Rabbis Behaving Badly
While we often place the rabbis on a moral pedestal, the Talmud is filled with humanizing stories in which the rabbis sometimes get it wrong. In this 3-part master class, we’ll dive into the agadaot (stories) of the Talmud and explore the ways in which the Rabbis struggle to get it right, just like the rest of us.
Session 1: The Lure of Temptation
In this session, we’ll explore several stories in which the rabbis struggle to resist the urge of sexual temptation. We’ll see them try to resist the yetzer hara (the evil inclination), sometimes succeeding, sometimes failing, as they figure out how to survive in a world of temptation.
Session 2: We All Make Mistakes
In this session, we’ll see two of our greatest leaders go head-to-head in a duel to be right. As Rabban Gamliel wrestles to reconcile arrogance with humility and the need to be right with the willingness to be wrong, we’ll use these stories to reflect on our abilities to admit when we’ve made a mistake and rectify our actions.
Rabbis Behaving Badly (Part 3) with Rabbi Avi Strausberg
Session 3: Making Amends
In this final session, we’ll look at several stories in which great scholars fall prey to sinful behavior. What happens when a leader makes a grave moral mistake? Can we still learn from them? Should they continue to serve the community as moral exemplars? Through these stories, we’ll explore what happens when leaders get it wrong and if/how they should be allowed to resume positions of authority.
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