Originally posted on Jewishvaluescenter.org Two men run into a courtroom. This is either the start of a bad joke or a piece of Talmud. In this case, it’s it the latter. They are in the middle of a heated argument. After calming down the pair, the judges ask to hear the case. Man A claims […]Read More The Uphill Battle of Teaching Liberal Judaism
There are many questions that I am frequently asked about Judaism and many conversations that I have had hundreds of times in the past couple of years. There is one question, however, that I receive relatively often but there is so much necessary background information required, that the answer quickly turns into a long winded […]Read More A Beginner’s Guide to Biblical Criticism: Part 1
Last week I was sitting in a coffee shop talking about the politics surrounding the Israeli city of Hebron. One of the people at the table, not a particularly religious individual, spoke up and said something that I felt is representative of a wider problem within the pro-Israel community. In response to something I […]Read More The Do’s and Don’ts in Using the Bible during Israeli Political Arguments
Originally posted on Jewishvaluescenter.org While I am not an overly emotional person, there are a couple of stories that get me every time. Now the Talmud is generally viewed as a dry and dense book filled with archaic debates and detailed descriptions of how to perform ancient rituals. And for the most part that’s exactly what […]Read More My Favorite Talmudic Story
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 […]Read More Hanukkah: The Jewish Christmas?
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 […]Read More How Religious Are You?
Originally posted on Jewishvaluescenter.org I’m going to tell you a few lies: Halley’s Comet will be visible the first week in March, 2018. 91% of people who had college degrees voted for Hillary Clinton during the last American election. The San Diego Padres won the World Series last year. Now none of these statements are […]Read More Why Lies About Israel Are Surprisingly Effective
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 […]Read More No More Free Passes
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 […]Read More Does This Offend You?
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 […]Read More Losing One’s Faith and One’s Family