Through lecture series, Vilenkin seeks to provide understanding of Judaism

Andrew Manzella | Guest Writer

Rabbi Zalman Vilenkin of Chabad Lubavitch of Chautauqua will present the second lecture in a series designed to inform all Chautauquans about family traditions within Judaism at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday in the Hall of Philosophy.

Vilenkin’s lecture, titled “All About Shabbat,” will explore this weekly tradition and what it entails, referencing the scriptural origins of Shabbat and what the words “work” and “rest” mean for those observing the Sabbath.

There are many traditions that create a special atmosphere for Shabbat, Vilenkin said. Some variations exist in different branches of Judaism, but the most important aspects revolve around spending time with family, embracing community, worship, and inward dialogue. Shabbat is a time to recharge energy in the company of loved ones.

“I think if families had just once a week that they spend together at a meal, listening to each other, singing together, sharing together,” Vilenkin said, “just imagine the impact.”

Vilenkin said the primary objective of the Jewish Lecture Series, co-sponsored by the Department of Religion, is to provide all Chautauquans with an understanding of the qualities of Judaism. The third lecture, led by Esther Vilenkin, will examine “Sacred and Intimate” at 9:15 a.m. Wednesdsay, July 31, also at the Hall of Philosophy.

“The objective is first of all education,” Vilenkin said, “whether they are Jewish or not Jewish … and No. 2, hopefully inspiration.  If you’re Jewish, be inspired by the Shabbat, and if you’re not Jewish, be inspired about the concept, and apply it to your own life, and your own religion.”