Kingdom of Priests
Hebrew Bible & Oral Torah Archives

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

“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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

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 […]