Category: Midrash

Hebrew for “delving,” specifically of a religious text. In this context, the text is also life.

Naked Faith

(I DELIVERED THIS YESTERDAY AT my synagogue‘s Yom Kippur morning service, and am posting it by popular post-service demand.) For the past 10 years, Ann & I have shared a small apartment on Sonoma’s France Street. We have hosted weekly…

Minute Mitzvah: Praise Wow

And now, another Monday Mitzvah with a side of motivation. Today: Hold God in awe. THIS ONE’S TRICKY FOR ATHEISTS, so in the interests of universality, let’s assume we’re not talking about the Cranky Old Man raining smites and frights…

Minute Mitzvah: Free At Last

FOR THOSE INTERESTED, WE AT Metaphorager.Net present another Monday Mitzvah (and its backstory). Today: Tell the Exodus story on Passover. “Remember that you were slaves in the Land of Egypt” is Torah’s most-repeated commandment. But if we get hung up…

Minute Mitzvah: You Are How You Eat

TUESDAY’S NOT TOO LATE FOR a Monday Mitzvah, unless you’d rather read something else. Today: Don’t eat what’s not kosher (literally, “proper, fit”). Let’s correct two misconceptions: 1. Kosher is hygenic. 2. Kosher is rational. The basic rules from Leviticus…

School’s Out

TODAY IS THE WORST DAY (or one of the worst days) in any given year: it’s the last day I’ll be teaching religious school until September, which means I won’t see “my kids” until then — and I’ll be slightly…

Four Points of Contact

“IT IS THE NATURE OF religious belief knowledge to be compelling only to the believer knower.” So said Rabbi Micha Berger some years ago on Usenet’s soc.culture.jewish.moderated, and I have yet to see a better argument for pluralism and against…

Leaving room for silence

Of all the apparent opposites which Judaism wrestles to reconcile — free will v. predestination, universalism v. particularism, applesauce v. sour cream — one of the most paradoxically fertile is words v. the Wordless. Maimonides, the great 12th century rabbi…