Sin•a•gogue: Sin & Failure in Jewish Thought

Sin•a•gogue: Sin & Failure in Jewish Thought

from 23.95

Rabbi David Bashevkin

ISBN: 9781618117960 (hardcover) / 9781618117977 (paper)
Pages: approx. 330 pp.
Publication Date: March 2019


By its very nature, the ideals of religion entail sin and failure. Judaism has its own language and framework for sin that expresses themselves both legally and philosophically. Both legal questions – circumstances where sin is permissible or mandated, the role of intention and action – as well as philosophical questions – why sin occurs and how does Judaism react to religious crisis – are considered within this volume. This book will present the concepts of sin and failure in Jewish thought, weaving together biblical and rabbinic studies to reveal a holistic portrait of the notion of sin and failure within Jewish thought.

David Bashevkin, Director of Education for NCSY, the youth movement of the Orthodox Union, studied in Ner Israel and completed his rabbinic ordination at Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. While at Yeshiva University, he completed a Master's degree in Polish Hassidut and focused on the thought of Rav Zadok of Lublin under the guidance of Dr. Yaakov Elman. He is a doctoral candidate in Public Policy and Management at The New School’s Milano School of International Affairs where he focuses on crisis management. Bashevkin also teaches at Yeshiva University and has published a rabbinic work entitled B’Rogez Rachem Tizkor (trans. In Anger, Remember Mercy), which is a discussion of sin and failure in Jewish thought and law.

Table of Contents


Introduction: The Stories We Tell

Section I The Nature of Sin
What We Talk About When We Talk About Sin
Sin’s Origins and Original Sin
Sick, Sick Thoughts: Intention and Action in Sin
What to Wear to a Sin: Negotiating With Sin
Can Sinning Be Holy?
Does God Repent?

Section II Case Studies in Sin and Failure
Once a Jew Always a Jew? What Leaving Judaism Tells Us About Judaism
When Leaders Fail
An Alcoholic Walks into a Bar: Putting Yourself in Sin’s Path
Rabbi’s Son Syndrome: Why Religious Commitment Can Lead to Religious Failure
Johah and the Varieties of Religious Motivation: Religious Frustration as a Factor in Religious Motivation

Section III Responses to Sin and Failure
I Kind of Forgive You: Apologies and Half-Repentance
To Whom It May Concern: Rabbinic Correspondence on Sin and Failure