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Kingdom of Priests

Kingdom of Priests

April 2009 Archives

Canaanites for Same-Sex Marriage

posted by David Klinghoffer

An ancient Biblical tradition, a midrash, relates that the Canaanites wrote marriage contracts between man and man and woman and woman, and that this was one reason the land “vomited” them up in favor of the Israelites who took their […]

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Dangerous for Children! Obtain ASAP!

posted by David Klinghoffer

When the New York Times derided this book for children — as possibly giving comfort to religion! — I wanted to buy it right away but of course it was already out of print. So the King County public library system was my […]

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Poopooing Swine Flu

posted by David Klinghoffer

On Wednesday night, I’m listening to my 2nd-favorite radio talk show, Coast to Coast AM, and even host George Noory is poopooing the threat of swine flu? Then you know the apocalyptic peril has been hugely, hugely overblown.

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Swine Flu — Testing the Power of Prayer

posted by David Klinghoffer

An outfit called the Presidential Prayer Team is praying that President Obama should effectively lead the fight to combat swine flu. Meanwhile, my father went into the hospital this morning for relatively minor surgery — though at his age, no surgery […]

What You Don’t Hear from the Media about Evolution

posted by David Klinghoffer

How fascinating — the underreported revelation of modern evolutionary, genetic, and DNA science — that physical, material causes are not enough to explain the history of life’s evolution and development — was understood by the rabbis more than a millennium […]

Most Morally Confused? New England, Pacific Northwest Vie for Title

posted by David Klinghoffer

Which is the country’s local culture most beset by moral confusion, New England or the Pacific Northwest? Seattle icon Knute Berger at Crosscut notes a fascinating contrast between these two regions that are America’s top strongholds of secularism: In New […]

Why I’m Not a Zionist & Happy Birthday, Israel!

posted by David Klinghoffer

Tomorrow is Israel’s 61st birthday, Yom Ha’atzmaut. I love the country and only wish I could go more often. I can’t wait to bring my children there for their first visit. The culture of Judaism in Israel is healthier than here in […]

Rules of the Blog: Lessons from the Second Temple

posted by David Klinghoffer

Let’s talk about some rules I’m now initiating in this space, which will become more relevant as the blog, so I hope, grows.  According to the Talmud, God allowed the first Temple in Jerusalem to be destroyed by the Babylonians […]

Swine Flu Pandemic — a Shaken Leaf?

posted by David Klinghoffer

My mother-in-law is flying in from New York City on Thursday for a visit. We live in Seattle but the New York metro area has 28 confirmed swine-flu cases, Washington State so far none. I’ve actually found myself wondering if […]

A.N. Wilson on the Darwin-Hitler Connection

posted by David Klinghoffer

A.N. Wilson goes into more fascinating detail about his return to religious faith from atheism in an essay in the New Statesman. Now isn’t this interesting: the literary critic, biographer and historian credits his gradual re-conversion in no small part […]

You Still Think Judaism Has No Mission of “Conversion”?

posted by David Klinghoffer

So you still think Judaism doesn’t seek to influence the spiritual path that non-Jews are on? That Jews have no plan of “conversion” in mind for the rest of the world? That Judaism has no “mission” to humanity? This week’s […]

Reading the Bible, Reading the Quran

posted by David Klinghoffer

I may have been harsh on David Plotz and his book, The Good Book, about reading the Bible, in which case I apologize. Plotz himself fights back spiritedly in the comment box. When I’ve read his writing in the past, […]

Cognitive Therapy in Genesis

posted by David Klinghoffer

Can you control your own evil impulses? Can you decide when to feel happy, angry, afraid? It sure doesn’t feel that way to me. Yet the premise of cognitive therapy, which a lot of people swear by, is that by […]

The Hebrew Bible for Kids, and for Adults Who Are Kids

posted by David Klinghoffer

It always breaks my heart to see how simplemindedly the Hebrew Bible is discussed in the media. David Plotz, editor of Slate, has a new book out about the experience of trying to read the Bible straight through — apparently […]

When Does a Memoir Become Sheer, Vicious Gossip?

posted by David Klinghoffer

A reader challenges me on my criticism of Christopher Buckley and his uncharitable published memories of his father and mother: “You wrote a memoir, and if memory serves painted a portrait of your adopted parents’ religiosity that some readers might have […]

Does the Torah Permit Torture?

posted by David Klinghoffer

Andrew Sullivan now seeks to invest his hyperventilating stance on torture with the dignity of a papal encyclical. He complains: “The point of torture is to violate the integrity of the human person and to coerce the will itself.” As I’ve […]

Darwin’s Three Monkeys: Science Has Spoken!

posted by David Klinghoffer

My post from Monday “Slouching Toward Columbine: Darwin’s Tree of Death” continues to get comments, many poignantly indignant expressions of faith in “science”: What matters is the evidence for evolution and that evidence is massive and extremely powerful. The facts […]

Wisdom in Nature: Thoughts for the New Month

posted by David Klinghoffer

Today and tomorrow are Rosh Chodesh, inaugurating a new month in the Hebrew calendar — the lunar month of Iyar.  In Jewish liturgy, there are various additions special to the day but my favorite is the conclusion of the morning […]

Fathers, Sons & Torture Memos

posted by David Klinghoffer

As I mentioned in my post on Christopher Buckley’s unkind portrait of his parents, Bill and Pat Buckley, great fathers have a way of producing sons who go off the track. Maybe they don’t give them enough attention. That’s not […]

William F. Buckley & the Kings of Judah

posted by David Klinghoffer

Christopher Buckley has an excerpt from his memoir about the loss of his parents, Mr. & Mrs. William F. Buckley, in this Sunday’s New York Times Magazine. It’s affecting but uncomfortable in what I’d regard as the inappropriate detail he […]

William James on Faith, Echoing Exodus

posted by David Klinghoffer

The great psychologist writes wonderfully in “The Will to Believe” (1897): We feel, too, as if the appeal of religion to us were made to our own active good-will, as if evidence might be forever withheld from us unless we […]

Why Is God Subtle?

posted by David Klinghoffer

A commenter on my previous entry about God’s “tinkering” with nature asks: If God interferes (making miracles, making species) to show us that he and we are free, then why doesn’t he make that more transparent?  Why is it so […]

God “Tinkers,” He “Interferes.” But Why?

posted by David Klinghoffer

Scot McKnight’s Jesus Creed asks, “Why would God design a world where he needed to tinker constantly to make things work?” OK, JC, I’ll take you up on that. The same blog post suggests that the idea of intelligent design hasn’t stood […]

The Jackal God & Climate Change

posted by David Klinghoffer

Sigh. Our son Ezra, age 7, fears the Jackal god. That would be Ezra who attends an Orthodox Jewish (actually, Chabad) elementary school and studies the weekly Torah portion. I gave him a copy of a book I liked when […]

Billy Graham on the Hebrew Bible: What’s It Good For?

posted by David Klinghoffer

A couple of times I’ve come across the Rev. Billy Graham’s syndicated newspaper columns — yes, they are still being published — and on both occasions he was answering a letter from a reader who was perplexed upon trying to […]

Darwin’s Tree of Death: My Reply to Readers

posted by David Klinghoffer

Responding to my post on the Columbine shooting and the social consequences of Darwinism, some objecting readers argued that the Bible, after all, has also inspired evil acts. Which is true, of course, but misses the point. Biblical faith has […]

Is Dan Brown Good for the Jews?

posted by David Klinghoffer

The Da Vinci Code author is finally coming out on September 15 with his new title, expected to go to press with an initial run of 5 million copies. I can’t wait, and I’m entirely serious about that. He’s a […]

Why God is Not a Liberal: The View from Leviticus

posted by David Klinghoffer

Jews read the Torah in a yearly cycle, one portion per Sabbath. Now that Passover is past, we’re back to the regular schedule. This week’s reading is Tazria-Metzora (Leviticus 12:1-15:33), and it’s not an easy read. Not only because the […]

The Strange Case of Little Green Footballs

posted by David Klinghoffer

It’s always a hoot to be fired upon by Little Green Footballs. A friend emails, “He proved himself a demagogue by what he didn’t quote” from my earlier post. Last time this happened, I wrote a series at Evolution News & […]

Stephen Hawking v. Genesis 1:1

posted by David Klinghoffer

Stephen Hawking, theoretical physicist and sometimes hailed as the world’s smartest man, is reported “very ill” and as having been rushed to the hospital. Newspaper writers are working on obituaries. An interesting sidelight, that one hopes will not prove poignant […]

Remembering Adam & Eve’s Son Abel — on Yom HaShoah?

posted by David Klinghoffer

I received an email from a Jewish historian and journalist I respect very much, including this thought: I envy your finding [spiritual life] “at home” so to speak in Judaism, but alas the worship of a Jewish God who found […]

The Holocaust & the Hebrew Bible

posted by David Klinghoffer

I’ve learned to temper both my thoughts and how I express them — a little bit! — since I wrote a 1998 piece for First Things about the Holocaust in light of the Hebrew Bible that was subsequently denounced in […]

Slouching Toward Columbine: Darwin’s Tree of Death

posted by David Klinghoffer

  I’ve long been fascinated by the image of the Tree of Death, parallel to the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden and cryptically referred to in mystical texts explaining the Hebrew Bible: And out of the ground […]

Is God’s Love Really Unconditional? Is Allah’s?

posted by David Klinghoffer

I promised you that over Shabbat I would read Spengler’s essay from First Things, “Christian, Muslim, Jew,” and I did on Friday night after dinner. It is a very interesting and characteristically learned discourse on the religious philosophy of Franz […]

Spengler, Soul Brother

posted by David Klinghoffer

I’ve belatedly discovered a soul brother in the person of “Spengler,” the incredibly widely read and formerly masked columnist for the Asia Times Online. He reveals his true identity now as David P. Goldman, in the act of taking up […]

Ghosts, Aliens & the Hebrew Bible

posted by David Klinghoffer

The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; Lilith also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest (Isaiah 34:14). Somehow […]

Are “Miracles” an Insult to God?

posted by David Klinghoffer

Just in time for Passover (which is just past), Princeton University Press brings out a book that seeks to debunk the parting of the Red Sea — whose anniversary we Jews just observed two days ago on the seventh day […]

Counting the Omer in This Blackberry Age

posted by David Klinghoffer

Tonight (i.e., Thursday) Jews counted the 8th day of the Omer, a commandment touched upon in Leviticus 23:15-16: And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the day of rest, from the day that ye brought the omer […]

Passover Break

posted by David Klinghoffer

As the Torah commands, Jews power down for the first and last two days of Passover. So Wednesday and Thursday I will have to miss blogging. I’ll miss you but will be back on Friday. This post is being published […]

At the Sea of Reeds, a Jewish Mission

posted by David Klinghoffer

Tomorrow, according to Biblical tradition, is the anniversary of the splitting of the Red Sea in 1313 BCE, when Pharaoh’s army pursuing the escaped Israelite slaves was hurled into the sea by God and drowned. Jews read the relevant passages […]

A.N. Wilson, Darwin Doubter

posted by David Klinghoffer

My Beliefnet colleague and friend Rod Dreher notes the return to Christianity of A.N. Wilson, a writer I’ve long admired greatly. He’s a novelist, biographer, and literary editor. Rod is glad and I am too but I’m more interested in […]

Dark Age

posted by David Klinghoffer

“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light” (Genesis 1:3). I was just haggling with my wise editor at the Forward over my use in an op-ed piece — about the Biblical commandment of counting the Omer […]

Tax Extensions, Fatherhood, & Noah

posted by David Klinghoffer

As I prepare resignedly to download and mail off my usual application for an IRS tax extension, I won’t hide from you that in this period of recession money is a worry with our family. Thank God I have a […]

More on How Christians Invented Zionism

posted by David Klinghoffer

Rabbi Gil Student, who writes the always fascinating and learned Hirhurim blog, drops by to comment on my assertion that Christians invented Zionism. He points to a book that attributes early proto-Zionist thoughts and deeds to the students of the […]

How Christians Invented Zionism: An Easter Thought

posted by David Klinghoffer

Happy Easter to my Christian friends! American Jews have lots to be grateful for to you. For one, there’s a historical argument to be made that American Christians invented modern Zionism. That thesis relates to Passover. Yesterday in synagogues around […]

Is President Obama Circumcised?

posted by David Klinghoffer

Sorry if the question sounds tactless, and no I don’t in fact want to know the answer. I ask, instead, to point out the well intentioned but nevertheless inappropriate gesture of the President’s hosting the first ever Seder at the […]

Passover Break

posted by David Klinghoffer

As the Torah commands, Jews power down for the first and last two days of Passover. So Thursday and Friday I will have to miss blogging, as well as on Saturday, which is Shabbat, the Sabbath. I’ll miss you but […]

Sunlight in Seattle? A Blessing

posted by David Klinghoffer

The Jewish web has been awash with excitement about the Blessing of the Sun, or Birkat Hachama, that happens only once in 28 years, on the Eve of Passover, and occurred this morning. Being the contrarian I am, I couldn’t quite […]

The Politics of Passover

posted by David Klinghoffer

National Review Online thoughtfully offers a nice little roundup of a recommended Passover reading. Marshall Breger recommends: Aaron Wildavsky’s Moses as a Political Leader assists one in understanding the Bible generally and the Passover story specifically in political terms. The […]

Richard Dawkins & Purpose-Driven Blather

posted by David Klinghoffer

In the new issue of The American Scholar, Nabokov biographer Brian Boyd tries to explain how a universe unguided by divine purpose can still have meaning. Most of the essay, “Purpose-Driven Life,” is pure blather, largely unreadable. But his simple point seems to […]

Back to Slavery! With David Brooks and the New York Times

posted by David Klinghoffer

In the New York Times this morning, the day before Passover, the usually thoughtful and humane columnist David Brooks invites us to re-enslave ourselves to Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Not just Jews, either, but everybody. That’s the unstated message of his […]

Parents & Passover

posted by David Klinghoffer

Today, a couple of days before Passover, a friend told me something that pained me. When he was a kid, his father, who was a lawyer, would inform him of how much in billable hours his time was worth, and […]

Hebrew Bible, Human Life

posted by David Klinghoffer

A reader, Joyce, comments poignantly on my post about Newsweek‘s rabbis list, which is topped by liberal activist Rabbi David Saperstein. I had noted that the organization Saperstein heads up, the Religious Action Center, takes a firm stance against tobacco. […]

Was Hitler Jewish? & Other Thoughts on Judaism’s Universal Mission

posted by David Klinghoffer

Is Judaism a race or a mission? Last week when I began writing this blog, my Beliefnet editor advised me about some recent trends in Jewish-related web searches. After all, we’re trying to keep things relevant here.  It turns out that […]

Judaism in the Year of Darwin

posted by David Klinghoffer

Thanks and congratulations to the editors of Mishpacha, a popular Orthodox Jewish magazine, for marking this year of Darwin anniversaries with a frank look at Darwinism’s cultural consequences. The author is also the author of this blog. I note the […]

Newsweek’s Favorite Rabbis

posted by David Klinghoffer

Newsweek published its list of the 50 most influential rabbis, and the usually entertainingly acerbic Failed Messiah comments blandly, “Star power trumps community influence.” There’s much more that we can say than that.  This list, which will be the talk of […]

Knowing, Nicolas Cage, & Passover

posted by David Klinghoffer

Have you seen the new Nicolas Cage movie Knowing? It’s actually pretty effective as science fiction entertainment, but what fascinates me about it is the weird way it raises questions about destiny or predestination that have been bugging me all […]

Supporting Israel on Secular Grounds?

posted by David Klinghoffer

Philo-Semitic Christians often cite God’s words to Abraham in Genesis 12:13 — “I will bless those who bless you” — as a big part of the reason for their passionate defense and activism on behalf of the state of Israel. […]

Ongeleynterheit: A Message of Passover

posted by David Klinghoffer

To my surprise tonight, I returned home from work about 8 pm to discover my two oldest children speaking Yiddish. They are Ezra and Naomi, ages 7 and 6, hereafter to be designated by their accustomed nicknames Ezzie and Noma. […]

Don’t Look There: Introducing this Blog

posted by David Klinghoffer

There was a line of ants running up and down the face of the aboveground crypts of the huge necropolis, a city of the dead with story upon story of stacked crypts rising over the 405 freeway south of Los […]

Previous Posts

Another Blog To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Kingdom of Priests. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Kabballah Counseling Happy Reading! ...

posted 11:24:22am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Animal Wisdom: The Voice of the Serpent
Our family watched Jaws together the other evening -- which, in case you're wondering, I regard as responsible parenting since our kids are basically too young to be genuinely scared by the film. The whole rest of the next day, two-year-old Saul ...

posted 3:56:33pm Mar. 16, 2010 | read full post »

Reading Wesley Smith: Why the Darwin Debate Matters
If the intelligent-design side in the evolution debate doesn't receive the support you might expect from people who should be allies, that may be because they haven't grasped why the whole thing matters so urgently. I got an email recently from ...

posted 5:07:12pm Mar. 15, 2010 | read full post »

The Mission of the Jews
Don't miss my essay over at First Things on the mission of the Jews to the world. This, I think, the key idea that the Jewish community needs to absorb at this very unusual cultural moment, for the time is so, so right. Non-Jews are waiting for ...

posted 6:14:16pm Mar. 05, 2010 | read full post »

Darwin at the Mountains of Madness: Evolution & the Occult
Of all the regrettable cultural forces that Darwinism helped unleash, perhaps the most surprising and seemingly unlikely is its role in sparking the creation of modern occultism. Charles Darwin himself could not have been less interested in the ...

posted 2:04:11pm Mar. 04, 2010 | read full post »

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