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Keeping Keen Minds Agile with Torah Study at Handmaker

by Nanci Levy | Feb 19, 2016

torah-study-with-eliot-barron---1-18-16---8---final crop for blog“This is not the stuff that I learned in Hebrew School’, commented Handmaker resident, Nathan Shapiro (age 98), with a smile after this week’s Torah Study class at Handmaker. He might have been referring to the discussion that residents had about the advanced age of so many biblical figures. (Methuselah lived to 969 years old!) Which lead to residents wondering, was the bible history or simply “his story”?  And the questions about where the wives came from for Adam and Eve’s sons was not exactly the type of Hebrew School conversation that Nathan remembers having, but certainly fascinating for those well into their 90s.

Since January, Handmaker residents have been extremely fortunate to have community volunteer Dr. Eliot Barron leading this Torah study class on Monday afternoons at 1pm. The response has been tremendous! The room is packed every week with residents eager to learn. They started in the beginning, with Genesis. Residents have listened, questioned, taken turns reading aloud from the Old Testament, and have been enthralled with Eliot’s discussions. He has yet to be stumped by a question, and patiently answers every one, often with another question.

The one hour study session flies by, with Eliot sometimes taking time to examine certain text in great detail when there has been interest. They spent nearly 20 minutes talking about Genesis 2:21-23 when G-d took Adam’s rib to make Eve, marveling over the poetic phrasing of Adam’s, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.” And they loved every minute of it.

Thank you so much to Dr. Eliot Barron for spending this meaningful time with Handmaker residents, helping to keep their keen minds active.