Tag Archives: Religion

Consider the Cat

“Among my people it is believed – and rightly so – that it is only mindless superstitions and pointless rituals that separate us from the animals.” – Latka Gravas Rabbi Yochanan said: Had the Torah not been given, we would … Continue reading

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Halakhic Innovation

I know this is a bit off-topic, but this article from today’s Haaretz is relevant to the general theme of my series on the evolution of the oral law. It raises a question we raised since our first class in … Continue reading

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Going…going…where? Goodbye to Prophecy

We know that between the last of the prophets and the beginning of the Mishnah, Judaism underwent a major change.  Avot describes this period in just a sentence or two.  The Rambam takes several paragraphs to explain it.  But nobody … Continue reading

Posted in A fence around the Torah, Alexander The Great, Babylonian Talmud, Bavli, Bible, Conservative Judaism, Ethics of the Fathers, Ezra, Fast Days, God, Haredi, Israel, Jerusalem Talmud, Jewish Calendar, Jewish Learning, Jewish Life, Jewish Living, Jewish Religion, Jewish ritual, Jewish Wisdom, Judaism, Kabbalah, Learning, Maimonides, Men of the Great Assembly, Moses, Oral Law, Orthodox, Orthodox Judaism, Orthodoxy, Pharisees, Pirkei Avot, Prophecy, Prophets, Rabbis, Rambam, Reconstrcutionist Judaism, Reconstructionist Judaism, Reform, Reform Judaism, Religion, Religious coercion, Religious freedom, Religious Judaism, Saducees, Sages, Samaritans, Sea of Halakhah, Seder, Seventeenth of Tammuz, Shimon Hatzadik, Shomronim, Simon the Just, Sinai, Talmud, Tanach, Teaching Torah, Theology, Torah Shebe'al Peh, Trah Shebe'al peh, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Takkanot – The Torah adapts to new realities

The Mishnah marks the culmination of the transition from Prophetic Judaism to Rabbinic Judaism.  The period before that – from the time of Ezra to the establishment of the Anshei Knesset Hagedolah (Men of the Great Assembly) – is the … Continue reading

Posted in Babylonian Talmud, Bavli, Bible, Conservative Judaism, Cycleof the Jewish Year, Ethics of the Fathers, Fast Days, God, Haredi, Holocaust, Israel, Jerusalem Talmud, Jewish, Jewish Calendar, Jewish Learning, Jewish Life, Jewish Living, Jewish Religion, Jewish ritual, Jewish Wisdom, Judaism, Kabbalah, Learning, Maimonides, Moses, Oral Law, Orthodox, Orthodox Judaism, Orthodoxy, Passover, Pirkei Avot, Rabbis, Rambam, Reconstrcutionist Judaism, Reconstructionism, Reconstructionist Judaism, Reform, Reform Judaism, Religion, Religious freedom, Religious Judaism, Sages, Sea of Halakhah, Seventeenth of Tammuz, Shavuot, Sinai, Talmud, Tanach, Teaching Torah, Theology, Trah Shebe'al peh, Uncategorized, Yerushalmi | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Madonna didn’t show up to my Shavuot shiur (and what she missed: Part 2)

Part 2:  Hunting Elephants with Tag Clouds  The first elephant I wanted to catch was actually a pretty easy target: What did other mitzvot did people feel should be added to the list?  Teaching my son(s) Frisbee was my personal … Continue reading

Posted in Babylonian Talmud, Bavli, Bible, Conservative Judaism, God, Israel, Jerusalem Talmud, Jewish, Jewish Learning, Jewish Life, Jewish Living, Jewish Parenting, Jewish Religion, Jewish ritual, Jewish Wisdom, Judaism, Kabbalah, Learning, Madonna, Orthodox, Orthodox Judaism, Orthodoxy, Parenting, Rabbis, Reconstructionism, Reconstructionist Judaism, Reform, Reform Judaism, Religion, Religious coercion, Religious freedom, Religious Judaism, Sages, Sea of Halakhah, Shavuot, Talmud, Tanach, Teaching Torah, Tikun leil Shavuot, Uncategorized, Women, yahrzeit, Yerushalmi | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Kitniyot – A Pre-Yom Hashoah Reflection

Why am I writing about my custom of not eating kitniyot (legumes) on Pesah on the eve of Yom Hashoah? Well, besides the close proximity of the two dates (it was less than a week ago that I was defending … Continue reading

Posted in Cycleof the Jewish Year, Holocaust, Israel, Jewish Calendar, Jewish ritual, Judaism, Luck, Orthodox, Passover, Religious freedom, Religious Judaism, Shoah, Trochenbrod, Uncategorized, Yom Hashoah | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Why not a Holocaust Seder?

Today, I gave a student of mine a little pamphlet I received a number of years ago called “Megillat HaShoah” The Holocaust Megillah. I explained to her how uncomfortable I am about the ritualization of something that is so personal … Continue reading

Posted in Cycleof the Jewish Year, Holocaust, Jewish Calendar, Jewish ritual, Luck, Passover, Seder, Shoah, Trochenbrod, Uncategorized, Yom Hashoah | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment