(Courtesy of YI of Fort Lee) Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin, director of education for NCSY, the youth movement of the Orthodox Union, lectured on what he called a “tricky but important topic” at the Young Israel of Fort Lee’s monthly Lunch and Learn.
Given the title of his lecture, “Do Jews Believe in Original Sin?,” one would think there are easy answers. Bringing sources from the text of Parshat Bereshit as well as the early commentators and the Talmud, Rabbi Bashevkin wove a story with threads leading through polemic debates between Christians and Jews—the Ramban in particular—Isaac Newton, the Kabbalah, the Katzker Rebbe all the way to modern times.
One key question, he said, central to the polemic debates was when did the sin actually take place? The answers provided some surprising insight into the question of the Jewish belief in original sin.
Rabbi Bashevkin has published two books, “Sin-a-gogue: Sin and Failure In Jewish Thought” and a Hebrew work, “B’Rogez Rachem Tizkor.”
The next lecture, on August 5, will be an interview with Rabbi Yakov Horowitz talking about teens at risk, drug addiction and LBGTQ in the Orthodox community.
For more information, contact Saul Landa at [email protected].