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Kingdom of Priests

Kingdom of Priests

Hebrew Bible & Oral Torah Archives

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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

“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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

My Source on Same-Sex Marriage in Ancient Canaan

posted by David Klinghoffer

A number of readers asked for it. My source is a midrash (that is, a work of Biblical interpolation) called Sifra that elaborates on Leviticus. The reference to same-sex marriage is unmistakable. Coincidentally, this particular note on the text comes in […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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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 was chattering about the "shark teeth." "Shark teeth g

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 a journalist whom I'd queried on the subject. "All told

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 us to fulfill the roll God gave us in the Torah. Please

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 topic. But no attempt to assess the scope of his legacy

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

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