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Kingdom of Priests
February 2010 Archives

I have sympathy for religious mavericks like Rabbi Avi Weiss of New York, who for ordaining a woman as a rabbi, or “rabba” as he calls her, is under fire from Orthodox rabbinic colleagues on the Rabbinical Council of America. To […]

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My Forward op-ed is out now seeking the meaning behind the scandals that have plagued my religious community, Orthodox Judaism, with increasing intensity of late. The first comment over at the Forward website illustrates the extent to which many of us […]

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I’d never heard these two wonderful anecdotes, reported in a review by Michael Weingrad in the brand new (and quite impressive) Jewish Review of Books: Although it might seem unlikely that anyone would wonder whether the author of The Lord […]

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The Torah emphasized in last week’s reading, Terumah (Exodus 25:1-27:19), that the Tabernacle in the desert was to be held up by planks of acacia, or shittim, wood. Hasidic tradition notes that the verbal root on which that Hebrew word […]

Back when my first book came out, there was another memoir also about a Jew returning to Judaism that was published around the same time. It was Turbulent Souls by Stephen J. Dubner, who has since gone from strength to […]

Did you ever think you’d see those two names juxtaposed? I watched Beck’s CPAC speech online just now all the way through — an hour plus. Beck by virtue of his headlining CPAC appearance has been more or less designated as the […]

The week’s Torah portion poses a serious challenge, I think, to secular scholars of the Hebrew Bible and other skeptics who maintain that the Pentateuch was composed no earlier than about 500 BCE. Terumah (Exodus 25:1-27:19) begins the Torah’s overwhelmingly, […]

Where is Mt. Sinai? And does it matter? The second question is easier to answer than the first. If God’s giving the Ten Commandments to Moses there is a historical event then yes, wanting to attach a genuine geographical location […]

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