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The Portuguese Phoenix The Portuguese Phoenix
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 by Kevin Zdiara | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Founded to resurrect Portuguese Judaism 75 years ago, Kadoorie Mekor Haim synagogue in Porto remains a symbol of Jewish resilience, faith, and conviction. 
Go to Ammon and Moab Go to Ammon and Moab
Monday, February 25, 2013 by Daniel Gordis | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Imagining themselves to be the wise men consulted on Vashti’s fate, the Rabbis deferred to the Jews’ enemies, saying, “from the day when we were exiled from our land, wisdom has been taken from us."
Purim in a New York Taxi Purim in a New York Taxi
Friday, February 22, 2013 by Viva Hammer | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In reading the megillah together, my brother and I share a special bond of experience, family history played out against the rich backdrop of our people’s history.
The Covenantal Thought of David Hartman The Covenantal Thought of David Hartman
Thursday, February 21, 2013 by Ari Ackerman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

By treating the covenant between God and the Jewish people as a partnership, David Hartman found room for autonomy alongside halakhic observance.
Opening the Gates of Judaism Opening the Gates of Judaism
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 by Motti Inbari | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Given the demographic and spiritual decline among “biological” Jews in America, if we want to keep Judaism alive, we must do something that we haven't done for 2000 years: proselytize.
Theology, Identity, and Covenant Theology, Identity, and Covenant
Friday, February 15, 2013 by David Hartman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

David Hartman, who passed away on Sunday, was among the foremost Jewish theologians of his generation. Here, we reprint some of his thoughts on God and the Jewish people. 
Leibowitz at 110 Leibowitz at 110
Monday, February 11, 2013 by Jeffrey Saks | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

A scientist, a philosopher, and a sharp-tongued public intellectual, Yeshayahu Leibowitz was an oracle for some, a crank to others.  Two decades since his death, his ideas remain influential on Israeli society.
Denominational Delusions Denominational Delusions
Wednesday, February 6, 2013 by Andrew Apostolou | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

With synagogues closing, congregations ageing, and the non-Orthodox majority dwindling, American Jews are caught in a crisis. Yet no one is tackling the root of this problem: intermarriage.
It’s All in the Angle It’s All in the Angle
Friday, February 1, 2013 by Jack Riemer | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In his new collection of essays, ultra-Orthodox rabbi Avi Shafran disputes the scientific worldview on its own terms.  But he refuses to acknowledge scientific challenges to Judaism.  
Why America Has No Chief Rabbi Why America Has No Chief Rabbi
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 by Jonathan D. Sarna | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Just as America introduced free-market capitalism into the economy, so it created a free market in religion.
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Editors' Picks
Genesis' Afterlife Ronald Hendel, Jon Levenson, Moment. Are modern Bible commentaries more reliable than traditional interpretations—or simply founded on different methodological premises?
Faith and Family Mary Eberstadt, Standpoint. "The welfare state has been an ineffective and hideously expensive substitute for the fractured Western family.  If the churches are to succeed, they must compete successfully against it."
Kingdom of Priests Gil Student, Torah Musings. Isaac Abravanel writes that Leviticus principally explains the role of the priests, but he later states that the book is about the holiness of the entire people.  Which is it? 
The Sound of Silence Karen Armstrong, Literary Review. "Negative theology does not mean the suppression of speech; rather, it takes us through speech to another dimension of reality."
Is Blood Thicker than Holy Water? , Economist. Mary Eberstadt argues that religion goes hand in hand with the traditional family.  But religions are often founded on the triumph of faith over kinship.
Moses, the Philosopher King Lawrence H. Schiffman, Through his rationales for the commandments, Josephus bolsters his conception of Moses "as a kind of philosopher king whose legislation was totally wise and just."
The Indignity of Dependence Jonathan Sacks, Huffington Post. "Judaism recognizes that unemployment has a psychological as well as economic dimension.  As a matter of religious principle, job creation must be at the center of any long-term welfare policy."
Where Rashi Meets Freud Gil Student, Torah Musings. The Ramban holds that all temptations are equally dangerous.  But, for Rashi, "Holiness derives from libidal discipline."
God's New Home Nathan Lopes Cardozo, Cardozo Academy. "Synagogues are no longer His primary residence.  He is moving in with the young people who have a sense that He is there but cannot yet find Him."
Believe It or Not Jeremy Rosen, Algemeiner. "The rabbis say, 'From doing something for the wrong reason one can come to do it for the right one.'  They didn’t set a time limit."