Beliefnet
Kingdom of Priests
August 2009 Archives

Some readers doubted my characterization of Epicurean philosophy as, among other things, advocating masturbation over sexual love between men and women. Perhaps it would have been more strictly accurate if I had attributed this teaching to Epicureanism, rather than to Epicurus. That’s […]

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Last week some readers of this blog had a hard time accepting that the rabbinic term “apikoros,” a kind of heretic, denotes someone who rejects — if I may use the contemporary term — intelligent design. One fellow, by a […]

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My wife and I went out for dinner tonight and spent much of our conversation mulling over the challenge to religious belief posed by…well, religious belief and religious believers. I’ve often said that no obstacle to faith, for me, compares […]

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Today and tomorrow mark the 40th anniversary of the murders that made Charles Manson an icon of evil. In Helter Skelter, prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi writes about his interviews with talent scout Gregg Jakobson, who spent many hours, over the course […]

Sometimes the hollowness of contemporary conservatism gets me down. An earlier figure in the conservative tradition, Whittaker Chambers, began his journey up from Communism one morning when he was feeding his little daughter and he noticed her ear. Suddenly he […]

A profound message in the week’s Torah reading, Eikev, reminds us there is really no middle ground between adhering to God and adhering to idolatry. On the verse, “Beware for yourselves, lest your heart be seduced and you will turn […]

David Goldman recounts a classic Jewish joke and draws the right lesson for any discussion of Israel. It concerns a Jewish family that invites a poor man to Sabbath dinner. The hostess brings out a dish of smoked whitefish, and […]

Would that be Mary Robinson, who received a Presidential Medal of Freedom, or John Holdren, presidential science and technology advisor? On National Review’s The Corner, my friend Tevi Troy ably dissects Mary Robinson — “the Durban Queen, who was the […]

Recently someone — it might have been of one of our older kids — asked me why Jews both inaugurate the Sabbath over a cup of a wine (at Kiddush) and bid it farewell similarly, over a cup of wine […]

Responding to my post asking if you can trust a guy who doesn’t drink, a reader objects, “Nobody ever got hurt by staying sober.” Providentially, Andrew Sullivan shows this is not exactly true. The quality of Stephen King’s novels, and […]

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