• December 3, 2023
  • 19 5784, Kislev
  • פרשת וישלח

Religion in Pop Culture

Religion in Pop Culture

What can pop culture contribute to our understanding of religious issues? Each week, join Rabbi Uri Cohen a to discuss how a Torah topic is touched upon in different media (television, music, and film). Examples include the Yetzer HaRa in Star Trek, Kohelet in Simon & Garfunkel, and Teshuvah in Groundhog Day.

December 24, 2020 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Religion in Pop Culture: Teshuvah in Pop Culture: Darth Vader, A Christmas Carol, and Groundhog Day
Class description

Darth Vader: The Greatest Villain Ever to Do Teshuvah

Nineveh = The Empire

Ebenezer Scrooge: The Most Famous Jerk-to-Nice-Guy

Phil Connors: Stuck in Groundhog Day Until He Changes

December 31, 2020 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Religion in Pop Culture: What If God Was One of Us? Bruce Almighty, Joan of Arcadia, and Oh God!
Class description

What If Mashiach Were Right Here?

God’s Multiple Images

A Voice Customized to You

Anthropomorphism is Necessary

Visual Representation of God, Though, Is Never Allowed

We Can Still Learn Much From Portrayals of God:
La-Shem Ha’aretz Umloa’ah
Tzaddik Ve-Ra Lo
Ein Tzayar K’Elokeinu

Grappling With How to Portray God

A Form Customized to You

Bruce Almighty

Oh, God!

January 7, 2021 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Religion in Pop Culture: The Yetzer HaRa in Pop Culture: Star Trek, Willy Wonka, and The Screwtape Letters
Class description

The Yetzer is Necessary: A Star Trek Episode

A Special Drug Can Amplify the Yetzer: Dr. Jekyll and Captain America

The Yetzer Hara is on the Side of Good: Willy Wonka and the Zohar

The Psychology of the Yetzer Hara: The Screwtape Letters

What Does Charlie Do to Deserve Winning the Chocolate Factory?

January 14, 2021 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Religion in Pop Culture: Galut in Pop Culture: The Pre-Film Versions of Bambi, Fiddler on the Roof, and The Little Mermaid
Class description

What’s Worse Than Being in Galut? Getting Used to It

Antisemitism and Bambi the Book

Intermarriage and Fiddler on the Roof

Assimilation is Like Being a Fish Out of Water

Assimilation and The Little Mermaid Giving Up Her Voice

The Four Children and Four Generations in America

January 21, 2021 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Religion in Pop Culture: Songs in the Key of Kohelet
Class description

A Time for Everything: “Turn! Turn! Turn!”

We’re Like Dust: “Dust in the Wind”

The Sun Stays the Same: “Time”

Have Fun, But There’s a Price to Pay: “Somewhere Along the Line”

The Bottom Line is to Fear God: “Meaningless”

Everything is Fleeting: “Leaves That Are Green”

Appreciate the Time You Have With Your Loved Ones: “Do You Realize??”

Rabbi Uri Cohen has been teaching at Midreshet Moriah since 2005. He learned at Yeshivat Shaalvim and Yeshivat Hamivtar, and received Semikhah from RIETS (YU) and Yeshivat Hamivtar. He also holds Masters degrees in Medieval Jewish History and Jewish Education from Yeshiva University. For two years, he was an ATID Fellow. Through Torah MiTzion, he and his wife Dr. Yocheved Engelberg Cohen served as the first members of the Syracuse Kollel, and later as the first couple of the Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC) at Princeton University. They now live in Ramat Beit Shemesh. His eclectic lecture topics have included Talmudic Misogyny in Context, Harry Potter and the Value of Fantasy, Contemporary Orthodox Responses to Homosexuality, and How Not to Do Outreach.