Click to learn about Repentance: The Meaning and Practice of Teshuvah, the newest book by Louis E. Newman.

Teshuvah: The 'In's and 'Out's of 'Turning'

A scholar-in-residence weekend with
Professor Louis Newman

Specific titles and topics can be tailored to the needs and interests of the congregation. Click here to contact Dr. Newman regarding availability.

Why we so often fail to live up to our own moral standards and what we can do about it is one of the most persistent and perplexing questions of human life.  Many Jews think of “sin” as a Christian concept.  In this series of sessions, we explore the distinctive way in which Judaism approaches the problem of moral misdeeds and repentance.  In the process, we discover a new way to think about our moral lives, the challenge of confronting our moral shortcomings and the spiritual renewal that awaits us when we do. 

Friday night
“Sin:  It's Not Just For Christians”

How does Judaism think about human nature and our tendency to miss the mark?  What does it teach us about how to overcome our moral mistakes and restore our integrity?  This session will introduce the concepts central to Judaism’s philosophy of teshuvah and explain their relevance to our lives today.

Shabbat morning 
“The Audacity of Honesty, Humility and Hope”

Doing genuine teshuvah involves cultivating certain moral and spiritual qualities.  We will explore how honesty, humility and hope facilitate teshuvah, and how, in turn, doing teshuvah reinforces these virtues.
- or -

The Prophet Who Misunderstood Teshuvah

The Book of Jonah as a lesson in the ways in which we should--and shouldn't--think about teshuvah. 

Sunday morning
“Mission Impossible?   The Promise of Teshuvah”

There is a paradox at the heart of teshuvah, for it promises the impossible:  that the past can be undone, that what is broken can be made whole, even that our misdeeds can become our merits.  Discover why changes that seem impossible on the intellectual level are entirely possible in the spiritual and moral realm.