Sins of the Parents: Ethics and Theology in Rabbinic Literature

Thursday, March 23, 2017
7 PM at Temple Solel map
Cost: $18 (Suggested Donation)

Rabbi Dov Weiss

Registration for this event is now closed. Walks ups will be accepted.

In this lecture, Rabbi Dr. Dov Weiss analyzes how rabbinic Jews and early Christians interpreted the morally problematic maxim – found in the Ten Commandments – that God punishes children for the sins of the parents (Exodus 20:4). This theological doctrine has posed an obvious question for many readers of the Biblical text: Why should one person suffer for the sins committed by another? Does this method of divine providence correspond with a loving, fair and just deity? In this lecture, Prof. Weiss uses the case of intergenerational punishment to highlight the complex relationship between theology, ethics and biblical interpretation in the first few centuries of the Common Era.

Dov Weiss - professor of religion

Rabbi Dov Weiss

Dov Weiss is an Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies in the Department of Religion at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He completed his PhD at the University of Chicago Divinity School as a Martin Meyer Fellow in 2011 and was the Alan M. Stock Fellow at Harvard University’s Center for Jewish Studies in 2012. After receiving rabbinic ordination from RIETS (Yeshiva University) in 1999 as a Wexner Graduate Fellow, Dov helped found Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT) Rabbinic School where he served as an instructor of Talmud and Jewish Law. Specializing in the history of Jewish biblical interpretation and rabbinic theology, Dov’s most recent articles include “Sins of the Parents in Rabbinic and Early Christian Literature” [Journal of Religion 97:1], “Divine Concessions in the Tanhuma Midrashim” [Harvard Theological Review (108:1)] and “The Sin of Protesting God in Rabbinic and Patristic Literature” [AJS Review 39:2]. His first book, Pious Irreverence: Confronting God in Rabbinic Judaism, was recently published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.


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