guides, as we navigate the events that unfold in what was a literal watershed moment in the development of human civilization. Shortly after the creation of the world, at the dawn of civilization, things went very, very wrong. People became corrupt. Depravity and violence reared their ugly heads. It got so ugly, that the world was on the verge of destruction. Noah was tasked with saving humanity. Unable to do so, he is instructed to build an ark so that he and his family, together with a range of different animals, could ride out the storm. We all know the story. Or do we?

Course Syllabus

November 27, 2017
Imagine yourself witnessing the moral decay of the world around you. Do you try to save the world against all odds, or do you save yourself? Who was Noah? Was he simply a decent man relative to the corrupt society in which he lived or a great man in his own right? Why was it necessary to wipe out everything, and why would a merciful G-d destroy the world He created? And why with a flood when He could have just made it all disappear? The answers will lead us to discover what makes a healthy civilization tick, and how to use that wisdom to uplift ourselves and humanity as a whole.
December 4, 2017
Explore the story of Noah’s ark as an archetype for how to deal with everything the world throws at you. When life feels like a chaotic storm raging around you, build yourself an “ark”—a rich inner world that becomes a space of refuge and inspiration. Not only does this save us from sinking, we rise up above the flood waters and thrive.
December 11, 2017
The reality that presented itself to those who emerged from the ark after the flood must have been surreal, if not horrific. Still, their behavior and the ensuing events are puzzling. Why was Noah’s first order of business to plant a vineyard, make wine and get drunk? And what is the significance of his three sons’ disparate reactions?
December 18, 2017
The rainbow is a universal symbol of hope and reassurance. Discover the origins of this association and how it relates to the current nature of existence, the changing of the seasons (both literally and figuratively) and how we can have an optimistic outlook on life in challenging times—on how to live an uplifted and meaningful life
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Length/Effort:
    4 weeks / 30 minutes a week
  • Category: Bible/Torah
  • Institution: Chabad.org
  • Language: English
  • Cost: Free!
    (Suggested Donation $50)
    Donate Here
    Registration Required

Meet the Instructor

Rabbi Mendy Gutnick is director of Chabad of West Parkland, Fla., and a popular lecturer in the South Florida Jewish community. A native of Melbourne, Australia, Rabbi Gutnick is the scion of a long line of rabbis. Rabbi Gutnick earned his rabbinic ordination in 1998 at the Central Lubavitch Yeshiva in New York. He continued his postgraduate studies at the renowned Kollel Menachem in Melbourne, where he received a diploma in practical rabbinics. While in Australia, he served as an associate rabbi and focused on adult education and outreach, which he continued upon arriving in Florida in 2001. Rabbi Gutnick serves as director at Chabad of Parkland’s Educational Department and as a faculty member of the Boynton Beach Kollel, in addition to his role as rabbi of the Chabad congregation in West Parkland and its 500 families.

  • This course went well beyond the time spent with Rabbi on line. It followed me throughout the week and will guide my thoughts well into the days to come.

    P. Rogers - NY

  • The course was designed really well, had excellent scholarship and explored the topic in satisfying depth. And, it was very, very thought-provoking.

    F Gold - Germany

  • It surpassed my expectations, and I am still in much thought about the subject matter. A good course will leave an everlasting mark on the student, and I have been thusly marked.

    R. Cohen - PA

  • Informative, open to discussion and participation, thought-provoking, compels you to reassess your own stance in your daily life. Thank you for a delightful and stimulating course awesome presentation, handouts…

    C. Berg - California