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Rabbi to offers three-part seminar on Genesis

By Staff | Nov 6, 2019

PHOTO PROVIDED Rabbi Dr. Stephen Lewis Fuchs

Rabbi Dr. Stephen Lewis Fuchs, of the Bat Yam Temple of the Islands, will offer a three-part series of classes on a subject near and dear to him – the Bible’s Book of Genesis.

Called “Genesis’ Earliest Stories,” they will be held on Nov. 14, Nov. 21 and Dec. 5 from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall at Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ.

There is no admission charge; all are welcome to attend.

The topics will be “The Magnificent Story of Creation” on Nov. 14, “Eden, A Nice Place to Visit, but Would You Want to Live There?” on Nov. 21 and “Cain and Abel: ‘The Symbol Story of the Human Soul'” on Dec. 5.

Participants are encouraged to bring whatever Bible translation they have at hand.

“It will be fun to sometimes compare different translations of the same Hebrew word because any translation involves some degree of interpretation,” Fuchs said.

While attending all three classes is optimal, participants may attend any or all of them.

Fuchs’ connection with the Book of Genesis is particularly strong.

“Genesis is the foundation of all of Jewish thought. It provided me the basis of my doctoral dissertation at Vanderbilt Divinity School, which, many years later, I turned into my first book, ‘What’s in It for Me? Finding Ourselves in Biblical Narratives.'” he said. “Genesis was also the basis of the course I taught for five years as a faculty member of the Hamilton College Elderhostel program and of the semester-opening lecture I delivered at the Abraham Geiger College in Berlin in 2014.”

Many years ago, the Columbia Public Library asked a number of individuals, including Fuchs, to write essays for public display about their favorite book of all time.

“I chose the Book of Genesis from the Hebrew Bible,” he said. “If I were asked that same question today, more than 40 years and many hundreds of books later, my answer would still be the same.”

Bat Yam Temple of the Islands is at 2050 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.