Sinâ [aâ [gogue: Sin and Failure in Jewish Thought
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About the Author
David Bashevkin is the director of education for NCSY, the youth movement of the Orthodox Union, and an instructor at Yeshiva University, where he teaches courses on public policy, religious crisis, and rabbinic thought. He completed rabbinic ordination at Yeshiva University's Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, as well as a Master's degree at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies focusing on the thought of Rabbi Zadok of Lublin under the guidance of Dr. Yaakov Elman. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in Public Policy and Management at The New School's Milano School of International Affairs, focusing on crisis management. David has been rejected from several prestigious fellowships and awards.
"Although he is a profoundly learned man, he wears his learning lightly in his lucid, witty and wholly winning new book. ... Dr. Esther Hess, a colleague of my wife, always poses a thematic question to the guests at her Shabbat dinners, which invariably leads to table talk of extraordinary richness and meaning as each of us proposes an answer. The thought occurred to me as I read Sin-a-gogue that David Bashevkin has provided enough questions to sustain the participants in a thousand such meals."
-- Jonathan Kirsch, the Jewish Journal--Jonathan Kirsch "Jewish Journal "
"Too many of us find ourselves staying up late to gawk at cable news shows. We scour Facebook for any sign of our friends expressing opinions we find unacceptable. We insist that our every conversation--about literature or film, about history or art, about our careers or our families or our future--be repurposed as a partisan polemic. We're exhausted. Our rage yields no result. Increasingly, we feel as if we're failing at life. How fortunate, then, that we've just the book to guide us along in this uncertain season. Entitled Sin-a-gogue: Sin and Failure in Jewish Thought, it's a meditation on sin and failure in Jewish thought, and its insights couldn't be any timelier or any more essential. " --Leil Leibovitz, Tablet
"Bashevkin ... presents the reader with a series of powerful, dark-of-night meditations on sin and failure in Jewish thought that are wonderfully offset by his eccentric and irrepressible sense of humor. Prayerful yet not preachy, sophisticated yet unburdened by jargon, the book is a highly appealing guide to teshuvah for postmodern readers." --Henry Abramson, Jewish Action--Jewish Action
"[Bashevkin] has succeeded in writing an entertaining, edifying, and eclectic (if at times a bit too much so) survey of an important aspect of Jewish thought. 'A person cannot stand on words of Torah until they have caused him to stumble, ' Bashevkin quotes from the Talmud, and those who stumble across Sin-a-gogue will no doubt discover, within its pages, much to stand on." --Ilana Kurshan, The Forward--The Forward
"In Sin-a-gogue, David Bashevkin, director of education at NCSY and instructor at Yeshiva University, has chosen a subject that most of us shy away from discussing - sin and failure. He has penned a thought-provoking, well-written study about sin and failure in contemporary life, as seen through the lens of classical Jewish thought and contemporary Jewish thinkers. ... It is a fascinating study of Judaism's attitude toward sin and failure that provides the reader with a better understanding of human nature, and the constructive role that failure can play in our lives." --Alan Rosenbaum, The Jerusalem Post--Alan Rosenbaum "The Jerusalem Post "
"In Sin-a-gogue, author Rabbi David Bashevkin has written a remarkable book that analyzes the nature of sin. ... Bashevkin has done a remarkable job of explaining the Jewish approach to sin. For many, they may think it is closer to the mortifications of Opus Dei; when it is, in fact, just the opposite. Do not think that Bashevkin minimizes the effect of sin. Just the opposite. He makes it eminently clear its devastating effects. However, he also shows that sins can be rectified, and that there was only one acher. If Bashevkin is guilty of any sin, it is that of brevity, in this all too short remarkable work. At a brief 145 pages, this fascinating book shows what a gifted and quick-witted writer he is. To which the reader is left, like a sinner, desirous, wanting much more." --Ben Rothke, The Times of Israel
"Outside of the High Holidays, Jews don't talk much about sin or failure. Rabbi David Bashevkin, director of education at NCSY and instructor at Yeshiva University, has written an in-depth but very readable book about sin and failure, tracing how Judaism discusses the topic from the Bible, through rabbinic literature, up to modern times. His sources range from the Talmud to Hassidic masters such as Rabbi Nachman, contemporary rabbinic greats, including Moshe Feinstein, Rav Hunter, social scientists and literary giants, current news sources and pop culture, all fully annotated. ... His message is simple: sin and failure is part of life, along with the struggle for spirituality and redemption. This book is highly recommended for academic libraries." --Harvey Sukenic, Hebrew College Library, AJL Reviews