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Kingdom of Priests

Kingdom of Priests

Bio

David Klinghoffer is an author and senior fellow in the Religious, Liberty & Public Life program at the Discovery Institute. His writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the National Review, the Weekly Standard, and the Jewish Forward. A California native, he currently lives on Mercer Island, Washington, with his wife and five children.

Animal Wisdom: The Voice of the Serpent

posted by David Klinghoffer

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, […]

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Reading Wesley Smith: Why the Darwin Debate Matters

posted by David Klinghoffer

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 […]

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The Mission of the Jews

posted by David Klinghoffer

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 […]

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Darwin at the Mountains of Madness: Evolution & the Occult

posted by David Klinghoffer

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 topic. But […]

Why Women Will Never Be Orthodox Rabbis

posted by David Klinghoffer

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 […]

For Orthodox Jews, a Wake-Up Call from God

posted by David Klinghoffer

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 […]

J.R.R. Tolkien & C.S. Lewis — on Jews!

posted by David Klinghoffer

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 […]

Fools for Faith

posted by David Klinghoffer

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 […]

Glenn Beck’s Turbulent Soul

posted by David Klinghoffer

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 […]

Glenn Beck & Maimonides

posted by David Klinghoffer

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 […]

Why Secular Scholars Are Wrong in Dating the Torah

posted by David Klinghoffer

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, […]

Sinai in Arabia

posted by David Klinghoffer

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 […]

Tefillin in the News

posted by David Klinghoffer

I was wondering when this would happen — to me! I’ve occasionally donned phylacteries, a/k/a tefillin, en route aboard an airplane to pray in the morning, per Jewish tradition. You don’t want to do it on an airplane since it’s […]

Just a Coincidence?

posted by David Klinghoffer

I admit to a fond wish to impute significance to coincidences. Cynics such as Matthew Cobb writing at Jerry Coyne’s blog, Why Evolution Is True, explain away such things, like they do absolutely everything, as a function of survival value tucked […]

A “Lapsed Heretic,” Rabbi Sacks on Secularism and Modernity

posted by David Klinghoffer

On the rare occasion it happens, it’s inspiring to catch a rabbi in the act of being what a Jewish religious leader should be — namely a cohen or priest seeking to confront the world with the Torah’s image of […]

Why the Exodus Matters

posted by David Klinghoffer

No institution in Torah is more central than the Sabbath, with its twin themes of commemorating the creation of the world and the exodus from Egypt — the two pillars of Judaism, without which there can be no Judaism, and […]

A Division of Labor in Creation

posted by David Klinghoffer

When we say that God created life and all the rest of the universe that serves as its backdrop, if we try to think of what this actually means, then how direct should we imagine God’s intelligent design to have […]

When Anti-Semitism Makes Sense

posted by David Klinghoffer

From pagan times down to this very moment, the Jews have been widely reviled by other people. Anti-Semites will say that makes sense, since there really is something obnoxious about Jews. While anti-Jewish prejudice can be explained in part by […]

When Atheists Dodge

posted by David Klinghoffer

Speaking of religion-bashers who dodge a challenge, Jerry Coyne a while back wrote a couple of posts on his blog responding to me on the problem of theodicy but when I replied with a fundamental challenge to him, he went […]

The Cowardice of Richard Dawkins

posted by David Klinghoffer

I realize my earlier post on Dawkins’s defense of evolution, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, was on the long side so let me crystalize my point briefly here since not one of the Dawkins-defenders in the comments thread […]

Fraud, Disgrace & Swindle: A Few Thoughts on Richard Dawkins’s “Greatest Show”

posted by David Klinghoffer

A variety of consumer fraud depends on an advertiser using undefined or vaguely defined terms to mislead the buyer. A food item, for example, might be offered as “organic,” “light,” “natural,” or “Animal Care Certified,” according to a definition known […]

Bible Translations

posted by David Klinghoffer

Isn’t it interesting that there’s no adequate one out there, among all the countless versions, commentaries, etc.? I have, among ancient authors, entirely pleasing translations of Tacitus, Herodotus, Josephus, and so on, so that I don’t feel any particular need […]

Rabbi Riskin on “Rabbi Jesus”

posted by David Klinghoffer

Wow, you must watch this video in which Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, an Orthodox rabbi, praises “Rabbi Jesus.” He subsequently has clarified (h/t Hirhurium) that his comments were “carelessly edited” — shrewdly edited, might be more like it, to give emphasis […]

Dr. Josef Mengele, Angel of Death and “Devotee of Darwin”

posted by David Klinghoffer

Try to imagine being operated on without anesthesia. A kidney is removed and then, while you are still fully awake, the surgeon displays it to you for your consideration in his hand. Sounds like a very bad nightmare but this […]

Hitler’s Pope? Not Exactly

posted by David Klinghoffer

The Anti-Defamation League is being relatively restrained in its current denunciation of Pope Benedict’s intention to see sainthood conferred on his predecessor Pius XII. The ADL is only “deeply troubled,” which probably translates as “rather annoyed.” Relax, guys! First of […]

“Europe Is Dying,” Says Britain’s Chief Rabbi, Blaming Darwinism

posted by David Klinghoffer

Wow, I don’t know how I missed this headline from last month, in the UK’s Daily Record. British Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks really pulls no punches: Chief Rabbi blames population fall on ‘selfish’ Darwinians  EUROPE is “dying” because the continent’s […]

The News That Brittany Murphy Was Jewish

posted by David Klinghoffer

…, in the sense of having a Jewish mother, raises an interesting question apart from the tragic moral enigma of a beautiful young actress’s sudden death. Forgive me if it seems impertinent to ask now, but just how many Jews are […]

A Fantastic Find of a Kids’ Book

posted by David Klinghoffer

After Shabbat dinner this Friday, I was reading The Yankee at the Seder to our kids for the first time — wow, this is an incredibly beautiful and moving story, gorgeously illustrated. It’s simple: just after Lee has surrendered, a […]

A Rabbi Rethinks Intelligent Design

posted by David Klinghoffer

Recently I was part of a group from the Discovery Institute that went down to Los Angeles to make presentations about issues relating to Darwinism and intelligent design to groups of rabbis in the area. Our efforts bore fruit in […]

Tiger Woods to Divorce? Who Cares!

posted by David Klinghoffer

At last, I have something to say about Tiger Woods! And I have mathematician and bon vivant David Berlinski to thank. There’s been an unwritten law in force around the Internet the past few weeks that every blogger must register impassioned […]

Jesus in the Talmud

posted by David Klinghoffer

Under my post The Jewish Case for Christmas, there was starting to develop a thread of conversation that I didn’t feel comfortable with. One reader cast up a bunch of quotes he found on the Internet about Jesus as portrayed […]

Why Are Darwinian Atheists Afraid to Read?

posted by David Klinghoffer

It’s somehow cheering to know that while the pompous know-nothingism of Darwinian atheists in the U.S. is matched by those in England, so too not only in our country but in theirs the screechy ignorance receives its appropriate reply from […]

Joe Lieberman, Jew-in-Chief

posted by David Klinghoffer

There’s an absurd Internet debate going on among Jews seeking on the most ridiculous grounds to impugn Joe Lieberman’s Jewishness for standing athwart ObamaCare and yelling “Stop!” In the debate about health-care reform, they demand to know, why can’t he […]

The Jewish Case for Christmas

posted by David Klinghoffer

I happened to overhear recently when a friend of mine asked the poised young wife of a Chabad rabbi if her family celebrates Thanksgiving. In general, ultra-Orthodox Jews shy away from marking non-Jewish holidays. “No,” she answered with sort of […]

When Jewish Atheists Attack

posted by David Klinghoffer

At his website Why Evolution Is True, Jewish atheist and U. of Chicago biologist Jerry Coyne has responded in two posts to my own entry on Chanukah, knee pain, and suboptimal design in creatures as a bogus argument for atheism. […]

Measuring the Charisma Deficit in the Jewish World

posted by David Klinghoffer

A dear friend chides me by email for saying that we are going through a period when there’s a Jewish charisma deficit. She cites several rabbis in her area who are gifted teachers, who make rabbinic texts really come alive, […]

Isaac Newton, Reform Jew?

posted by David Klinghoffer

In a little write-up on a panel in New York of ex-Evangelical Christians turned secular literary intellectuals, Tablet magazine quotes critic James Wood of The New Yorker on Isaac Newton: Isaac Newton could quite happily exist today if he was […]

Shmuley Boteach on Charisma and Chabad

posted by David Klinghoffer

Shmuley Boteach contributes a gracious and insightful essay of appreciation on Chabad in the Forward. Gracious because despite emerging from Chabad himself and subsequently meeting with disapproval from the movement and parting ways, he is far from having turned against […]

Darwin and Mao

posted by David Klinghoffer

Reader Paul Burnett taunts me: Go ahead, David, say it: “Darwin taught Hitler (and Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot) how to kill millions of people.” That is of course a ridiculous parody of what I’ve written on Darwinism and […]

With Chanukah Approaching, My Knee Hurts

posted by David Klinghoffer

Because of my sore knee, it follows that there this is no God. You think I’m kidding but this line of reasoning is commonly heard from devotees of evangelizing atheism like Richard Dawkins. It’s the argument from seemingly poor, botched, […]

Finding Your Own Enchantment in Torah

posted by David Klinghoffer

A reader, Sarah, wrote a poignant comment under an earlier post that pulled at my heart and that I thought deserved a more prominent response. She movingly regrets that she finds it impossible to discover enchantment in Orthodox Judaism or […]

Letter from a Creationist

posted by David Klinghoffer

In response to an offhanded comment I made referring to “naive creationists,” I received an email from a self-defined creationist, objecting to my characterization. I don’t want to get into a debate about evolution here, but I will say I […]

Angels of the Sabbath

posted by David Klinghoffer

I heard an interesting insight from a rabbi friend today on the 17th-century hymn “Shalom Aleichem,” sung on Friday night before the Sabbath dinner. The song welcomes “ministering angels, angels of the Most High” and asks them, “Bless me with […]

My Son the Druid

posted by David Klinghoffer

In introducing Dungeons & Dragons to my oldest son, Ezra (age 8), I was amused, bemused and ever so slighted worried by his instant attraction to wanting his character to be a druid. In D&D, druids are kind of lame characters […]

God’s Image in Man’s Upright Posture

posted by David Klinghoffer

We’ve discussed before the question of what constitutes the “image of God” inscribed in the human body. The issue came up in the context of devotees of theistic evolution like Francis Collins or Kenneth Miller who say there’s no problem […]

The Rape of Dinah — and the Jewish Evangelizing Mission

posted by David Klinghoffer

I’m preoccupied by the old wives’ tale that Judaism has no missionary or conversionary genes in its spiritual DNA. This is one of those untruths that gets repeated so often, it’s taken for granted even by many thoughtful Jews. Maimonides, […]

The Enchantment of Torah

posted by David Klinghoffer

Let’s talk about a word I’ve been thinking about a lot lately: enchantment. As often happens to me, and probably to you too, a number of things going on in my life have converged to get me contemplating a particular […]

See “2012” this Weekend!

posted by David Klinghoffer

Why am I hoping that Roland Emmerich’s disaster epic 2012 stays spectacularly on top of the box office this coming weekend? I’ve seen the movie and, while you’re not supposed to admit this in public if you want to be […]

“Terrorism” May Be the Wrong Word

posted by David Klinghoffer

Yesterday’s entry on ideas and their consequences suggests a further thought on Major Nidal Hasan. Is Hasan a “terrorist”? Or as I’d prefer to say, a traitor turned enemy combatant?  I’ve long been irritated by the idea, frequently heard from […]

Do Ideas Have Consequences Only When They’re Associated with Radical Islam?

posted by David Klinghoffer

Why do so many writers who insist on emphasizing the consequences of radical Muslim belief tend to ignore the social consequences of other belief systems — for example, Darwinism? My question is prompted by reflections that are being published about […]

Literalism, Creationism, and the Hebrew Bible

posted by David Klinghoffer

More objections from adherents of Biblical literalist creationism to my recent posts on the subject have been coming in. Some are thoughtful and raise subtle distinctions. As a Facebook friend writes:  I just wanted to register the fact, without rancor, that I […]

Is Biblical Literalism “Naive”? Yes and No

posted by David Klinghoffer

I got some emails from self-described Biblical literalist creationists objecting to my calling such literalism “naive.” I’ve been pondering whether there’s a better word for it but so far I’m stumped. I guess you could characterize creationism simply as “Biblical […]

An Editor’s Faith

posted by David Klinghoffer

This Shabbat, starting here in Seattle at 6:02 p.m. tonight, we begin again the yearly cycle of Torah readings, starting with Genesis 1. With that in mind, I was thinking about this teasing retort from a reader, Sondra, responding to […]

Angels on Earth

posted by David Klinghoffer

Why did Adam choose to call himself “Adam”? Rabbi David Lapin has a fascinating new essay on this week’s Torah portion, Bereishit (Genesis 1:1-6:8), that deals with the question. You’ll recall from Genesis 2:19 that God brought all the animals before […]

My New Policy

posted by David Klinghoffer

…on comments, in case you hadn’t noticed already, is to unpublish not only sock puppets but anything and everything written — past, present, and future — by any guest whose comments tend to be moronic, anti-Semitic, etc., even if he […]

Abuse, Sexual and Otherwise, in the Haredi Community and Elsewhere

posted by David Klinghoffer

Rod Dreher has a strong and important post up about sexual abuse in the Haredi community. My only reservation, and I’ve thought about this for a long time, concerns Jewish and other blogs like the ones mentioned in the New […]

Genesis and the Scandal of Jewish Indifference

posted by David Klinghoffer

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from an editor at a Jewish publication soliciting from me an article “related to creationism.” He asked that it be pegged to the coming Sabbath when Jews across the spectrum of […]

God’s Image in Man’s Face — and Hands and Feet, Too!

posted by David Klinghoffer

Jews who want to embrace Darwinism must at the very least tie themselves up into one very tight kosher pretzel if they don’t also want to jettison their allegiance to Judaism, or to intellectual and spiritual coherence, in the process. […]

“Chariots of the Gods” as a Challenge to Darwin? Or a Support to Richard Dawkins?

posted by David Klinghoffer

When I was a kid with a big imagination and a taste for mystery, a defining experience was seeing the classic speculative documentary Chariots of the Gods, based on Erich von Daniken’s spooky book of the same name claiming to […]

Why Are Jews Liberals?

posted by David Klinghoffer

I review Norman Podhoretz provocative and engaging new book, Why Are Jews Liberals?, in the current issue of National Review. (By subscription only for the moment but you can read the review on the Discovery Institute website.) In a nutshell, my answer […]

The Madness of Robert Joe Halderman

posted by David Klinghoffer

There are any number of angles you could take on the sensational story of Robert Joe Halderman’s unsuccessful bid to extort $2 million from David Letterman. I was struck by Halderman’s astonishing madness, if he is guilty as charged, in thinking he […]

The Sukkot Miracle of 5770

posted by David Klinghoffer

I was really despairing about the seaworthiness of our old sukkah for this recently inaugurated Jewish calendar year of 5770. With Sukkot approaching this Friday night, with my wife having been sick all last week with a (suspiciously pre-seasonal) flu […]

Sukkot: Judaism’s Holiday of the Apocalypse

posted by David Klinghoffer

Among the top 10 lies about Jews and Judaism that I listed a while back, No. 3 was: 3.) Judaism has no apocalyptic vision of the End of the World, similar to that in Christianity’s book of Revelation and certainly […]

Richard Dawkins’s Jewish Problem

posted by David Klinghoffer

The Anti-Defamation League, the country’s leading group dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism, is rightly sensitive to the offense of trivializing the Holocaust. Why, then, has the ADL said nothing in protest against the Darwinian biologist and bestselling atheist author Richard Dawkins […]

Irving Kristol, Darwin Doubter, RIP

posted by David Klinghoffer

If you’re ever given a choice between seeing one of two doctors about a health concern, with all else about them being apparently equal, you’d be well advised to choose the older one. Oh but won’t the young guy have […]

Spooky Coincidences and “Noetic Science”

posted by David Klinghoffer

I’m a big believer in synchronicity — meaningful coincidence, or what you might call spooky coincidence. Of course, seeming coincidences often happen for reasons that aren’t spooky at all. They can be explained satisfactorily as the play of chance, or […]

Swastikas on Seattle Synagogues — Not What It May Seem?

posted by David Klinghoffer

On Saturday night as Jews initiated the penitential Selichot cycle of prayers leading up to Rosh Hashanah, someone was outside two of the Orthodox synagogues in Seattle’s Seward Park neighborhood, spray-painting swastikas, the word “Nazi,” and “Fourth Riech” (misspelled) on […]

The Fantastic Element in Jewish Law

posted by David Klinghoffer

Anyone who has spent time in the pages of the Talmud and other rabbinic literature will know the distinction between halachah and aggadah — law and story. The nature of Jewish law, while being everywhere tortuously argued, is assumed otherwise […]

Dan Brown’s Jewish Connection: Some Clues About the New Book

posted by David Klinghoffer

If you think of yourself as anything like a thoughtful person — I can’t use the word “intellectual” without cringing — it’s not generally held to be in good taste to say you’re keenly awaiting the debut of Dan Brown’s […]

Against Imprisonment

posted by David Klinghoffer

I’ve often thought the controversy around capital punishment, with life imprisonment as the proposed alternative, has things backward. It’s not the former that should be controversial but the latter. The sickening Phillip Garrido/Jaycee Dugard story — of child kidnapping, imprisonment, […]

Jews Should Oppose Universal Health Care

posted by David Klinghoffer

In the always lively Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, Rabbi Elliot Dorff writes in a cover essay that “support for universal health care is an imperative in Jewish law.” Is it now? On health care reform, Rabbi Dorff has his […]

Fleeing the Ritual Contamination of “Creationism”

posted by David Klinghoffer

The imbroglio over editorial policy at Bloggingheads.tv would be of minor interest if it didn’t present such an evocative window on the psychology of the Darwin-believing community. Did you ever think about what actually drives these people? To recap: Robert […]

Klinghoffer’s Law Confirmed?

posted by David Klinghoffer

“Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge” (Isaiah 3:13). In a comments thread we’ve been having a sad but fascinating conversation with a well meaning Jew who seems on the verge of conversion to Catholicism. […]

Wright Does the Right Thing, Reinstates Behe on Intelligent Design

posted by David Klinghoffer

When I wrote earlier on the Stalinist erasure of John McWhorter’s interview with biochemist Michael Behe on Bloggingheads.tv, I began by saying, “Wow.” I will say that again: “Wow.” Why wow? Because Bloggingheads editor-in-chief Robert Wright was, as I’d suspected, […]

A Jew Threatens to Commit Spiritual Suicide

posted by David Klinghoffer

In the thread on Robert Novak’s death, a reader, Range Rover, leaves this heart-breaking comment on the theme of conversion to other faiths: There is another reason Jews convert to other religions: There is for some of us an emptiness […]

Robert Wright’s Bloggingheads.tv Censors Intelligent Design Interview

posted by David Klinghoffer

Wow. This is positively Stalinist. Robert Wright’s Bloggingheads.tv has abruptly removed an interview it put up hours before in which linguist Dr. John McWhorter talks with biochemist Dr. Michael Behe about Behe’s The Edge of Evolution. It’s a fascinating exchange. […]

God’s Body? II

posted by David Klinghoffer

Following up on yesterday’s post, here’s an example of why maybe it’s forgivable that Jews reading the Hebrew Bible and its traditional commentators and elucidations could be forgiven for wondering if God at times in fact takes on at least […]

Regional Accents & the Paranormal

posted by David Klinghoffer

Last night as I was warming up dinner I was listening as usual to Coast to Coast AM with its millions of listeners and I was wondering, why does experience of paranormal activity only seem to happen to people with […]

God’s Body? I

posted by David Klinghoffer

In an earlier post on the top 10 misunderstandings about Judaism — I called them “lies,” though admittedly that was intended as a bit of a provocation — I mentioned that the chief Jewish objection to Christianity shouldn’t be, as […]

With Housekeeping, It’s Better Late than Never

posted by David Klinghoffer

That’s better. A while back I noted that I’d lost patience with sock puppetry in the comments threads here. In case you notice anything missing, I just took a moment and cleared out all the comments from our main sock […]

Obama Circumcised? How Dare the “Birthers” Ask!

posted by David Klinghoffer

Now those crazed “birthers” are demanding to know if President Obama is circumcised, by way of establishing his country of origin! Can you believe the chutzpah? The excellent Tablet web magazine points this out. What sane and decent American would […]

On Being Witnessed to at Tully’s

posted by David Klinghoffer

I was in Tully’s for coffee today and had a book with Hebrew in it with me. Along with my kippah, this caught the eye of a very sweet lady with long grey hair and a big t-shirt boldly printed […]

Obama, the Left & the Ten Commandments

posted by David Klinghoffer

Isn’t it funny how according to the stereotype, it’s us on the Right side of the political spectrum who are supposed to be the Bible-thumping pourers of fire and brimstone down upon the heads of our political opposites — yet […]

The Enigma of Adoption

posted by David Klinghoffer

If I may amplify my previous post on evolutionary psychology, we’re supposed to be believe that DNA, while directing only the production of proteins and other cell components, is ultimately in charge of everything else about us too — as […]

The Magical Thinking Behind Evolutionary Psychology

posted by David Klinghoffer

I like Robert Wright and enjoyed his recent book The Evolution of God. One thing I value about him is his candor. Thus in his New York Times op-ed yesterday proposing a “grand bargain” between religion and science (i.e., Darwinism), […]

Judaism & Astrology

posted by David Klinghoffer

There seem to be two kinds of religious people (along with countless other distinctions you could make). One kind finds the outré aspects of his faith uncomfortable to contemplate and seeks strategies for explaining them away, or disregarding them altogether. He […]

Accepting Your “Cup” from God

posted by David Klinghoffer

In Judaism, special occasions are almost invariably solemnized over a cup of wine — for example, the benediction Kiddush said at home to inaugurate the Sabbath as I’ll be doing shortly, or at Havdalah on the Sabbath’s departure. Traditionally, following […]

The 10 Big Lies About Jews & Judaism

posted by David Klinghoffer

Not long ago, I wrote an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times in which I briefly alluded to Jewish and Christian beliefs about the Afterlife. Just before the piece was to be put to bed, I got a querying phone […]

Ibn Ezra Agrees: An “Apikoros” (Heretic) Is One Who Rejects Intelligent Design

posted by David Klinghoffer

For those who were wondering about my immediately previous entry: When the classical Torah commentator Abraham ibn Ezra spoke of a “heretic” who challenges the simple in faith about God’s existence, but who gets an adequate response only from the […]

Ibn Ezra on Intelligent Design and the First Commandment

posted by David Klinghoffer

For those who think that finding evidence of design in nature is a Christian preoccupation, not a Jewish one, the hits just keep coming. Abraham ibn Ezra (1089-1164) is one of a handful of the most important classical commentators on the […]

Robert Novak, RIP: When Jews Leave Judaism

posted by David Klinghoffer

The item in the bombastic journalist’s biography that sticks with me is conversion to Catholicism. The story illustrates a general rule I articulated in Why the Jews Rejected Jesus. While non-Jews who convert to Judaism often come from seriously religious […]

Darwinist Faithful Indirectly Affirm Darwin-Hitler Link

posted by David Klinghoffer

A surprising if indirect affirmation of the Darwin-Hitler connection has been offered by the Darwinist faithful over at Panda’s Thumb. Yes, you read that right. The argument made by scholars like Richard Weikart and Benjamin Wiker traces an intellectual genealogy […]

Sidney Zion’s Tefillin

posted by David Klinghoffer

At Tablet, Victor Navasky has a warm recollection of rambunctious journalist Sidney Zion, about whom, in describing him, it would be a literary challenge not to use the word Runyonesque. At the end of the piece, Navasky notes that at […]

Epicureanism & Masturbation

posted by David Klinghoffer

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 […]

A “Heretic” in Jewish Terms? Someone Who Denies Intelligent Design

posted by David Klinghoffer

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 […]

The Challenge to Judaism from…Judaism

posted by David Klinghoffer

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 […]

Charles Manson, Evolutionist

posted by David Klinghoffer

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 […]

The Hollowness of Conservatism Under Darwinism’s Sway

posted by David Klinghoffer

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 […]

No Such Thing as Atheism or Secularism

posted by David Klinghoffer

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 […]

The Problem with Being a “Hawk” on Israel

posted by David Klinghoffer

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 […]

Who’s the Scariest Obama Pick of All?

posted by David Klinghoffer

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 […]

Why Manischewitz Wine Is a Blasphemy

posted by David Klinghoffer

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 […]

Hurt by Sobriety

posted by David Klinghoffer

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 […]

Don’t Believe Jeff Sharlet on “Fundamentalism”

posted by David Klinghoffer

Popular atheist blogger PZ Myers is all excited about a book by Jeff Sharlet, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. Turns out the paperback is doing incredibly well, No. 5 on Amazon, perhaps due to a […]

Restore our Counselors: Remembering William Hall

posted by David Klinghoffer

Strange how the mind works, isn’t it? For some reason this morning I got up and was thinking about William Hall, a teacher I had in my sophomore year of high school who passed away tragically and quite young when I was in […]

Can You Trust a Guy Who Doesn’t Drink?

posted by David Klinghoffer

The Hebrew Bible includes both praise for and warnings about alcohol. Even a Nazirite has to bring a sacrifice at the end of his vow period (which includes a prohibition against wine) to atone for having given up a legitimate worldly […]

Synchronicity and Tisha b’Av Amid Record-Breaking Heat for Seattle

posted by David Klinghoffer

When I got home last night ready to start the 25-hour fast of Tisha b’Av (no food, water, or bathing from sunset till dark the next day), mourning the destruction of the two Jerusalem Temples and much else that’s tragic […]

Robert Wright’s Evolution of God

posted by David Klinghoffer

It’s hard for a religious believer not to appreciate, at least in part, the spirit in which Robert Wright presents his new book The Evolution of God. On one hand, he regards the history of religion as the history of […]

A Morality Crisis in Orthodox Judaism?

posted by David Klinghoffer

Jeffrey Goldberg thinks there is such a crisis and conducts a very interesting interview with Erica Brown on the theme. You knew people would begin asking such questions, and answering them in the affirmative, when the Syrian Orthodox Jewish community […]

On Jewish Atheists I

posted by David Klinghoffer

I’ve been mulling the fact that some of the leading figures in the New Atheist movement are born-Jews, at least according to their own accounts. Christopher Hitchens is Jewish through his mother’s mother (and proud of it, which I find […]

Darwinists and Their Strategy of Intimidation

posted by David Klinghoffer

Some commenters on an earlier post have expressed doubt that believers in Darwinism seek to intimidate dissenters. Give me a break! Of course that’s exactly what Darwinists try to do whether in academic life or in the humbler context of […]

Shocked by Littering: How a Civilization Crumbles

posted by David Klinghoffer

I was waiting in line at a drive-thru Starbucks here in Redmond just now, as the third car in line. The occupants of a black pickup at the head of the line seemed to be taking an incredibly long time […]

The Romantic View of Sephardic Jews Runs into a New Jersey Pothole

posted by David Klinghoffer

That’s Deal, New Jersey, I refer to, the scene of the arrest of some rabbis associated with the Syrian Sephardic community. The Syrian Jewish community there and in Brooklyn is often referred to as an “enclave.” Being an enclave generally […]

Deuteronomy on “Poor-Mouthing”

posted by David Klinghoffer

“Poor-mouthing” means talking about yourself as if you were poor, or poorer than you are, in order to engage other people’s sympathy. I won’t hide from you that our family continuously and increasingly faces issues of insolvency — yet the […]

Why Darwinists Have a Hard Time Being Civil

posted by David Klinghoffer

It’s been so illuminating to me, dealing with Darwinists all the time on this blog — cleaning up after them (unpublishing their rude comments, personal insults, etc.). Their purpose is intimidation. Normal people don’t enjoy dealing with rudeness, so they […]

Francis Collins Mangles Maimonides — Following Leon Wieseltier?

posted by David Klinghoffer

When I complained a couple of days ago about people who misrepresent Maimonides as a proto-Darwinist, then cited a newish biography by Joel Kraemer on the subject as solid evidence that Maimonides would be an intelligent-design advocate and that the […]

George Gilder’s Israel Test

posted by David Klinghoffer

Can the case be made in purely secular terms that Israel’s continuing existence should urgently matter to the United States? Because if not, Israel is in serious trouble. The Jewish state can’t rely exclusively on Evangelical Christians and, secondarily, Jews […]

Rashi’s Importance for Christians

posted by David Klinghoffer

Regarding Elie Wiesel’s new biography Rashi, on the great medieval French commentator on the Torah, the Hebrew Bible, and the Talmud, I mentioned that he’s important not just for Jews but for Christians. His name is an acronym for Rabbi Shlomo […]

It Is Rashi Speaking

posted by David Klinghoffer

Today is the Yahrtzeit (death anniversary) of Rashi, whose massive commentary on most of the Hebrew Bible and Talmud defines much of the meaning of those documents not only for Jews but for Christians too. I’ve been reading Elie Wiesel’s sweet […]

New House Rule: No Sock Puppetry

posted by David Klinghoffer

My purpose here as always is to make sure that anyone with an idea or response to share will feel comfortable participating in any discussion sparked by this blog. Turmarion, a thoughtful reader and oftentimes critic of what I write, […]

A Challenge to Intelligent Design-Bashing Regulars on this Blog

posted by David Klinghoffer

You know who you are. Rather than go on grousing about how there’s no evidence for intelligent design, it’s not science, and so on and so forth, here’s my challenge to you personally. Read Stephen C. Meyer‘s new book, Signature […]

Maimonides on Intelligent Design, According to New Biographer

posted by David Klinghoffer

Gosh, I get so tired of cliches from religion-friendly mush-heads. According to one such cliche: Maimonides was a physician. A physician is a kind of scientist. Maimonides was therefore a religious scientist. Consequently any attempt to merge any science-flavored idea, […]

2012 — End of the World?

posted by David Klinghoffer

The Mayan calendar runs out at the end of 2012, a purported signal that the world will then either face an apocalyptic end or realize a complete transformation of consciousness. Author Daniel Pinchbeck did a lot to popularize the idea, and […]

Jewish Dating Advice — Confidential! (And Keep It That Way)

posted by David Klinghoffer

I’m kicking myself right now. An old friend from the East Coast got in touch with me about setting up her brother-in-law with an eligible and attractive single Jewish woman here in Seattle, and did I know of such a […]

The Real Enemies of Israel and the Jews

posted by David Klinghoffer

What group, movement, or country is it that Jews really have to worry about and devote energy to combatting? Is it Iran? Palestinian anti-Semites? Terrorists generally? Neo-Nazis? If you go on the ADL website, you’ll see a big tribute to […]

Necromancy and Alzheimer’s Among Darwin Faithful

posted by David Klinghoffer

That’s my subject at Evolution News & Views, where I take on a response to the Thomas Jefferson/intelligent design connection from University of Chicago biologist Jerry A. Coyne. Read the rest there. Excerpt below: On his blog, Coyne lashes out at […]

Peace for Our Time! With Dr. Collins, How Far Is Too Far?

posted by David Klinghoffer

When it comes to capitulating to secularism, how far is too far? I’m serious. This is not a rhetorical question. Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson, an Evangelical Christian and former Bush speechwriter, writes glowingly of Obama’s Francis Collins nomination for NIH: […]

Boston Globe, Den of Theocracy!

posted by David Klinghoffer

There must be a nest of theocrats over at the Boston Globe, ready to spring Christianist rule on us all. Someone call Andrew Sullivan! On today’s op-ed page they publish Stephen C. Meyer who argues that if you like the Declaration of Independence, […]

Jews at the White House — A Thought Experiment

posted by David Klinghoffer

Just imagine: If the American Jewish community were known to stand predominantly for something grand, cosmic, eternal, permanent, and universal in significance, don’t you think the President of the United States would be likelier to listen to us when we […]

Jews at the White House — What Are “Jewish Concerns”? Just Israel?

posted by David Klinghoffer

Yesterday, 16 top American Jewish leaders, representing 14 major Jewish organizations, met with Barack Obama in the White House. They had the ear of the president of the United States. From news reports, it seems they chose to talk about […]

Ode on a Grecian Flypaper Strip

posted by David Klinghoffer

Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? This bears upon our earlier discussion of whether a horribly vile Lovecraftian creature would satisfy God as the ultimate product of an undirected process of evolution as imagined by Darwin. Impoverished island-dwelling […]

A Staff in God’s Hand: On the Approach of Tisha b’Av

posted by David Klinghoffer

A final thought on hate and the condition to which traditional religious believers are subjected in this world. Judaism encourages us to look closely at the name of the Torah reading each week, always drawn from a word, sometimes a seeming […]

Let’s Retire the Word “Fundamentalist”

posted by David Klinghoffer

It sometimes happens that a word outlives its usefulness and has to be put out to pasture along with other terms like “Negro,” for example, or “Oriental.” Or maybe the preferable metaphor would be partial retirement. We can still appropriately […]

On Being Hated (at Brown): A Postscript

posted by David Klinghoffer

Yesterday I wrote about the personal viciousness that issues from the Left in a way it doesn’t from the Right. This actually played a big role in the development of my own thinking, both religious (toward Orthodox Judaism) and political […]

A Jewish Pope?

posted by David Klinghoffer

There are certain things we take for granted about Judaism that turn out not to be so. Like that Jews never proselytized. That they don’t have a mission to the world. And that, for another example, Judaism after the destruction […]

On Being Hated: A Note to — and About — Readers

posted by David Klinghoffer

Good news: As I know from the weekly reports I get from Beliefnet, traffic on this still relatively new blog keeps going up. That’s heartening. Yet if you follow the comments box at all here you will have noticed something […]

Why the Jews Worshiped a Golden Calf

posted by David Klinghoffer

Yesterday, groggy from fasting, I read a draft of an essay for a friend. I hope I was helpful in giving some comments to him. I can go relatively easily without the food and maybe the water (from dawn to dark) but […]

H.P. Lovecraft, Darwinism’s Visionary Storyteller

posted by David Klinghoffer

Picture a majestic T. rex receiving the tablets of the Ten Commandments in its undersized forelimbs, or an elegant octopus crucified on an old rugged cross with four crossbars instead of one. Such images are what Kenneth Miller presumably has […]

Francis Collins on Abortion: Obama’s Pick for NIH and His “Devout” Views on Terminating Down Syndrome Children

posted by David Klinghoffer

Do you ever notice how religious believers are always cited by the media as “devout” precisely when they are equivocating on basic Judeo-Christian moral and theological tenets? Dr. Francis Collins has some startling ideas on abortion. Startling, that is, from an […]

Francis Collins: Picked by Obama, Attacked by Atheists, Wrong on Theology

posted by David Klinghoffer

Genome scientist and Evangelical Christian Francis Collins got the nod from President Obama today to head up the National Institutes of Health. Atheists are already on the attack. Thus Jerry Coyne at the U. of Chicago pronounces himself “worried”: “I’d […]

Full Female Crudity (& Gay Marriage)

posted by David Klinghoffer

Herodotus in his Histories describes the primitive tribes that lived on the western shore of the Caspian sea in ancient times. Some, he reported, were said to “couple in the open…like animals in herds.” Perhaps that’s what we as a culture are […]

Jewish Mysticism Meets Intelligent Design: Whose Signature in the Cell?

posted by David Klinghoffer

My op-ed in the Jerusalem Post today discusses the eerie anticipation of ideas about the genetic code by Jewish mysticism, or kabbala. I cite the Tanya (1796) but the tradition on this — creation through the combination of letters — […]

What Idolatry Isn’t

posted by David Klinghoffer

Everyone thinks they know what idolatry is. Do they? Something I came across in the Talmud this morning prompts me to ask. As my friend Rabbi Daniel Lapin puts it, the Talmud is best understood as a spiritual-intellectual laboratory where […]

What Jewish Mission?

posted by David Klinghoffer

A remarkable opinion piece by Joel Alperson and carried by JTA includes this observation: I’ve collected the mission statements of the largest 17 Jewish federations in North America, and not one mentions “God,” “Torah” or “Judaism.” Nor do the mission […]

Why Gay Activists like Dan Savage Get Mad When You Point Out the Truth

posted by David Klinghoffer

The truth, that is, about the impact on women if Savage’s dreams of men marrying men come true. In the gay marriage debate, heterosexual women are a crucial swing vote. Every poll I’ve looked at shows this: men are more opposed […]

“Worldview-Induced Blindness,” Intelligent Design, & the Ashes of the Red Heifer

posted by David Klinghoffer

Chuck Colson’s formulation, “worldview-induced blindness,” that I noted yesterday helps explain a lot of things. It explains, for example, why believers in Darwinism can’t open their eyes and see when presented with scientific evidence of design in nature. (Note to […]

Abortion & “Worldview-Induced Blindness”

posted by David Klinghoffer

The news that babies in the womb can hear and enjoy music leads Chuck Colson to a helpful formulation: “worldview-induced blindness.” A PBS documentary, The Music Instinct: Science & Song, notes and demonstrates this amazing fact about unborn children but the documentarians […]

On Testing and Temptations

posted by David Klinghoffer

Regarding the little interchange on gay marriage you may have noticed going on between this blog and Dan Savage readers at The Stranger, it’s been a minor nuisance unpublishing the obscene, angry, abusive comments from gay-marriage advocates. From dealing with the […]

How Evolution’s Co-Discoverer Came to Doubt Darwin in Favor of Intelligent Design

posted by David Klinghoffer

That’s right, Alfred Russel Wallace. I’ve got a two-part interview with the author of a very interesting new book that tells the story over at Evolution News & Views. (UPDATE: An AP story that you can read at MSNBC recalls […]

How Women Will Be Hurt by Gay Marriage: A Postscript

posted by David Klinghoffer

Oh, now I know where all the incredibly nasty and vulgar commenters came from who joined our discussion when I posted Joshua Berman’s reflection on the threat gay marriage would pose to women. It was linked by editor Dan Savage […]

Does God Evolve? A Surprising Answer

posted by David Klinghoffer

Robert Wright is winning praise with his new book, The Evolution of God, suggesting that indeed, our conception of God evolves and improves, even if in all likelihood this also means that God is a figment of our imagination. I […]

Thomas Jefferson, Intelligent Design Advocate

posted by David Klinghoffer

Yes, that’s right the famous “deist,” skeptic, and author of the Declaration of Independence judged that there was empirical evidence of a designing intelligence at work in biology, cosmology — and norms of justice, which in turn justified him in […]

Korach and Liberalism

posted by David Klinghoffer

A helpful psychological and political insight emerges from this week’s Torah reading, Korach (Numbers 16:1-18:32): Always be skeptical of someone’s politics when you see that it increases his prestige in the eyes of high-prestige society. Liberté, égalité, vanité. Pictured above by Botticelli, […]

Were the Founders Noachides?

posted by David Klinghoffer

A caller on the Michael Medved show yesterday tried to argue with MM that our country’s Founding Fathers were Noachides — or perhaps what he meant to say was that they included Noachides somewhat on the model of Abraham Lincoln, […]

Strip Clubs v. Darwinism

posted by David Klinghoffer

With a strange regularity, it happens that readers who haven’t read the subtitle of this blog will object in the comments box that I don’t seem to offer new scientific evidence for intelligent design or against Darwinism. They assume that’s […]

If the Children of Israel Were Giant Squid

posted by David Klinghoffer

Purportedly religion-friendly Darwinists like genome scientist Francis Collins and biologist Kenneth Miller get a lot of mileage out of reassuring the faith community that Darwinism poses no threat to traditional religion. As I noted the other day, neither thinks it […]

How Women Will Be Hurt by Gay Marriage

posted by David Klinghoffer

National support for state-sanctioned gay marriage has slipped recently. Thank goodness.  A while back I pointed out to you a midrashic tradition on Leviticus 18:3 that notes a feature of life in morally corrupt ancient Canaan: they practiced gay marriage, […]

Are Humans In God’s Image? Even Darwinists like Francis Collins Say, Effectively, No

posted by David Klinghoffer

When you look at your face in the mirror, is what you see the stamp of God’s own image — not His face, because He doesn’t have a face or a body or any physical aspect, but His spiritual image? […]

The Scandal of Orthodox Irrelevance

posted by David Klinghoffer

This is the kind of thing that breaks my heart. The Forward, Jerusalem Post, and other media outlets are either chortling over or utterly bemused by a spat between two top contenders to be Israel’s next Sephardic chief rabbi. The […]

An Agnostic Who “Gets” the Hebrew Bible

posted by David Klinghoffer

In a really interesting if slightly bizarre exchange between Robert Wright (The Evolution of God) and economist Tyler Cowen, Cowen, not a conventional religious believer and not Jewish, goes on about the Hebrew Bible and how it stands out from […]

When Cultures Collide in “The Pit of Hell”

posted by David Klinghoffer

I did a radio interview today with a fellow down in Texas who had a real preacher’s style. Entertaining guy but at one point he asked, letting his voice rise and rise like he was at the pulpit, “David, would […]

Two Cheers for Jews for Jesus

posted by David Klinghoffer

The Perplexing Sentence of the Day Award goes to Hadara Graubart at Tablet who responds to my posts on shunning Messianic Jews (emphasis added): Klinghoffer pats himself on the back for “daring” to suggest that Messianic Jews have something in common with […]

Messianic Judaism & Theistic Evolution

posted by David Klinghoffer

It is, of course, the comparison that only this blog would dare to make. But isn’t it obvious? Messianic Jews, of whom we spoke in the previous entry, think you can coherently believe in Jesus and Judaism. Theistic evolutionists think […]

Should Jews Shun “Messianic Jews”?

posted by David Klinghoffer

Back in 1998, at the time of Israel 50th birthday, my friend Rabbi Daniel Lapin withstood a harsh round of controversy and criticism from the Jewish community when he spoke at a huge Christian pro-Israel conference in Orlando, Florida. Why? Because […]

Darwin’s (Failed) Predictions

posted by David Klinghoffer

Over at Evolution News & Views, I have a two-parter up on Darwinism’s failed predictions, an interview with molecular biophysicist Cornelius Hunter, that I recommend to you. Excerpt: The testability of scientific ideas by making predictions about reality is a favorite […]

Religious Conversion as Fantasy Role Playing

posted by David Klinghoffer

A new video of American Al-Qaeda-nik Adam Gadahn, a/k/a Azzam the American, includes Gadahn’s admission that his grandfather was Jewish — “a Zionist and a zealous supporter of the usurper entity and a prominent member of a number of Zionist hate organizations. He used […]

Provincial Orthodoxy — A Formula for Healing Judaism’s Divisions?

posted by David Klinghoffer

An interesting article in New York’s Jewish Week covers the phenomenon of Reform and Conservative temples merging. Outside New York City, here in the provinces, the ideological differences between the two liberal Jewish denominations don’t matter much to people. This […]

Religion’s Dark Side, and Evolution’s

posted by David Klinghoffer

Over at Evolution News & Views, I reflect on the question of whether it’s “beyond the pale” to read, quote from, and reflect on the worldview implications of James von Brunn’s addled thoughts on evolution and eugenics. Excerpt (keep reading […]

What if James von Brunn Had Been an Intelligent Design Advocate?

posted by David Klinghoffer

For those who objected to my post yesterday quoting Holocaust Museum shooting suspect James von Brunn on the role of evolutionary doctrine, however distorted, in his rationale for racism, let me ask you a question. Try this thought experiment. If […]

How to Write Comedy for Comedy Central

posted by David Klinghoffer

Our first-grader, Ezra, recently boasted that his buddy Baruch taught him how to be “sarcastic.” The secret? You say the opposite of what you really think, drawing it out in a slightly lower pitched voice, while rolling your eyes up […]

James von Brunn, Evolutionist

posted by David Klinghoffer

Now isn’t this fascinating. James von Brunn, the white-supremacist suspect in today’s Holocaust Memorial Museum shooting in which the guard who was shot has now tragically died, describes the relevance of evolution to his sick thinking. He’s obsessed with “genetics.” He […]

Did You See My Alps?

posted by David Klinghoffer

A story in the brand new, sharply designed and overall very intriguing new Jewish web magazine, Tablet, describes the Jewish infatuation with the Alps. The best line, cited at the end, is the famous one from Rav Hirsch:  Samson Raphael Hirsch, […]

Holocaust Memorial Shooting: Don’t Hyperventilate

posted by David Klinghoffer

From early reports, an 88-year-old white supremacist opened fire with a shotgun at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., seriously wounding a security guard and sustaining fire in return before being apprehended, also seriously wounded. There are all […]

A Spooky Story about the Lubavitcher Rebbe

posted by David Klinghoffer

I’m thinking of the night the Lubavitcher Rebbe died, which was exactly 15 year ago this coming Friday, June 12, 1994. I’m not Chabad — a fellow traveler at best, and that only pretty recently — but I have a […]

A “God Gene”? Or Spiritual Heliotropism?

posted by David Klinghoffer

Marvin Olasky spoke at the Discovery Institute yesterday and I had the opportunity to bounce off him a small heresy I’ve been cultivating. Olasky is the editor of World Magazine, a conservative Christian biweekly that I admire, and provost of […]

Who Is a Jew? It Depends

posted by David Klinghoffer

The news today brings multiple promptings to remind ourselves that the question of what a Jew really is can be answered in a couple of different ways.  Jeffrey Goldberg reminds some of his anti-Semitic email correspondents that Treasury secretary Tim Geitner […]

Jeremiah on Theistic Evolution

posted by David Klinghoffer

I can’t leave the discussion about the religious reconcilers of God and Darwin without quoting Jeremiah on false prophets (6:13-16), who plied their trade by going up and down among the people telling them exactly what they wanted to hear: […]

Are Religious Liberals Useful Idiots or Just Idiots? Darwinists Debate

posted by David Klinghoffer

An enjoyable internal squabble has been going on in the overlapping New Atheist and Darwinian communities. The intensity level just went up a notch. One faction thinks religious liberals are useful to the cause, scientifically and politically, and should be […]

Why is Holocaust Denial “Hateful”?

posted by David Klinghoffer

That’s the word President Obama used both in his Cairo speech and again at his Buchenwald concentration camp visit today: “To this day there are those who insist that the Holocaust never happened, a denial of fact and truth that is baseless and […]

A Challenge to Islam-Bashers

posted by David Klinghoffer

To conservatives who this morning are decrying Obama’s Cairo speech for making nice with Islam, I would ask, realistically, what would you have had him say? Should he have condemned Islam, really raked it over the coals, as some conservative […]

Raichu! Gesundheit!

posted by David Klinghoffer

When I got home from work last night, our 7-year-old rushed up to me. He’s currently obsessed with Pokemon cards — which I had thought went out of business long ago but evidently I was wrong. He breathlessly explained, “Dad, […]

Orthodox Jews Desperately Need to Learn How to Communicate for Public Consumption

posted by David Klinghoffer

That’s the simple lesson from the Rabbi Manis Friedman affair, which, if you haven’t looked into it, you’re probably better off. What on earth was he thinking? It will blow over quickly, but what a bad day for Chabad. And […]

Why Paleocons Hate Neocons

posted by David Klinghoffer

The purpose of this blog is to tease out the worldview of the Hebrew Bible, with implications for everything from politics to family life to the history of life’s development on earth. Much of liberalism can be explained as a […]

The Wages of Biblical Religion

posted by David Klinghoffer

A reader of yesterday’s entry on the first anti-Darwinists challenges me, in effect, to explain why if secularism is so deleterious to social health, why does a more religious culture like America’s seem beset by problems from which secular Europe […]

Abortion as Capital Offense? Judaism’s View

posted by David Klinghoffer

In the spirit of looking facts in the face, let us admit what Jewish law actually prescribes: Abortion in the context of a non-Jewish nation like America is a death-penalty offense. My point is not that America should now write […]

When and Why Anti-Darwinism First Arose

posted by David Klinghoffer

I’m a big fan of Rod Dreher. His Crunchy Con blog rarely fails to enlighten me, so I’ve been looking forward to his reflections on faith and science, generated by his current visit to Cambridge University as a Cambridge-Templeton fellow. […]

On Shavuot, Thinking of Converso Jews

posted by David Klinghoffer

This blog entry is being published automatically. I’m off Friday and Saturday for Shavuot, when Jews around the world observe the two-day festival that recalls the giving of the 10 Commandments at Mt. Sinai and the associated mass conversion of […]

Childlessness and Liberalism

posted by David Klinghoffer

My post on childless Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor provoked some interesting misunderstandings among commenters. I argued that the experience of raising kids potentially confers traits you’d want in a judge, more so than merely being Hispanic and female. Remember […]

Why We Were Better Off Before the Internet

posted by David Klinghoffer

Somebody should write a book with that title. Reason 142? Wikipedia. For all that I make use of this Web resource every day, I often get a queasy feeling about it. Many “facts” I’ve come across I know to be […]

A Fog Over the Intelligent Design Debate

posted by David Klinghoffer

A pair of dueling websites, one that just went live, are engaged in an important argument over whether religious believers should continue to be fed the “opium of the people.” That’s the famous phrase Marx Karl used to deride all […]

A Childless Supreme Court Justice?

posted by David Klinghoffer

A reader, Professor Joshua Berman at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University, writes to me with a brilliant insight about President Obama’s Supreme Court pick. Berman’s new book, by the way, is Created Equal: How the Bible Broke with Ancient Political Thought: Obama is […]

The Jewish Case for Christian Patriotism

posted by David Klinghoffer

Over at Crunchy Con, Rod points us to a fascinating Christianity Today review of a new Bible version with a commentary promoting American patriotism on Biblical grounds. Rod is unimpressed by the concept behind The American Patriot’s Bible: “To the extent that this […]

Erasing Shavuot

posted by David Klinghoffer

I’m in Southern California visiting with family and noted something fascinating in the current yearly calendar published by the Reform Jewish temple where I grew up and had my bar mitzvah. The Jewish festival of Shavuot is this coming Friday […]

What Is Torah?

posted by David Klinghoffer

This coming Friday and Saturday, Jews around the world will recall and celebrate the giving of the Ten Commandments at Mt. Sinai. The Ten Commandments are the briefest possible distillation of the 613 Biblical commandments — or alternatively, of the […]

The Joker, a Lonely Face in the Atheist Crowd

posted by David Klinghoffer

A friend responds perceptively to my dialogue with atheists, pointing out how reluctant many people are to honestly confront the unhappier consequences of their world view. Only a few atheists who wrote to me on this blog were willing to […]

My Dialogue with Atheists Continues

posted by David Klinghoffer

Earlier this month I challenged believers in atheism to tell me how or if they find there to be meaning in life. Also, without a transcendent reality outside our own physical world that gives an objective definition to moral ideas, […]

The Toughest Thing about Judaism

posted by David Klinghoffer

“Gee, I think the toughest thing about being Orthodox would be the kosher food,” my dad has occasionally said to me. He’s always enjoyed a good restaurant meal and, in truth, fine dining is not among the Orthodox community’s top […]

A Jaundiced Eye on Ida

posted by David Klinghoffer

You’ll forgive me if I cast a somewhat jaundiced eye on Ida, evolution’s latest supposed missing link. Yet when the old girl is found gracing even the front page of Google, you know it’s a phenomenon that at least deserves […]

Alternative Medicine, Alternative Religion, Alternative Nation

posted by David Klinghoffer

So far this week I have heard the following from various friends: One is having shoulder surgery but wants to stay away from pain medications. He is consulting a homeopathic practitioner instead. Another couple we know has a child with […]

Why Intelligent Design is Jewish

posted by David Klinghoffer

In responding to Christianity, Jews historically have objected that the other faith gives too human a picture of God. Needless to say, as a Jew I’d have to agree. Yet nowadays from many Jews I find much less strenuous objection […]

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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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