Podcast: David Bashevkin on the Creation of Sin

The rabbi and author of Sin-a-gogue: Sin and Failure in Jewish Thought drops by our studio for a conversation about the nature and origins of sin.

Oct. 4 2019
About the authors

A weekly podcast, produced in partnership with the Tikvah Fund, offering up the best thinking on Jewish thought and culture.

David Bashevkin is the director of education for NCSY, the youth movement of the Orthodox Union, and an instructor at Yeshiva University, where he teaches courses on public policy, religious crisis, and rabbinic thought.

This Week’s Guest: David Bashevkin


According to Jewish tradition, the holiday of Rosh Hashanah—the Jewish New Year—marks the “birth” of man on the sixth day of creation. But what else was created along with man? According to the sages of the Talmud, Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge on the same day they were made, thus bringing the capacity for sin, previously latent within them, out into the world. In other words: sin is part of God’s original creation.

A new book, Sin-a-gogue: Sin and Failure in Jewish Thought by Rabbi David Bashevkin, helps clarify the nature and origins of sin. On this podcast, Bashevkin and Jonathan Silver discuss what it means to think of sin as part of the fabric of creation, the relationship between sin and free will, and how to assess the sins and failures of the individual versus those of the community.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble, as well as the original Broadway cast recording of Fiddler on the Roof and “Above the Ocean” by Evan MacDonald.



Every Thursday, the Tikvah Podcast at Mosaic will bring to your car/earbuds/home stereo/Alexa the latest in our efforts to advance Jewish thought. For more on the new podcast, check out our inaugural post here.

If you have thoughts about the podcast that you’d like to share, ideas for future guests and topics, or any other form of feedback, just send us an email at [email protected]. We’re grateful for your support, and we look forward to a new year of great conversations on Jewish essays and ideas.