Hanukkah: The Jewish Christmas?

Originally posted on Jewishvaluescenter.org “Happy Hanukkah!” I have begun to hear these words with increased frequency as I go about my daily schedule. This tells me Christmas is coming up. As I have spent my entire life wearing a kippah and living in an area with a small Jewish population, I generally receive about three “Happy […]

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How Religious Are You?

  There is something that needs to be clarified within the Orthodox (and perhaps even the wider) Jewish community and that is the term “religious”. It is not uncommon to hear people asking “how religious are you?” or “how religious is he/she?” when inquiring about an individual and their connection to Judaism. However, the terms […]

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No More Free Passes

Originally posted on Jewishvaluescenter.org A couple months ago Sam Harris, the prolific neuroscientist, author, and philosopher was featured in an intense debate with the creator of the Dilbert comics and vocal Trump supporter Scott Adams. The debate was centered around Trump’s character and whether or not he is morally fit to lead our country. Sam Harris […]

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Does This Offend You?

Originally posted on Jewishvaluescenter.org Imagine opening up your door to greet some trick-or-treaters on Halloween night or showing up to synagogue on Purim evening and seeing a nice 10 year-old girl dressed up as Anne Frank. Well, this is actually a realistic possibility, and a quick search on Amazon will leave you with multiple choices of […]

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Losing One’s Faith and One’s Family

Originally posted on Jewishvaluescenter.org There are certain points in one’s life where a person needs all the social support they can get, and one of these times is when someone loses their faith. Faith, or any type of religious conviction, provides neat philosophical and epistemological frameworks that helps one make sense of the world. Like a […]

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Do-It-Yourself Kosher

Originally posted on Jewishvaluescenter.org A little over a month ago, the Israeli Supreme court made an important decision in regards to kashrut in Israel. For years, it was illegal for a restaurant to advertise or even imply that they upheld kosher standards unless they went through the Israeli Chief Rabbinate. This meant that the Rabbinate had […]

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A Jewish Perspective on Columbus Day versus Indigenous People’s Day

Originally posted on Jewishvaluescenter.org Another thing to add to the rampant bipartisanism within America is the debate over Columbus or Indigenous Peoples’ day. Opponents of Columbus Day argue that Columbus was a gold-hungry man who was willing to mercilessly enslave, shed blood and torture Native Americans to obtain riches. This is true. People on the pro-Columbus […]

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Freedom is Not Free

Originally posted on Jewishvaluescenter.org “he shall not bring the people back to Egypt..for the Lord said to you, “You shall not return that way any more.” (Deuteronomy 17:16) Week after week, Jews from around the world read the current parsha and try to find meaningful insights, ask interesting questions, or simply use it as a springboard […]

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On Kneeling, Kippot and National Anthems

Originally posted on Jewishvaluescenter.org For the past couple of years, my attention towards the NFL has been steadily decreasing. The games are extremely long with a surprisingly small amount of actual action, and I would generally rather spend my Sundays on a hike than watching television anyways. However, recently, the National Football League offered a form […]

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