Judaism and Truth
These Truths We Hold: Judaism in an Age of Truthiness
Wed / Jun 21, 28, Jul 5 ,12 / 7:00-8:45 pm / Online
Rabbi Wendy Zierler
Our nation's founding document, the Declaration of Independence, confidently declares, “These truths we hold to be self-evident…” And yet, America today seems mired in a truth crisis. Postmodern relativism has cast doubt on the Enlightenment notion of shared, self-evident truths held by all; technologies have made the swift proliferation of untruths commonplace; political sensibilities have become so partisan as to tolerate public personalities who brazenly lie. Many Americans, Jews among them, are understandably concerned for the future of truth as we once knew it. This course, an outgrowth of the recently published book, These Truths We Hold: Judaism in an Age of Truthiness, edited by Wendy Zierler and Joshua Garroway (HUC Press 2023), will address the subject of truth in Jewish tradition and in contemporary Jewish life from a variety of perspectives: biblical, Talmudic, liturgical, literary, and comic. Special attention will be given to the ways in which Jewish sources, both ancient and modern treat the conflict between truth and other major values, such as goodness, peace, and pluralism, and to the role of satire as a means of outing hidden truths.