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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

“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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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