Should Humans Have Been Created?: A Challenging Text for a Challenging Time

There is a text from the Talmud, Tractate Eiruvin 13b, that I have been wrestling with of late. The text tells of a debate between those two major rabbinic schools, Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai, over the question: would it have been better had humans not been created than been created. To think through this text, I’ve endeavored to teach it in a number of settings. Here is a recording from Limmud Seattle 2021, which took place in January over zoom:

The powerpoint I used is here:

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