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Why I Teach (subtitled)

Samuel LebensFilmed at

What does it feel like to be a young educator flown around the world, at other people’s expense to teach Torah? In this talk, I discuss the challenges of overcoming one’s ego; of assessing to what extent we engage with religion for selfish reasons; and the challenge of being a blessing to the world around us. This talk was a probing public self-analysis. Why do I teach? Why do I preach? Why do I practice my religion? Why are you here? Why are you reading this, watching this, listening to this? Why do you fast on Yom Kippur? Do we act for ourselves or for others; for ourselves or for God? Having argued that we often fall into the traps of selfishness and arrogance, I go on to develop the case that we still need to love ourselves; that self-love can be a real engine for acts of loving-kindness to others.

Sam holds a PhD in metaphysics and logic from the University of London, and has spent five years learning in yeshivot. He is a modern orthodox educator, philosopher, political commentator and playwright. He teaches Jewish philosophy at Yeshivat Har’el in the Old City of Jerusalem and is the chair of the Association for the Philosophy of Judaism.

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