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Embarking on a journey of faith - opening statement:

As we gather here today, we stand on the threshold of a profound and transformative journey. We are about to embark on a journey of discovery, to delve into the depths of an eternal text that has inspired and guided generations for nearly nine centuries.

The call to know the Creator

In the opening of his book "Mishna Torah," Maimonides emphasizes the importance of wisdom, which begins with recognizing and acknowledging the Creator of all existence. He states, "The foundation of all knowledge and the essence of true wisdom is the understanding that a supreme being brought everything into existence. Everything in the universe, from the heavenly bodies to the earth and all that lies between them, was created solely by the truth of this being's existence."

The Kuzari: A Guide to Strengthening the Faith

Written by Rabbi Yehuda Halevi about 900 years ago, the Kuzari serves as a beacon of light for those seeking to deepen their understanding and conviction in the Creator. Through the fascinating dialogue and its profound insights, the book offers surprising and inspiring insights in keeping with the intellectual examination of the Jewish faith.

Journey together

The journey ahead is not one to be undertaken alone. We are all pilgrims on this path, each with unique questions and experiences. Together, we will explore the Text, share our insights, and support each other in our search for knowledge and spiritual growth.

Privilege and opportunity

It is a privilege and an opportunity to embark on this journey together. Let us approach the Text with an open heart and mind, ready to be challenged, inspired, and changed.

May our journey be blessed with wisdom, understanding, and a deeper connection to the Creator of all existence.

I wish us all success and a meaningful learning experience.

 Kuzari (1) - Introduction: 

I WAS asked to state what arguments and replies I could bring to bear against the attacks of philosophers and followers of other religions and also against [Jewish] sectarians who attacked the rest of Israel. This reminded me of something I had once heard concerning the arguments of a Rabbi who sojourned with the King of the Khazars. As we know from historical records, the latter converted to Judaism about four hundred years ago. 

To him came a dream, and it appeared as if an angel addressed him, saying: 'Thy way of thinking is indeed pleasing to the Creator, but not thy way of acting.' Yet he was so Enthusiastic about the performance of the Khazar religion that he devoted himself full-heartedly to the temple service and sacrifices.

Notwithstanding this devotion, the angel returned at night and repeated: 'Thy way of thinking is pleasing to God, but not thy way of acting.' This caused him to ponder the different beliefs and religions and finally become a convert to Judaism with many other Khazars.

As I found among the arguments of the Rabbi, many of which appealed to me and were in harmony with my own opinions, I resolved to write them down exactly as they had been spoken. When the King of Khazar (as is related) dreamt that his way of thinking was agreeable to God but not his way of acting and was commanded in the same dream to seek the God-pleasing work, he inquired of a philosopher concerning his religious persuasion.

Some questions to sharpen understanding of the Text above:

  • What historical event does the author reference?
  • What message did the angel deliver to the king in his dream?
  • What did the king do after receiving the second dream?
  • Why did the author decide to write down the rabbi's arguments? 
  • What is the significance of the dream in the story?
  • How does Rabbi Yehuda Halevi (the author) use the story of the Khazar king to connect to their purpose?
  • What broader theme or message can be inferred from the introduction

    Insights of this class from the Chavruta program group Zoom session

  • During the meeting, we discussed the opening passage of the Kuzari, a text that conveys an ancient message to us, those who live in today's world. This passage serves as an introduction to an ancient story and as a foundation for several fundamental principles that can guide us toward a more meaningful existence. Here are some of the key takeaways from our discussion:

    "Your intention is good, but your actions are not." [The Angel]

    Humans aspire to achieve harmony between their intentions and actions. This desire is rooted in the belief that, just as there is one Creator of the universe, an individual should strive to live in unity with their thoughts and deeds.

  • An angel appears to the king in a dream.

    "Our world is governed by natural laws that limit our perception and experiences. However, dreams can take us beyond these limitations and offer a gateway to a different realm. Prophets often dream of a better world that exists beyond our waking reality. A book that aims to teach about the prophecy of Israel starts with the idea that striving for something beyond logic can be incredibly meaningful."

    "The King of the Khazars."

    "The king in question is not Jewish, but rather a man from the world who is searching for meaning in his life. Rabbi Yehuda Halevi, who is a member of the Jewish community, honors those who genuinely seek meaning by writing this book. We should consider ourselves as kings and remember that humans are created in the image of God."

    Partnership with the Creator of the Universe

    "When someone seeks meaning in life, the Creator of the Universe does not provide them with ready-made answers. Instead, the Creator sends the individual on a journey to discover those answers. To those who seek, the Creator promises to guide them along the way. However, it is up to the individual to embark on this quest for answers."


  • Unlocking UnderstandingA Step-by-Step Guide to Mastering Texts

    1. Listen and Engage: The first step is actively listening to the Text during your initial read-through. Try to understand the main topics discussed in it.

    2. Comprehend the Text: After your initial read-through, try to understand the author's main ideas. Try to capture the spirit of the Text and its underlying purpose.

    3. Imagination and Connection: Use your understanding of the Text to relate it to familiar scenarios or phenomena you know about. How do the topics discussed in the Text compare to real-life situations?

    4. Delve Deeper into the Text: Once you've grasped the essential components of the Text, revisit it. Try comprehending finer details such as numerical data, examples, and analyses that help you understand the subject matter more deeply.

    5. Reread with Purpose: After delving deeper into the Text, reread it. This time, try to understand the point at which the Text was written without focusing solely on the details. Concentrate on the main ideas and central purpose of the Text.

    With dedication and perseverance, you can unlock the secrets of any text and gain invaluable insights that will enrich your understanding of the world around you. Active engagement is crucial for achieving success in your reading endeavors. Listening attentively, understanding deeply, and connecting the Text to your experiences is essential. Take the time to delve into the finer details, and don't be afraid to ask questions or seek help when needed.

    Embrace the power of knowledge and embark on a transformative learning adventure!

    Enjoying the content? are you reading it on your own?

    "The Rabbi: The faculty of speech is to transmit the idea of the speaker into the soul of the hearer. Such intention, however, can only be carried out to perfection by means of oral communication. This is better than writing. The proverb is: 'From the mouths of scholars, but not from the mouth of books.'" (Kuzari)

    Consider joining our "Chavruta" program. Learn these text with a study partner!


    we are approaching the end of the current study cycle. If you are intersted in the program, please fill out the registration form, and we will update when a new study cycle opens.

    In the meantime, you are welcome to listen to recordings of the lessons given in the 1st cycle

    to access CLICK HERE

    Brit Olam team



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