The biblical story of creation introduces the cosmos in all its simple complexity, its swarms of living creatures, and the crown of creation—man and woman—all under the direction of a speaking and judging God. We know all this from our earliest years in Hebrew school. But how do we make sense of these stories? What does it mean for God to declare His handiwork as “good”? What does the goodness of creation tell us about the nature of God, man, and the world? This seminar will explore the multiple meanings of the goodness of creation, using both traditional Jewish sources and philosophical texts, ultimately trying to understand why it should matter to us as modern (young) men and women making our own way through the world.
This course is open to all students of all backgrounds but is especially encouraged for students from public and secular schools interested in exploring Jewish ideas.
Rabbi Mark Gottlieb
The Tikvah Fund
Rabbi Mark Gottlieb is Senior Director of the Tikvah Fund and founding Dean of the Tikvah Institute for High School Students at Yale University. Prior to joining Tikvah, Rabbi Gottlieb served as Head of School at Yeshiva University High School for Boys and Principal of the Maimonides School in Brookline, MA, and has taught at The Frisch School, Ida Crown Jewish Academy, Hebrew Theological College, Loyola University in Chicago, and the University of Chicago. He received his BA from Yeshiva College, rabbinical ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, and an MA in Philosophy from the University of Chicago, where his doctoral studies focused on the moral and political thought of Alasdair MacIntyre. Rabbi Gottlieb is a member of the Orthodox Forum Steering Committee and serves on the Editorial Committee of Tradition: A Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought. He lives in Teaneck, NJ, with his wife and five children.
Meet the Instructor
Tikvah aims to make all of our courses available to as many qualified students as possible. In the event that Tikvah needs to add additional sections, this course may be taught by a different faculty member with a similarly high level of expertise.