“For everything there is a time … A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time of mourning and a time of dancing.”
The search for meaning is a definitive human experience. We all ask at some point, “What is our purpose in the world? Is there rhyme and reason in our existence, or is it all just random chaos?” These are questions that philosophers and scholars have grappled with through the ages; but first was Kohelet (Ecclesiastes), the crucible of King Solomon.
In the book of Kohelet, we ask if everything is indeed Hevel – futility; and we embark on a journey of earnest questioning of every Jewish value. It is a book so controversial and fraught with seeming contradiction, that the Rabbinic sages considered excluding it from the biblical canon, with concerns that it contained “words of heresy”.
Join the Academy and Rony Sklar, as we grapple with the big questions and the contradictions, and explore the important and timeless messages contained in Kohelet. We will delve into the text, examine the unique literary features of Kohelet, and explore the elements of Kohelet that concerned our Rabbinic sages.
Finally, we will explore the eternal meaning of Kohelet that ultimately earned it a place in the Biblical canon, and a regular annual reading in Ashkenazi shuls on Sukkot.