Recreating Ourselves Through Teshuvah (In Hebrew)
This lecture was delivered, in Hebrew, at Mechon Hadar Israel’s Teshuvah Seminar on September 12, 2021.
“Confronting Jewish Destiny”
Judaism teaches about a final redemption that is totally perfect and entirely universal: all of humanity will be united in compassion and understanding.
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“Self and Community: Being Human”
Judaism stresses the dignity of each individual human. Rabbi Greenberg elaborates on this teaching in the literature of the rabbis and in contemporary life.
“In the Image of God”
The goal of religion, argues Rabbi Greenberg, is to create a context for human development. According to Judaism, the human being is created in the image of God, who is infinite. The human being, therefore, is of infinite value.
“Life and Death: The Halakhic Way”
Halakhah, says Rabbi Greenberg, is not just a system of law. Judaism is more than a religion of law. Judaism is a vision—a vision of the world and what the human should be like.
“Confronting Death: Being Human”
Rabbi Greenberg argues that religion is a vision of the human and a way to realize that vision. A human is an infinite, unique being. And Judaism’s main emphasis is life. Rabbi Greenberg builds on these themes to help us understand how we ought to confront the reality of death.
“Salanter: The Purpose of the Torah”
Through rabbinic texts and stories, Rabbi Greenberg discusses Rabbi Israel Salanter and the Mussar Movement. The Mussar Movement emphasized the ethical aspects of Torah.
Rabbi Greenberg builds on Rabbi Israel Salanter’s teaching that the Torah “came to make a mensch.” What ethical virtues does Judaism aim to inculcate in people?
“Mussar and the Individual”
We live in an era of unprecedented choice. In earlier centuries the role of the individual was not emphasized as it is now. Membership in a group or community was primary. Mussar literature sought to deepen a sense of personal identity and the individual’s relationship with God.
“The Exodus and Sinai”
Where did the idea of redemption come from? The fundamental event on which the theme of redemption is based is the Exodus, the escape of Hebrew slaves from Egypt. This is the central event in Jewish history.
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