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Knowing When It’s Time to Go Knowing When It’s Time to Go
Thursday, February 28, 2013 by Shlomo M. Brody | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The Talmud states, "The older Torah scholars become, the greater wisdom increases within them."  Yet the Torah imposes an age limit on spiritual leadership.
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.
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. 
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.  
Gun Control, Halakhah, and History: Further Thoughts Gun Control, Halakhah, and History: Further Thoughts
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 by Shlomo M. Brody | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

While the use of weaponry is at times morally necessary, the glorification of weaponry is foreign to Jewish thought.
<i>Shabbat Shirah</i>: Song Takes Wing Shabbat Shirah: Song Takes Wing
Monday, January 21, 2013 by Jerry Friedman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Complementing the Song of the Sea, which will be read this Shabbat in synagogue, the Rabbis suggested a home-based ritual to celebrate Shabbat Shirah: feeding the birds.
If I Forget Thee? If I Forget Thee?
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 by Allan Arkush | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

As a recent seminar at New York's Mechon Hadar testified, throughout Jewish tradition, everyone—even the anti-Zionists—recognizes that the Land of Israel has more sanctity than any other place.  But what follows from that?
Gun Control and the Limits of Halakhah Gun Control and the Limits of Halakhah
Wednesday, January 9, 2013 by Shlomo M. Brody | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Rabbinic disputes on the proper regulation of dangerous dogs illustrate that reasonable people, who share Jewish values regarding violence and self-defense, can disagree about gun control.
A Pillar with a Past A Pillar with a Past
Tuesday, January 8, 2013 by Lawrence Grossman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Gil S. Perl’s The Pillar of Volozhin sheds light on the Netziv, one of Lithuanian Jewry's greatest leaders, whose own intellectual development is reflected throughout the yeshiva world today.
“Touch not Mine Anointed Ones” “Touch not Mine Anointed Ones”
Friday, December 21, 2012 by Moshe Sokolow | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Contemplating what occupies God all day, the Talmud declares that “during the last set of hours, God sits and teaches Torah to children who died untimely deaths.”
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Editors' Picks
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."
Philo's Esoteric Torah Lawrence H. Schiffman, Influenced by the Hellenistic idea of the separation between body and soul, Philo was the first Jewish thinker to ascribe "outer" and "inner" rationales to the commandments—but by no means the last.
Rationalizing the Commandments Lawrence H. Schiffman, The Pseudepigraphal Book of Jubilees, a retelling of Genesis, explains the Torah's commandments in terms of God's covenant with the Patriarchs.
Was Crucifixion a Jewish Penalty? Geza Vermes, Standpoint. Although never enumerated among biblical forms of capital punishment, both Josephus and the Dead Sea Scrolls suggest that during the Hasmonean era, crucifixion was part of Jewish penal legislation.
Judaism without Theology Levi Brackman, YNet. “The lack of a theology, beyond a generic belief in one God, is, to me, part of the beauty of biblical and talmudic Judaism.”
Patriarchs on the Couch Leonard Greenspoon, Bible History Daily. Attempts to subject biblical characters to modern psychoanalysis, which have branded Abraham, Moses, and Samson psychotic, reflect “reckless disregard for millennia of careful exegesis.”
What's Wrong with Cross-Dressing? Michael L. Satlow, Then and Now. Although the Torah prohibits cross-dressing, it never explains why—and there is no consensus on the reason among Jewish sources in antiquity.
Torah from Sinai? Marc B. Shapiro, Seforim. Today, Mosaic authorship of the Torah is an Orthodox principle of faith.  But, "in medieval Ashkenaz, it was not regarded as heretical to posit post-Mosaic additions."
Children of Israel David Wolpe, Weekly Standard. A new book on Jacob asks why the Torah begins with the patriarchal narrative rather than with the Exodus—and why a deeply flawed man is chosen to be the father of the Jewish people.
Unifying Three Communities Jonathan Sacks, Algemeiner. "To preserve the diversity of a tsibbur with the unity of purpose of an edah–that is the challenge of kehillah-formation, community-building, itself the greatest task of a great leader."