Originally published in 2016 In this week’s parsha, Tazria, we are quickly confronted with laws and procedures dealing with tzarat. The initial verse regarding this phenomenon is as follows: Leviticus 13:2: אָדָם כִּי־יִהְיֶה בְעוֹר־בְּשָׂרוֹ שְׂאֵת אוֹ־סַפַּחַת אוֹ בַהֶרֶת וְהָיָה בְעוֹר־בְּשָׂרוֹ לְנֶגַע צָרָעַת וְהוּבָא אֶל־אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן אוֹ אֶל־אַחַד מִבָּנָיו הַכֹּהֲנִים If a man has a se’eith, a […]Read More Balancing Tradition & Intellect: A Case Study Of The Difficulties Of Thinking Jews
This Passover night I wasn’t alone. I was a part of the 600,000 Jews leaving Egypt – marveling at the open miracles and forever internalizing the ethical imperatives imprinted unto a nation. I remembered the day we left Egypt – rushed and confused – yet still convinced this barren desert was preferable to Egyptian hegemony. […]Read More This Passover I Wasn’t Alone
An hour before sunrise Shabbat morning Eli woke up with a mixture of nervousness and excitement about the upcoming day. Tip-toeing across the house to avoid waking his young children, he grabbed his towel and headed straight to the Mikvah down the street. While this was a day he had repeated every week for the […]Read More The Temple, Synagogues, and the Future of Judaism
A common refrain tells us that Judaism was the first monotheistic religion and that our ancestors were the first to “discover” that there is one God. There are several reasons why this statement is slightly inaccurate. For one we have evidence of other monotheistic trends that predated the Israelite community. Akhenaten, an Egyptian Pharaoh in […]Read More The Importance of Jewish Monotheism is Exactly What it is Not.
I came up with the idea for this article in a coffee shop this past week. As I created a rough outline and began to collect my thoughts, a friend, who happened to see the title to this article, turned to me and said: “You better not be writing one of those classic apologetic […]Read More The Hebrew Bible’s Radically Feminist Beginnings
People hate Jews. This is not a radical or innovative statement. It’s a reality that all students of Jewish history and contemporary Jews understand on one level or another. Nor is the statement that people hate Jews a new one. Anti-semitism reaches as far back as the Greeks over 2,300 years ago. Greek writers and […]Read More The History and Paradox of Anti-Semitism
Years ago – perhaps before many of my current readers have ever heard of me – I published all of my articles on this blog. It was here that I shared my writing and thoughts about Judaism for the first time in a public forum and it was here that my journey into the Jewish […]Read More Re-Introducing The Who Knows One Blog
Originally posted on Jewishvaluescenter.org It’s the classic case. A Jewish man walks into a non-kosher restaurant to grab some food with a friend and inconspicuously slides off his kippah and puts in into his pocket, making sure that no one notices the identity shift. While this may be viewed as a pathology of modern day […]Read More Wearing a Kippah in a Non-Kosher Restaurant
It is no surprise that support for Israel is becoming increasingly partisan. An array of articles floating around the media in the past couple of weeks have all pointed to a recent Pew study underlining what everyone has already noticed in the past few years. Support for Israel is rapidly decreasing on the Left, especially among younger […]Read More Hyper-polarization, Not Israel, is to Blame for Pro-Israel Partisanship
Originally posted on Jewishvaluescenter.org Netflix’s Black Mirror is arguably the best television series around right now. Not only is the premise of every one of its stand-alone episodes interesting enough to be its own two hour movie, but Black Mirror is able to introduce complex philosophical ideas and debates through both a captivating and memorable […]Read More Does Black Mirror Make The Case For Religion?