Tag: Learning Jewishly

“A little Torah is all anyone knows.”

Temple of the Holy Reruns

HAVE YOU EVER SAT IN a theater after the movie ended so you can see it again? Then you’ll understand Simchat Torah. Simchat Torah, or “Rejoicing of (the) Teaching,” will be celebrated by the worldwide Jewish community beginning tonight through…

Day of At-Onement

IT’S HARD TO DESCRIBE THE feeling I get around 1 or 2 p.m. on Yom Kippur afternoon with no food since the previous evening. It’s an intellectual, buzzy sort of consciousness: colors are brighter, outlines sharper, and an almost euphoric…

Why I Hate Jay Michaelson

IT’S THAT ANYTHING I CAN do, he can do better. It’s his unaffected, artless prose. It’s his vast non-dualist scholarship and experience. It’s his light touch. It’s his unpretentiousness. It’s that he neither talks down to or over the heads…

To gain a yirah[awe]-inducing glimpse of the transcendent, you must sharpen your inner awareness to perceive divine Oneness wherever you look. You can practice shifting your inner vision to apprehend the scintillating divine presence in an apple, a table, a car, a baby’s eyes, anywhere in this world. When you make that choice and adjust your perception in this way, you have placed HaShem [that-which-some-people-call-G?d] before you, and yirah is sure to overtake your heart as if the floor beneath you had suddenly fallen away.”
–From the monthly YASHAR newsletter)

Grudge Match

THE GOLDEN RULE OF INTERFAITH colloquy: Don’t Confuse The Levels. A few years ago, a “JewBu” (Jewish Buddhist) friend of mine told me a story that he felt illustrated the superiority of Buddhism over Judaism, or at least the limitations…

Literal Myths

DOES IT MATTER WHETHER OR not our sacred writings are historically accurate? This question comes up for me every year at our living-room Torah study, as people go to great lengths to try and explain the fantastical events of the…

Minute Mitzvah: Stuff & Nonsense

Today: Don’t crave someone else’s stuff. Explanation: One of modern life’s biggest distractions is feeling materially inadequate, especially in a gotta-have-it society like our own. Why dwell on your deficiencies? As Pirkei Avot says, “Who is rich? One who is…

Tell me what you know of Torah,” asked the greybeard rabbi.
“I only know a little,” responded the young student.
The rabbi smiled. “That’s all anyone knows of Torah.”

Why I Love: Torah Study

IT’S THE ENDLESS INTELLECTUAL PUZZLE. It’s that Hebrew writing closely resembles Klingonese (well, it does; come to think of it, so does some of the sentiment). It’s belonging to the 3,000-year-old Permanent Floating Book Club. It’s the spectra, vagaries and…

365 Names of God: King

KING A translation of the Hebrew word “melech” (מלך), this Name has fallen out of favor in Liberal Judaism circles due to two factors: 1) It’s male-gendered, and thus anthro/patriomorphic (and conceptually inaccurate); and 2) as people who live in…