Past Lectures



Mirror on the Wall - Sun, Oct 14 
Why What You See in Others is a Reflection of Yourself 
Two people witness the same event, one finds flaw, while the other sees opportunity. Why do people see things differently? What do our interpretations reveal about who we are? And how can paying more attention to them help us become better people?
For the Sake of Love - Sun, Oct 21 
How to Nurture Unconditional Love 
Do we love others for what we get from them, or do we love them for who they really are? On the other hand, are we even capable of loving without getting anything in return? This lesson shows the way toward an attainable balance.
Livening The Human Core - Sun, Oct 28 
How to Get Up when Life is Down 
Material worries cause emotional drain, depleting us of our inner reserves and the conviction to go on. This class introduces profound advice from the prophet Elisha about how to reignite our inner spark.
Behind the Wedding Ring - Sun, Nov 4 
Steps to Acquiring a Flourishing Marriage 
Marriage is forever. Husband and wife should both feel they are getting a winning deal. These are some of the secrets we explore as we unravel the surprising biblical origins of the wedding ring.
Living to Laugh - Sun, Nov 11 
Humor as our Reason for Being 
What makes us laugh? What gives us our greatest giggles? Humor is born from the radically unexpected, unfamiliar, and abnormal. This lesson views laughter as the purpose of life, that by transcending and defying our nature we can make G‑d chuckle.
Jacob's Ladder - Sun, Nov 18 
Actualizing Your Higher Calling 
Climbing from who we are to our heavenly visage (what we can become) is perhaps life's greatest challenge. This lesson introduces a practical daily meditative exercise to keep our potential in sight and the tools to actualize it.
A Love Called Hatred - Sun, Nov 26 
The Fascinating Story of King Menasheh 
The opposite of love is not hatred, but indifference. Hatred is love turned sour. When people are too gripped by love to let go and be indifferent, they instead redefine their strong relationship as hate. This lesson examines the biography of a hateful Jewish king who ultimately uncovered the love behind his hatred.
The Tune of Ambivalence - Sun, Dec 2 
Navigating Through Tough Existential Dilemmas 
Discover the guiding principles that help us make critical and courageous decisions. Torn between temptation, hesitation, and cognitive dissonance, this lesson examines three biblical tales of everyday struggle that share a common tune—literally!
Decorate, Then Sweep - Sun, Dec 9 (Chanukah) 
Starting Out on a Positive Note 
You need to rid yourself of bad habits to inculcate positive ones, but if you don't start with the good right away, you may end up waiting forever. This lesson explores the pros and cons of cognitive versus behavioral therapy and the wisdom in the order of the Chanukah candles and of Joseph's sons.
Reconstructing Crossed Lines - Sun, Dec 16 
An Exploration of the Workings of Teshuvah 
When we cross a line, we become desensitized to the line and prone to cross it again. How do we return to our former selves? This lesson explores the innovative, three-step process Joseph used to aid his brothers return, including reconstructing their original circumstances to prove they had truly changed.
Deaf to Nuance - Sun, Dec 23 
The Positive Side to Selective Hearing 
Subtleties sometimes dilutes and distorts the lines of truth, and complexity gets in the way of us standing up for what is right. This lesson amplifies the story of Chushim—the deaf grandson of Jacob—who stood by the obvious when others were blinded by the details.


Although no Hebrew or background knowledge is required, even the advanced Torah student will find new insights and understanding at this class. Each class is an independent unit, so you can drop in any time to dip into the waters of Torah. Who knows — you might just make it a habit...

When: Sundays 9:35 AM to 10:45 AM, Oct. 14-Dec. 23.

Where: Chabad NP, 1670 S. Amphlett Blvd.

Cost: None. Textbook $15 (optional).

RSVP by emailing [email protected]

Instructor: Rabbi Yossi Marcus. 


with Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe of Hartford CT

A three part lecture series by Rabbi Yossi Marcus of Chabad of the North Peninsula

This series will explore some basic kabbalistic doctrines, such as the Ten Sefirot; Reincarnation and the Afterlife; and the Secrets of the Hebrew Alphabet.

The lectures will be held at Temple Beth El of San Mateo, sponsored by P.A.J.E.

A three part lecture series by Rabbi Yossi Marcus of Chabad of the North Peninsula

This series will offer an introduction into the theories and thought procceses of the talmudic masters. The concepts discussed will be: Theories in talmudic debate; the law of the four guardians; and the principles of proximity in time, space and the human experience.

Lectures will be held at Peninsula Sinai Congregation.

A two-part lecture series by Rabbi Yossi Marcus of Chabad of the North Peninsula

We all grew up on these stories: Noah and his ark, Jacob’s struggle with Esau, Moses at Sinai, etc. But we always sensed that these were more than stories. Kabbala delves beneath the surface and uncovers the mystical parallels of the biblical account and its timeless significance for our lives.

Lecture held at Peninsula Sinai Congregation

Long before Freud and Jung, the masters of kabbla delved into the laybrinth of the human mind. Please join us for a lecture about the intricacies and nuances of the human psyche, which, created in the Divine image, mirrors the ten Divine attributes known as "the ten sefirot." The lecture will be given by Rabbi Yossi Marcus, who has written extensively on kabbala and chasidism and has led kabbala study sessions throughout the Bay Area.

The current state of affairs in the world is not terribly encouraging. Events here and in Israel leave many of us with feelings of despair and confusion. It is a perfect climate for apocalyptic pronouncements of all shapes and sizes. What is the Jewish view of the future? Is the belief in a utopian age merely a dream, a cop-out? Or is it something we all deeply believe will one day come to pass?

Join us for an inspirational lecture by Rabbi Dov Greenberg who will examine the philosophical and psychological elements of the Jewish belief in an eschatological age. Rabbi Greenberg's dynamic and thought-provoking talks have dazzled students all over the world. He is founder and former director of the Conejo Jewish Academy, one of the most successful adult education programs in the country. He is currently director of the Chabad center at Stanford University.

Join us for a chasidic gathering with Rabbi Yehudah Ferris. Rabbi Ferris is known for his wisdom and sense of humor and he is sure to provide us with an entertaining and inspiring evening of stories, chasidic insights and song—what we call in Yiddish, "a farbrengen" (get-together). A farbrengen is not a lecture nor is it not a lecture; it is closer to an oneg or a kidush, where refreshments are served and spirits are sometimes, though not necessarily, consumed.

Rabbi Ferris has been the director of Chabad of Berkeley for longer than anyone can remember and he is much loved and respected throughout the Bay Area by those who have met him over the years.

Rabbi Noach Vogel of Almaden Torah Center in San Jose will offer insights into the complex nature of Kosher supervision in the modern world. Rabbi Vogel has inspected the production of such products as Dryers, Smuckers and McCormick's. He will gladly answer any questions you may have regarding kosher foods and supervision.

Holiday Series by Rabbi Yossi Marcus

The Silent Shofar - a Rosh Hashanah Lecture
Wednesday Night, Sept. 24. 7:30pm

Repentance 101 - A Yom Kippur Lecture
Wednesday Night, Oct. 1. 7:30pm

Life in a Hut - A Sukkot Lecture
Wednesday Night, Oct. 8. 7:30pm

A Pile of Shoes in Heaven - A Simchat Torah Lecture
Wednesday Night, Oct. 15. 7:30pm

Analyzing the Scroll of Esther. Wednesday Nights 7.30 PM

We all know the stories. But we may not have never reexamined them since childhood. This course will pry beneath the simple meaning of the Biblical account, uncovering the Midrashic, Kabbalistic and homiletic layers of the Torah. Each class is self-contained so that one need not attend all classes to follow an individual class.

The course begins on Feb. 16 and continues on all Wednesdays through Purim.