Online learning has been a rapidly expanding and ever-changing dynamic that began almost as soon as the Internet was born. Video streaming, online discussion rooms and responsive quiz forms have helped educators bring university-level learning to students of all backgrounds and socioeconomic levels. Courses, which has been offering comprehensive courses on a variety of Jewish subjects, is now poised to release its next offering, tackling questions that have plagued humanity from the beginning of time: free will vs. Divine omniscience.

Are human beings the masters of their own fate? Does G‑d control human lives? Can belief in an all-powerful and all-knowing G‑d be reconciled with the notion of free will? To what degree can a person be held responsible for his actions? What empowering message can a person take out of the discussion?

In a four-part series called “The Choice Is Yours,” Rabbi Mendy Herson will examine these issues in light of Biblical, Talmudic, philosophical and Chassidic texts.

“Like our other offerings, this course is high-quality, comprehensive and text-based,” says Rabbi Yaakov Kaplan, who produced the course. “At the same time, the delivery is personable and accessible to everyone, including beginner students.”

To accommodate visual learners, the video classes are accompanied by PDF source sheets that also offer summaries of key elements of the class.

Between classes, students can review the lesson through online quizzes, and join a robust analysis of the subject with fellow students and the presenter on a private discussion platform.

Upcoming courses will cover topics such as self-growth (March), the Jewish view of the primordial sin (May) and the belief in Moshiach (June).

Rabbi Mendy Herson will examine a range of substantive issues as part of a four-part online series called “The Choice Is Yours.”
Rabbi Mendy Herson will examine a range of substantive issues as part of a four-part online series called “The Choice Is Yours.”

“The response we’ve received so far has been tremendous,” says Kaplan, “and we expect even more students to join our upcoming courses. We are seeing repeat students and newcomers of different ages and backgrounds from literally the world over. This is the place to go for online Jewish learning, and that’s a very exciting development for all kinds of students of Judaism.”

The class will run on four consecutive Thursdays, beginning on Feb. 9. It is free and open to the general public; however, registration is required.

Click here to enroll.

For questions or comments, click here.