Category: Judaica

“Just Jewish” — the texts, the tribe, the being.

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…

An Apology to Douglas Rushkoff

In my previous, I made a cutting remark about Douglas Ruskoff’s “Nothing Sacred: The Truth About Judaism.” While my opinion remains that the book is deeply flawed, as noted by, among others, Zeek.net), I didn’t intend to be dismissive. For…

Hiding the Hidden

Last week, we read in Parsha Beshallach about the departure from Egypt (Heb. “Mitzrayim”, or “narrows,” which the mystical tradition identifies with the forces of constraint and bad-habitry). Among the other nifty details is this one, from Exodus 13:21: “And…

Torah Nerds, Unite!

Some people say that the Torah can only be meaningful if the events depicted therein are true. In other words, if 600,000 people didn’t march through the Sinai Peninsula; if the plagues were just a mythologization of natural disasters; if…