Lisa Schlaff will present “The Broken Heifer: Communal Responsibility in an Age of Individuality” on Tuesday, February 4, at 8:00 p.m. at Young Israel of New Rochelle. The lecture, sponsored by the Women’s Initiative for Jewish Studies, is free and open to women and men.
Lisa Schlaff is the director of Judaic studies at SAR High School in Riverdale, New York, where she teaches Talmud and Tanach. She has an EdM in curriculum development from Teacher’s College, Columbia University, and has completed coursework towards a doctorate in Talmud at New York University. Schlaff has studied and taught at the Drisha Institute and is a graduate of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship program.
Schlaff offered, “The laws of eglah arufah (the broken heifer) in Sefer Devarim are among the most enigmatic in the Torah. What is the purpose of the strange ceremony to be enacted upon finding a dead body? Who is supposed to take responsibility and why? Additionally, what do these laws teach us about communal obligation, and its limits, in an age of independence? We will study the Torah text as well as rabbinic and modern interpreters to answer these questions.”