A modern day learning approach to ancient Jewish traditions

Welcome to Wilderness Torah’s school of live, online courses!

Explore key aspects of Jewish tradition that have been forgotten. Transform your understanding of Judaism into a living tradition, one that is deeply rooted in a connection to the earth and community. We believe that our rich heritage can be a source for connection and healing. From 90-minute sessions on the Jewish holidays, to six-week classes on deepening your earth-based Jewish practices, these courses offer a new, flexible pathway for anyone to reconnect with Judaism in a way that is relevant to your life.

Scroll down to see what courses we have in store this year.

Judaism & the Four Elements with Rabbi Zelig Golden
4-Part Series

Thursdays from 4-5:30 pm PT | April 4, 11, 18 & May 2, 2024

Earth, air, fire and water make the foundation of our world. Jewish tradition contains treasure troves elucidating our relationship to the elements as building blocks of Creation, aspects of our human nature, and personified portals of God. We explore this treasure trove to more deeply understand, embody, and ritually relate to the elements of Creation, and ultimately ourselves. 

This class is for any adult interested in deepening their relationship to the four elements through Hebrew cosmology. We will learn from ancient texts, including the Torah, Mishnah, Talmud, and Kabbalistic texts in original Hebrew and translation. Open to all levels of learning and language proficiency. 

Week 1: We are Earthlings

Adam (earthling), Adamah (earth). We are earthlings. We learn to remember the source of our sacred powers.

Week 2: The Breath of Life

Ruach is the wind, ruach is spirit. This breath of Creation animates us in the present moment and communicates secrets of the universe. We learn to connect with this eternal medium. 

Week 3: Fire Portal to Divine

Fire is the original altar, a portal to the Divine, the center of sacred path. Fire awakens within. We learn to reclaim the deeper experience fire provides. 

Week 4: Water is Life

We are born from water and made mostly of water. Water cleanses and transforms us. Come remember why we must honor and dance for water. 

Course Fees:

Wilderness Torah offers a sliding scale with three price options for this course (listed below). If you can afford to pay more, your contribution will support the viability of these programs and make them financially accessible for other people. Read more about Wilderness Torah’s sliding scale guidelines here.

  • $180 (lower-income rate)
  • $270 (medium-income rate)
  • $360 (higher-income rate)

Medicine of the Jewish Holidays

Cultivating wholeness in sacred cycles

The Hebrew calendar is a profound cultural operating system. Guided by the cycles of the moon and attuned to the sun and its seasons, the calendar provides a mythic map for Jewish life that deeply connects us to the natural world and the cycles of our lives. The Jewish holidays, taken together, are a veritable medicine chest for the soul and for cohesive community life. Join Rabbi Zelig for an ongoing series throughout the year, to discover how the Hebrew calendar guides our individual and collective journey toward wholeness.

You may register for one class at a time or for the full year cycle. Click the button below to learn more about the details and pricing.

Sacred Paths of Practice with Rabbi Zelig Golden
4-Part Series

Thursdays from 4–5:30 pm PT | May 16, 23, 30 & June 6, 2024

Judaism is an earth based tradition replete with practices that connect us to our beautiful world. Jewish blessing practice reminds us to be grateful, opens our senses, and connects us to magic countless times a day. Jewish prayer connects us to a millenia rich tradition of sacred poetry, while offering a deep groove to remind us of a core, sacred human attribute and role here on earth.

The Hebrew calendar provides a unique cultural operating system that connects us to seasonal cycles and provides medicine for our spiritual development, and Shabbat provides a temple in time that helps renew the soul. Old traditions that we are awakening – hitbodedut, offerings, and sacred fire to name a few – return us to a deep, on-going relationship with our animate world.

Join Rabbi Zelig Golden to explore core Jewish practice from an earth-based perspective. Deepen your relationship to Jewish fundamentals and awaken your walk with spirit and nature.  

This class is oriented towards adults at any stage of their learning and spiritual development. 

Week 1: The Path of Blessing

Judaism focuses on blessings as a path to catalyze ongoing relationships with everything in our world – sources of sustenance, nature’s magic, ritual moments, and all aspects of daily life. Explore the power of blessings to open our awareness, awaken our senses, and deepen our relationships with spirit and nature.

Week 2: The Heart of Prayer

The ability to pray is one of the most unique attributes of being human. With feet on the earth and our heads oriented toward the sky, learn how you are a sacred ladder between heaven and earth and the power this provides to partner in the creative magic of our world.

Week 3: Temples of Time

Hebrew months and Jewish festivals synchronize our human lives with the sun and moon, the rains and vegetation cycles, instructing us about our human development and how to serve the sacred. Sacred cycles of seven — weekly Shabbat, the 7-year shmita cycle, 49-day omer cycle — provide Temples in Time that remind of us rhythm of personal re-ensoulment and shmita’s 7-year cycle of release provide a matrix of healing and balance for our lives and the world. Come explore these Temples of Time to bring your life into deep resonance with these sacred rhythms. 

Week 4: Elements and Nature Connection

Hitbodedut (making oneself alone), Korbanot (offerings to the Divine), the sacred fire, and the holy mikvah. Explore these sacred acts and spaces within the context of your own life.

Course Fees

Wilderness Torah offers a sliding scale with three price options for this course (listed below). If you can afford to pay more, your contribution will support the viability of these programs and make them financially accessible for other people. Read more about Wilderness Torah’s sliding scale guidelines here.

  • $180 (lower-income rate)
  • $270 (medium-income rate)
  • $360 (higher-income rate)

Registration opens in April.

Introduction to Earth-Based Mysticism with Rabbi Zelig Golden
6-Part series

5 Thursdays & 1 Tuesday from 4-5:30 pm PT | June 27, July 2, 11, 18, 25 & August 1, 2024

More details about this course coming soon.

Meet Your Teacher

Rabbi Zelig Golden, Wilderness Torah Director of Spirituality and Education

Rabbi Zelig Golden expresses his vision for awakening earth-based Judaism by integrating thought leadership, ritual facilitation, and village-based mentorship to support multi-generational community, youth rites of passage, and training for emerging leaders. Zelig earned a Masters in Jewish Studies from the Graduate Theological Union, rabbinic ordination from ALEPH supported by the Wexner Fellowship, and Maggidic ordination by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi ztz”l. He lives with his wife Rachel and three kids in rural Occidental, CA near the Bay Area.