A Springtime Tea Salon April 18th

The Carlebach Minyan’s Springtime Tea Salon 3pm to 9pm, in a house, garden and tipi in Belsize Park. Tea, cakes and cucumber sandwiches from 2.30pm. The talks start at 3pm. (for the address email carlebach7@googlemail.com)

Please bring interesting teas, cakes, and teapots (and a folding chair).


Lounge: A series of short 10 minute talks  on peoples’ projects and ideas including parsnip planting on the allotment and an introduction to composting with Meli Glenn, a discussion with Naomi Alderman on fair trade pornography, Sarah Tyler on art psychotherapy. Film director Josh Appignanesi will show clips and discuss his new film The Infidel about a British Muslim man who discovers he was born Jewish,  and composer Ben Wolf will talk about the cello concerto he has written. Plus Rachel Rose Reid  will be talking about an Egyptian story of bold love and bravery, and Rachel Ingram will discuss “Out of Control: Dybukks, Hysteria and Jewish women.”

Kitchen: Rhubarb champagne making.


Lounge: Why did the sage Choni exclaim: ‘Give me a Chavruta (study partner) or give me death! (Ta’anit 23a) and what do sharp knives, eroticism and skinny-dipping have to do with Halachic debate? Join Samuel in the Liberated Beit Midrash and explore the ancient art of Chavruta (study) partnership; playful, serious, irreverent, empathetic.

Garden: Juggling workshop with Ohad Moran. Yoga stretches and breathing exercises with Natalia Clifford. Fire twirling with Lindsey Seftel. In the tipi: Tarot card workshop with Naomi Soetendorp.


Lounge: Alon Freiberger presents a talk called “Roses need not the hardiness of flint” – A Dvar Torah. An informal discussion with the help of some texts. Sumptuous existence and concern for otherworldliness as reflected in the Jewish tradition and elsewhere. (Bereishit Rabba, Tehillim, Rabbi Akiva, Rav Kook, Aleksandr Herzen, Isaiah Berlin, ‘A Single Man’.)

Bedroom: Rivka Isaacson will give a talk called Rebarbative Wire? Compartments and Complexity in The Bell and the Body – Or ‘Cakes, Science and Iris Murdoch – the sequel’
“Some things resist division into parts,
The ventricles and atria of hearts.”
Sophie Hannah
Riv says: “Most people, particularly the authors of popular song lyrics, agree that an intact heart is the preferable kind. On the other hand, some things work better in two halves; bagels or football matches, for example. Evolution, which progresses via increasing levels of compartmentalisation from tiny viruses to single-celled organisms to complex multicellular human beings, suggests that systems can only benefit from dividing walls. Comparing the layout of Iris Murdoch’s The Bell with the architecture of human cells. I’ll argue that division into parts can only improve matters as long as there is efficient interaction between the compartments. Breakdown in communication as a result of, say, Alzheimer’s disease in the body, or with regard to the welfare of Nick Fawley in The Bell, can effect catastrophic consequences. Warning: This talk will contain spoilers on the plot of the Bell so read it first if you care.” Rivka is a scientist, poet and prolific cake baker. (She puts mushy peas in her brownies).

6.00pm More tea and Rachel Marcus’s cucumber sandwhiches


Lounge: Talmudic blogger, poet and Jerusalem-based literary agent Ilana Kirshan writes a limmerick every day about a different section of the Talmud. You can read her limmericks here on her blog and her latest post on “Purim and the psychology of happiness”. She’ll be talking about the poetry of the Akeida (the binding of Isaac) and probably lots of other things too. Read one of her poems here and a posting about the Talmud’s Bava Kama here “I wish I could seduce you in the nude. ” And her article about how the Talmud views women sleeping alone here .

7.30 More tea. And we’ll make you some supper too. (Pasta, most probably).


Kissing, maths and poetry in the tipi (or the bedroom, if it gets cold and rainy): First some poems from Jonathan Schneider. Then, Lana Citron and Alex Bellos will discuss the letter X – Alex from a mathematical point of view and Lana from a kissing point of view. (More about Lana’s kisses here: http://www.economist.com/culture/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15495816. To kiss is common in the Western world but not so in other cultures. The Tsonga people of southern Africa find it repulsive, “They eat each other’s saliva and dirt!” Malay tribes and Inuits prefer to rub noses. In Indonesia, kissing in public can invite a ten-year jail sentence.) See one of Alex’s articles here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2010/apr/11/the-10-best-mathematicians

Lounge: Daniel Soibelmann presents: A screening and discussion of Part 1 of The Pervert’s Guide to the Cinema by Slavoj Zizek. The documentary, which has been described as “A virtuoso marriage of image and thought … Propulsive… Exhilerating …Superlative” is a film about cinema itself with close readings of the most intriguing and celebrated film moments in cinema history. Serving as guide is the charismatic Slovenian philosopher and psychanalyst Salvoj Zizek, who delves into the hidden language of cinema uncovering what movies can tell us about ourselves. Topics include ideas on fantasy, reality, sexuality, subjectivity, form and desire. The documentary is deeply challenging and is relevant for anyone interested in psychology, cultural theory, sociology, film or sexuality. Zizek is arguably the most famous thinker of our day and is described by the New Yorker as “an academic rock star”. We will help each other understand the subtle complexities of the screening with commentaries and questions in an open participation forum. Daniel Soibelmann has a background in Educational Psychology, Psychotherapy with interests in Social Psychology and Post Modernism. He also has an oversized film library and this documentary is one of the favourites of his collection.

Bedroom: Adina Roth presents a new way to look at ancient Jewish texts through literary analysis. This will be a discussion looking at three stories in Jewish tradition – Tamara and Yehuda (she dresses up as a prostitute to entice her father in law), Lot’s daughters (they seduce their father) and the story of Ruth. Adina will be looking at how these stories reflect each other and she will bring texts in English and Hebrew. About Adina: she spends her time making machines and sculptures.


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