Teshuva and Time Travel Episode 3: Sacrifice and the Agent Substitution Theory of Atonement

Posted by Sam Lebens on September 25, 2017
Topics: Pardes Live, Teshuva and Time Travel, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Teshuvah

Play

Why kill a goat, or swing a chicken round your head, or throw crumbs into a river to expiate your sins? Is this mere symbolism, or is there something more fundamental going on? In this episode, we attempt to shed new light upon some very ancient rituals of atonement, and respond to four questions that were left hanging at the end of episode 2.


When we repent, there is a sense in which we’re seeking to undo damage done. It’s almost as if we’re trying to undo the past. How seriously should we take this metaphor? Is the past something that can be undone? In Teshuva and Time Travel, Samuel Lebens – a philosopher at the University of Haifa, and adjunct faculty member at Pardes – will lead a tour through classical Jewish texts on the nature of repentance, and explore them though the lens of contemporary philosophical reflection on the nature of time.

Click here for more episodes in the series.

About Sam Lebens

Sam is a research fellow in the philosophy department at the University of Haifa*. He holds a PhD in Bertrand Russell’s metaphysics from the University of London, and an Orthodox Rabbinical Ordination from Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, having studied in various Israeli Yeshivot. He has completed post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Notre Dame and Rutgers University. He works in the philosophy of language, metaphysics, the philosophy of fiction, and the philosophy of religion. His works brings together contemporary analytic philosophy, and streams of Jewish thought from the Midrash to the Hassidim. He is chairperson of the Association for the Philosophy of Judaism. Outside of his academic pursuits, he is a free-lance journalist, and a Jewish community educator. He loves to teach Torah at Pardes, and does so whenever he gets the chance! *Sam’s research at the University of Haifa is generously supported by a grant from the Templeton World Charity Foundation Inc..

Keep Learning

The Parsha Discussion: Yom Kippur

Posted by Alex Israel on September 28, 2017

Yom Kippur: Love is in the Air

Posted by Yaffa Epstein on September 26, 2017