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Rabbi Shai Held: The God of Judaism is a God of Love

Kol Rinah, Center for Jewish Learning, Jewish Community Relations Council, and the
Saul Brodsky Jewish Community Library present


The God of Judaism is a God of Love

The Rabbi Arnold Asher Memorial Lecture

Rabbi Shai Held


Thursday, October 18  |  7 pm
Jewish Federation of St. Louis
12 Millstone Campus Drive
St. Louis, MO 63146


Register Today!

It is one of the last acceptable prejudices in American culture: the God of the “Old Testament” is a God of vengeance, focused on strict justice rather than mercy, given to anger rather than love. This perception is as mistaken as it is widespread. In this lecture, we will encounter a series of biblical texts that make the stunning claim that what makes God unique, what makes God God, is God’s unfathomable capacity for love, mercy, and forgiveness. We will explore the common complaint that a God of love is (too) anthropomorphic, and we will ask whether belief in a God of love is still plausible in this day and age.


About the Speaker

Rabbi Shai Held is President, Dean, and Chair of Jewish Thought at Hadar, where he also directs the Center for Jewish Leadership and Ideas. Rabbi Held holds a doctorate in religion from Harvard University, and he is the 2011 recipient of the prestigious Covenant Award for excellence in Jewish education. He is the author of Abraham Joshua Heschel: The Call of Transcendence (2013) and The Heart of Torah (2017).

For additional information, contact Kathy Schmeltz at or 314-442-3761.



Continue Learning with Rabbi Shai Held at Kol Rinah

Rabbi Held will continue his teaching as Scholar-In-Residence at Kol Rinah (829 N. Hanley Road, 63130) on  October 19-20. The community is welcome. For additional information, email or call 314-727-1747.

Topics will include “Love Your Neighbor as Yourself,” “What Are We Actually Being Asked For?” and “Is ‘Love Your Enemies’ A Jewish Idea?”

Sh’ma: Listen! Speaker Series is generously funded by the Lubin-Green Foundation, a Supporting Foundation of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis.



Sh’ma: Listen! Advisory Committee Chair
Rabbi Jeffrey Stiffman

Rabbi Tracy Nathan, Senior Educator, Center for Jewish Learning
Cyndee Levy, Director, Center for Jewish Learning

Jewish Federation of St. Louis
Gerald P. Greiman, Board Chair
Andrew Rehfeld, President & CEO



Online registration is now closed, but walk-ins are welcome! For additional information, contact Kathy Schmeltz at or 314-442-3761.