Limmud eFestival 2022 Limmud eFestival 2022
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Pardes: How To Talk About God in an Orchard

Zoom 44

Akiva Mattenson completed a BA in philosophy at DePaul University, where he focused on twentieth-century French and German thought. He has previously taught at the Orot Center for New Jewish Learning, and his writing has been published at The Lehrhaus. His essay, "Out Beyond the Sea" working out a theology of divine absence was the winner of the inaugural Ateret Zvi Prize in Hiddushei Torah. Akiva is currently a rabbinical student at the Hadar Institute.

In rabbinic literature, the pardes or 'orchard' is a space associated with mystical experience and matters of theology. But why? What can we learn from the fact that God-talk takes place in an orchard? Through exploring classical and contemporary rabbinic texts from midrash and Maimonides to the Zohar and Rav Shagar, we will unfurl the diverse significances of this association and think together about how we might reimagine the place of talking about God in our lives.