October 19, 2018

Judaism

Some Jewish thinkers are eager to reconcile science and religion by reconciling the Torah with the scientific theories. But science and religion are different fields of knowledge and address different concerns.

“It’s interesting that it is actually the Reform community, which is maligned by Conservative Jews, that is preserving Judaism more than the ultra-Orthodox.”

“Perhaps there was something too primal about it, the associations with blood and the female body and sexuality, the act of immersing naked in rainwater.”

“Let’s bring back the Sabbath as a radical act against ‘total work.’”

“There is such a thing as too late, as the terrible legacy of "if only", and the image of a hand which stretches towards a dove - which is no longer there to return.”

In Modern Orthodox Judaism: A Documentary History, Zev Eleff explores an often ignored but very influential Jewish denomination.

A grammatical anomaly in the Torah could suggest a different story about the creation of the world.

“Meet the Rabbis Who Believe the Torah Is on Trump's Side.”

"Our religion evolved slowly. The operative word is evolved."

“It’s rare to find marvelously aesthetic houses of worship in the Jewish world, but there are some exceptions to the rule.”

“Six perspectives on how the 1967 Arab-Israeli conflict changed Islam, Judaism, Christianity, and Mormonism.”

“I remember every second of my first Birthright Israel trip… Everywhere we went, everything I saw and did, I felt like I was meant to be there.”

“When the integrity of the court and due process are at stake, the wisdom of Solomon should prevail.”

“Ecclesiastes seems so dour. Why do Jews study it on the joyful holiday of Sukkot?”

“Jewish identity has always been subject to gatekeeping. In classic Jewish form, the question “Who is a Jew?” is always answered with another question: “Who is the gatekeeper?”

On Sukkot we read the book of Kohelet –one of the Torah’s most existentially anguished inclusions. Is the message of Kohelet nihilist? Or does it call us to action?

“In a time when cell phones, email, and other technological advances, combined with economic changes, create situations in which work can pervade all of life, a revival of the Sabbath might be more necessary than ever.”

According to a new book from Jack Wertheimer, American Judaism is embracing universalism in an effort to stay relevant. But this focus on universalism may threaten to undermine the vitality of the Jewish faith.

Jews have had a state for seventy years. It has been just about as long since the end of the Holocaust. Globally speaking, antisemitism is down. But it doesn’t always feel that way.

“In our own time, we have no High Priest and no Temple. There is no perfect setting for our approach to God and we lack the Temple rituals which welded us together at this critical moment in our calendar.”

“A Ukrainian township is home to one of the world’s biggest, and all-male, Jewish pilgrimages. It’s dirty, seductive, raucous, mystical and transgressive. Some rabbis even brand it heretical. But they can't beat it.”

“…heaven is not a place of angels, halos, lyres, pearly gates, or fluffy clouds, or of chariots, smoke, lightning, or thunder. The essence of heaven is an academy—a yeshiva—a place of Torah study.”

“Compartmentalization explains how it is that an otherwise committed Orthodox Jew can, in his workplace, engage in questionable business practices, or mistreat a child or a spouse."

Created by Rabbis, the Noahide Project is a Jewish faith for non-Jews. Take a look at the growing Noahide religious movement and the individuals at work promoting it around the world.

“The ritual of Jewish parents blessing their children is indeed moving, but it is easily misconstrued. Properly understood, it stresses first and foremost not the bond between parent and child, but rather between the child and God.”

In Judaism, the call of the Shofar on Rosh HaShannah ushers in the new year with three sounds – t’ki’ah, sh’varim, and tru’ah. Here’s the surprising history of the Shofar’s unique music.

JJ Best Of The Web

In Jamal Khashoggi's final column for the Washington Post, the late columnist makes an impassioned plea for freedom of expression in the Arab world. "Arab governments have been given free rein to continue silencing the media at an increasing rate."

"The country—consciously or unconsciously—has gotten used to Donald Trump. Twenty-one months into his administration, Mr. Trump has been processed, or half-processed—even subtly domesticated—by the large, complicated American mind..."

The old Israel is represented in this case by the main casualty of the new train: the historic Jerusalem-Tel Aviv line, which has been running on and off since 1892 and isn’t likely to run much longer.

"The Conners is the Roseanne revival we should save had. Instead of making hay of culture war flashpoints, the spinoff stays focused on the family’s bleakly circumscribed reality."

The dizzying run-up in crypto prices in 2017 was followed, this year, by a long, lurching retreat that, as the summer gave way to fall, began to seem perilous.

"Recently my son visited a Holocaust Museum where a program called New Dimensions in Testimony provided a hologram of an Auschwitz survivor. The unreal man would answer any question the children asked about the horrors of history. "

"As a queer Black Clevelander, the podcast's new season investigating criminal justice in Cleveland clarifies a lifetime of racist interactions with police."

"On Tuesday, Stephen Hawking's final, posthumous book 'Brief Answers to the Big Questions' was released, detailing final thoughts the physicist had on the biggest questions humankind faces. In the book, Hawking wrote 'there is no God.'"

"Young people are among the loneliest of all Americans. Schools that teach kids how to deal with feelings of isolation could help put a dent in the epidemic."

"The framework of a “Cheat Day” and reification of these foods being “improper” is, frankly, rotten at its core. These foods are a “cheat” because the consequences of guiltlessly and regularly eating them—which is to say, the appearance of fatness."

"A mere half a degree could spell the difference between the Arctic being ice-free once a decade and once a century; between coral reefs being almost entirely wiped out and up to 30 percent hanging on..."

Some Jewish thinkers are eager to reconcile science and religion by reconciling the Torah with the scientific theories. But science and religion are different fields of knowledge and address different concerns.