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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.
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.
The Stuttering Servant The Stuttering Servant
Thursday, April 12, 2012 by Samuel Davidkin | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Stuttering, the curious speech impediment that causes a few percent of the mostly male population to succumb unpredictably and unwillingly to occasional muteness, most recently received attention with the Oscar-winning film The King's Speech, the story of Britain's wartime King George VI.
Were the Israelites Enslaved in Egypt? Were the Israelites Enslaved in Egypt?
Friday, April 6, 2012 by Michael Carasik | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Did the exodus really take place? To many, this will seem like an absurd question. The book of Exodus has a dozen chapters explaining that it did. Yet recent decades have found at least some biblical scholars casting doubts on the historicity of this story.
Martyr in Waiting Martyr in Waiting
Friday, March 16, 2012 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative Khader Adnan, currently under administrative detention in Israel, has announced the end of his 66-day hunger strike in exchange for a commitment by Israeli authorities to set him free on April 17. His pending release raises a moral dilemma.
Hitting the Jackpot Hitting the Jackpot
Thursday, March 8, 2012 by Micah Stein | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Who doesn't like Purim? Besides the costumes and candy, the story itself has all the politics, sex, and violence of a juicy HBO series. In case you missed it: "Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted to destroy the Jews, and had cast a pur—that is, a lottery—with intent to crush and exterminate them."
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 Dangerous Mr. Nelson The Dangerous Mr. Nelson
Monday, February 6, 2012 by Diana Muir Appelbaum | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Eric Nelson is a danger to academia. You would not think so from his background. He is the Frederick S. Danziger Associate Professor of Government at Harvard University. He has had a proper education, at Harvard and Trinity College, Cambridge.
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
What a Friend We Have in Jesus Paula Fredriksen, Jewish Review of Books. Until very recently, scholarly work on the Jewishness of Christianity has been a largely Christian project, but over the past fifty years, in ever-larger numbers, Jewish scholars have joined in.
Cyrus the Unappreciated Great Daniel Johnson, Standpoint. No Gentile is treated with such reverence in the Bible as Cyrus. But his example shows just how alien Iran's recent rulers are to the long history of Persia and its people.
Hitler and Pharaoh Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe. The nexus of Passover and Yom Hashoah teaches a single lesson—that persecution of Jews was preceded by the persecutors' sense of victimhood.
Altarcation Dror Eydar, Israel Hayom. Adam Zertal's sensational discovery of "Joshua's altar" should have created a paradigm shift in archeology—that is, if anyone had believed him.
What Jews Should Know about the New Testament Amy-Jill Levine, Biblical Archaeology Review. By reading the New Testament in its historical contexts, Jews can better comprehend not only Christianity's polemics, but its point of departure from Judaism.
Torah and Telos Jerome Gellman, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews. A rational argument for taking one's religious text as divine revelation might have succeeded, were it not for the failure of the author's test-case: his justification for believing in a revealed Torah. (Interview with the book's author here.)      
Amalek and Moral Ambiguity Gil Student, Torah Musings. While halakhically persuasive, a new study of the moral contradiction inherent in the commandment to wipe out the Amalekites is not emotionally sufficient.
Descendants of David Nadine Epstein, Moment. From the Baal Shem Tov to the Imperial Solomonic Dynasty of Ethiopia, many have claimed descent from King David. And according to Davidic genealogists, all of them are right.
Will the Real Ahasuerus Please Stand Up? Mitchell First, Bible-pedia. After many centuries, scholars were finally able to identify characters from the Purim story in secular sources.
Ways and Means Joseph Lowin, Hadassah. The root alef, reshhet, meaning to travel, is used in two important narratives in Genesis and still is encountered in modern Hebrew.  Just don't try to give an orhit to an airport customs agent.