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Why Be Jewish? [Part 2] The Forces Within and the Forces Without

Posted on 01/03/2019 by Rabbi Ben Hecht in Beliefs and Practices
In our opening discussion on this topic (please see Why Be Jewish? - Defining the Question), we raised the issue that, while defining oneself as Jewish indicates that one is a member of a certain grouping,...

Yes, You Can Be A Jewish Atheist

Posted on 01/03/2019 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
To say that Judaism is a religion is to misunderstand two things. First, the term “religion” is a new word coined in the post-Enlightenment era, with no parallel or synonyms in any ancient...

Prayer as a Form of Wishes

Posted on 01/03/2019 by Rabbi Yaakov Bieler in Beliefs and Practices
January 2019For a curriculum that I created many years ago concerning Jewish identity, I proposed that one can draw significant lessons regarding the aspirations of various cultures by closely reading their...

A Biblical Commentary for Rationalists

Posted on 01/02/2019 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Beliefs and Practices
"an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot" - Shemot (Exodus) 21:24 Along with co-author Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, Dennis Prager, author and syndicated radio talk...

Being A Jewish Educator Is A Lifestyle Choice

Posted on 12/16/2018 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
1:23 am on a Saturday night I receive a work text waking me up from my hard earned sleep after a long night hike up a mountain ridge out by Palm Desert. Unzipping the top half of my sleeping bag to uncover my...

The Paradox of Religious Indifference

Posted on 12/12/2018 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Beliefs and Practices
I am often bewildered by two opposite trends. On the one hand, I hear from people all the time who are on the periphery of the Jewish community, desperate to get closer. There’s the young man in Kenya...

“Jews” for Jesus? No Way!

Posted on 12/02/2018 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
The term “pluralistic institution” can often seem quite oxymoronic. Pluralism is generally defined as a state where two or more worldviews, groups, or sources of authority can co-exist without much...

Feeling Deep Compassion for the Oppressed

Posted on 12/02/2018 by Rabbi Yaakov Bieler in Beliefs and Practices
A particularly moving paragraph that is recited by the entire congregation of pray-ers as part of the Shacharit (morning) services on Mondays and Thursdays, before the Tora is returned to the Ark, describes...

Anti-Zionism, Anti-Semitism, Both, or Neither

Posted on 12/02/2018 by Jacob Schwartz in Beliefs and Practices
B”SDAnti-Zionism is not inherently anti-Semitic. If you don’t agree with that sentiment, you may want to open another tab right now. This article will address what I understand to be the nuanced...

Why Be Jewish?

Posted on 11/29/2018 by Rabbi Ben Hecht in Beliefs and Practices
Defining the Question Why be Jewish? It seems to be a simple, straightforward question, often employed to begin a presentation on the accolades and benefits in choosing to be a Jew. The problem is, in the vast...
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