Rabbi David Nesson

Rabbi David Nesson, spiritual leader of Morristown Jewish Center–Beit Yisrael, led a fascinating series titled “Between Heaven and Earth: A Journey Through the Books of the Apocrypha and the Pseudepigrapha, the Stories of the Beginning and the End of Time.”

The series, which was free and open to the public, took place from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Monday, March 14, and Tuesday, March 22, at the Morris County Library, 30 E. Hanover Ave., in Whippany. The series was sponsored by National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), West Morris Section, and coordinated by the organization’s Our Jewish World program, under the direction of Melanie Levitan and Ellen Nesson.

Rabbi Nesson notes, “In our previous sessions on ‘Mysticism’ and on ‘Books of the Bible No One Reads,’ we touched upon these two collections of books. In this series, we took a more in-depth look at some of these books, including Enoch (written by Noah’s great-grandfather) and The Life of Adam and Eve (what really happened that got us expelled from Eden).”

The rabbi’s series also examined the lives of two women who saved the Jewish people–Judith and Esther. Their courage was chronicled in the books of Judith and Additions to the Book of Esther. Participants also learned about one of the most enigmatic personalities in the bible, Daniel. Two books focus on Daniel’s mystical powers: Suzanna and The Song of the Three Children.

Finally, Rabbi Nesson points out, “We will delve into what the Jewish community was experiencing (apocalyptically and eschatologically) just before the destruction of the Second Temple, as noted in book of 2 Edras. We discussed the questions raised in these books as they relate to our lives and our world.”

A renowned speaker and community leader, Rabbi Nesson serves on the Board of Directors of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ and its Executive Board. He is a founder and first chairman of the MetroWest Rabbinic Cabinet and serves on the Religious Pluralism Committee. He served on the Board of the Hebrew Academy of Morris County and continues on the Rabbinic Council, as well as the Rabbinic Council of the Golda Och Academy. He is a member of the New York Board of Rabbis and the New Jersey Region of the Rabbinical Assembly, where he served as a vice president. He also served on the national scene as chair of the Rabbinical Assembly’s Continuing Education Committee.

Rabbi Nesson is also a passionate teacher. He teaches adult education classes in History, Talmud, Kabbalah, Bible and Philosophy. He has also participated in several summer rabbinic seminars at the Hartman Institute and he has brought Hartman programs to MJCBY and the larger community.

Preregistration was requested for Rabbi Nesson’s series. To preregister, email ellen.nesson@gmail.com.