Tag: Being Jewishly

Living Judaism with mind, body and all we have.

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…

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…

Posse Commentatus

IN THE BEGINNING was the Text. But not for long. The Text – definer and exemplar, authority and comfort, platform and trampoline – was no ordinary collection of words. It spoke of history and possibility, treated miracles as though they…

Der Apikoyrus Rebbe

RABBI AKIVA TATZ IS A turned-on guy whose shiurim (lectures) are ripe with mystic but rational Torah learning. R’Tatz tells a wonderful story about apikorsim (singular “apikorus,” from the Greek “Epicurean;” one who disbelieves the divine origin of Torah and…

Focus: Israel

As the situation in Israel continues to develop, many are turning to the “local papers” for better coverage than that offered by CNN or (grf) the BBC. The following offer in-depth reportage and up-to-the-minute English-language breaking news:– Haaretz (left-leaning)– Arutz…

Message From Beyond

Not all mitzvot turn into ghost stories — but when doing holy work, it’s always a good idea to expect the unexpected. My wife Ann and I are members of the Sonoma County Chevre Kadisha. “Chevre Kadisha” literally means “holy…