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Jewish Thought


The Tenth Commandment and Thoughtcrime The Tenth Commandment and Thoughtcrime
Tuesday, May 29, 2012 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The Ten Commandments lay out a blueprint for relations, first, between God and Israel and then, between God and humanity; the Shabbat serves as the hinge between the two.
Aquarius in Zion Aquarius in Zion
Thursday, May 17, 2012 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In the great crazy quilt of Israeli religious and spiritual life, the cluster of ideas and practices called "New Age" (in Hebrew, 'Idan Hadash) is increasingly visible. Love it or hate it, it's around, in books, festivals, newspapers, the pronouncements of tycoons, and growing networks of popular Kabbalah.
Either/Orthodoxy Either/Orthodoxy
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 by Lawrence Grossman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Belying the regimented connotation of the word "orthodox," Orthodox Judaism is by far the most diverse stream of Judaism, encompassing such incompatible types as rationalists and mystics, West Bank settlers and peaceniks, college professors and obscurantists, feminists and male chauvinists.
Gershom Scholem, 30 Years On Gershom Scholem, 30 Years On
Tuesday, May 8, 2012 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Thirty years after his death at age 84, Gershom Scholem casts a long shadow. The field he created, the modern study of Jewish mysticism, has grown beyond him, yet his work remains the indispensable foundation.
Back From Heaven Back From Heaven
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 by Micah Stein | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In May 2011, Gallup conducted its annual "Values and Beliefs" poll, seeking to quantify religious demographics and beliefs in America. One question struck a national nerve, eliciting a consensus that defied religious or cultural distinctions. The question: Do you believe in heaven? The answer: Yes, overwhelmingly.
Peter Beinart, I Quit. Peter Beinart, I Quit.
Monday, April 2, 2012 by Yoel Finkelman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Peter Beinart's new blog on the Daily Beast titled Open Zion (formerly Zion Square) is dedicated to an "open and unafraid conversation about Israel, Palestine, and the Jewish future."  But after several weeks of Open Zion, one writer has concluded that its conversation is not, in fact, open—and is not one in which he can continue to take part. Here, he resigns his position. 
Mothering and Smothering Mothering and Smothering
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 by Brauna Doidge | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

When did "natural" become a synonym for "good" or "better"? Advertisers tell us that everything from our food to our skincare is better when it's used in its most natural state. But haven't the philosophers tried hard to get us out of the state of nature?
Jewish Ethics, from Ancient Bible to Modern Bus Jewish Ethics, from Ancient Bible to Modern Bus
Monday, February 13, 2012 by Lawrence Grossman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The next time someone tells you that ethical behavior doesn't need a foundation in religious teaching, step onto an Israeli bus (it doesn't have to be the gender-segregated variety) or open a mass-circulation Israeli newspaper and see how religion puts Jewish ethics on steroids.
The Pale God The Pale God
Friday, February 3, 2012 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Imagine God not as a benign force infusing the universe with love and sustaining it with mercy, and not as a stern judge smiting sinners from on high with his cosmic zap-gun, but as a grandfatherly figure, kind but, truth be told, somewhat out of it, sitting in a corner, tolerant of the various paths his children have chosen.
America the Biblical America the Biblical
Tuesday, January 17, 2012 by Diana Muir Appelbaum | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The Greeks did not invent equality. Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, and the gang famously believed that the rich are different from you and me—not merely because they are shaped by their privileges but because they are actually, literally made of superior stuff.
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Editors' Picks
Eighteenth-Century Aliyah Fred MacDowell, On the Main Line. Two hundred years before modern Zionism, Jews across the Russian empire funded Rabbi Judah Chassid and his 120 followers on their trek from Europe to a new life in the Promised Land.
Refugees Forever Asaf Romirowsky, Alexander Joffe, Haaretz. UNRWA says that grandchildren of Palestinian refugees remain "refugees." No other refugee group gets this treatment—but, then, no other group supplies the majority of UNRWA's staff.
Transit of Venus Jeremy Brown, Rationalist Judaism. Three rabbinic responsa to the rare astronomical phenomenon visible today, and what it means for a Copernican—and a Jewish—world view.
The Other Olympics David E. Sanger, New York Times. The U.S. cyberwarfare program (likely working with an Israeli partner) has frustrated Iran's nuclear project for six years. But now that the virus is loose, America must be braced for retaliation.     
Who Knows Three? Peter Schäfer, New Republic. For Daniel Boyarin, it isn't enough to claim that a notion of two equally divine figures is a Jewish idea.  Rather, he asserts that even the Trinity was present among the Jews before Jesus.
True Torah, True Science Seth Kadish, Rationalist Judaiam. Two strikingly different medieval paradigms show that when facing apparent conflicts between science and Torah, the worst possible solution is to sanitize the former or censor the latter.
Face to Faith Larry Yudelson, Jewish Standard. The story of how the Dalai Lama encountered the Jewish community in 1990 is well known. Less well-known is how Jews first encountered the Dalai Lama—in an 1804 compilation of travelers' accounts.
Studying Bible with Bibi Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post. This past Wednesday, while the world powers engaged in talks with the Iranians, and Israel was rocked by protests about immigration, Prime Minister Netanyahu sat down to contemplate the book of Ruth.    
Deeds of the Fathers David Hartman, Jerusalem Post. Who better exemplifies the contract between God and the Jews: the Abraham willing to sacrifice his son Isaac, or the Abraham empowered by God to argue with Him?
How Bad Faith Drives Out Good Melanie Phillips, Standpoint. Religion, or more precisely the religion of the Bible, and more precisely still the Judaism at its core, is the crucible of reason. Those who reject the religion of the Bible are rejecting reason itself.