Rabbinic literature is full of instructions for how people should spend their time, from the daily prayers they must recite each morning and evening, to the way they ought to observe the weekly Sabbath, to the many rituals they are obligated to perform on annual festivals. But what about God? Is God, too, bound by temporal commitments? In this lecture, we’ll explore a group of rabbinic texts that reflect on God’s time, including God’s daily and nightly schedule. The passages are playful, quirky, and weird. But beneath their whimsical surface, they address profound theological questions about how the world operates, God’s place in the world, and how the divine and human spheres intersect, thus providing us with a window into how the rabbis thought about their world, their God, and their time.
This lecture is co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota Center for Jewish Studies and Beth El Community Learning at The Well.
Sarit Kattan Gribetz is Associate Professor in the Theology Department at Fordham University. Her book Time and Difference in Rabbinic Judaism (2020) received a National Jewish Book Award in Scholarship.