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Virtual Talmud

Virtual Talmud

January 1970 Archives

My Top Four Reasons to Care About Israel

Here are my top four reasons American Jews should care deeply and passionately about Israel: 1) Security. Rabbi Yitz Greenberg argues that absolute powerlessness corrupts as completely as absolute power because it invites persecution. Jewish history is a catalogue of […]

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Israel and America: Two Visions of God

What does American Jewry offer Israel and what can Israel learn from America? As my teacher Rabbi David Hartman has suggested, specifically regarding spiritual matters, both populations have a great deal to offer each other. Since its inception Israel has […]

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Monkey Talk in a Biblical Key

When I was studying in Yeshiva, I heard the following sad but telling story about one of the great American rabbis of the twentieth century: The rabbi took a plane trip across the country with his extended family. After boarding […]

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The Taxonomy of Wonder

Let me start by saying that I think that evolutionary science provides the best description we have of how life came to exist in its present form, that intelligent design is junk science (at best), and that Judge Jones made […]

Piety, Polity, and Darwinism

Thank God U.S. District Court Judge John Jones III ruled that intelligent design (ID) is not science and therefore has no place in the classroom. Thank God that the concerned parents in Dover, PA, had the courage to fight their […]

The Commandment Pat Robertson Forgot

Either we have all become prophets or everyone has forgotten the third commandment. Based on the Rev. Pat Robertson and Israel’s Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s prediction rate, I am inclined to think the latter. Repeatedly throughout the Bible we are told, […]

Looking for Not-so-Pat Answers

Why is it so tempting to blame others for their own misfortunes? The Jews, at least, had the good grace to acknowledge their own shortcomings when they said, “M’pnei chata’einu galinu m’artzeinu” – “Because of our sins we were banished […]

Divining Divine Wrath

Why is it that those who seek to make peace don’t get to fulfill their vision? Pat Robertson would answer that peace at the cost of giving away parts of “Greater Israel” is a sin, so God struck down Yitzhak […]

Can Alito See the Shades of Gray?

Over the coming weeks, much time, energy, and breathless news coverage will be devoted to divining how Samuel Alito would rule on abortion as a Supreme Court justice–a subject on which he will offer no clues if he can help […]

Living Over “Life” and “Choice”

So much surrounding the Supreme Court nomination of Samuel Alito comes down to two simple words: “life” and “choice.” Simply put, for many in Washington the question of whether he is pro-life or pro-choice is the be-all and end-all of […]

Whose Right to Life?

Judaism is a pro-life religion. It sees all life as precious, including the potential life represented in the fetus. The stirring of life is a miracle, a gift from God. All things being equal, a fetus should be brought to […]

Funny, Your Values Don’t Look Jewish

Mr. Klinghoffer, I just do not understand what you are trying to say. In your Forward article, you suggested that Jack Abramoff should be left alone because the money he got through illegal means was given to charity–an idea that […]

Guest Blogger David Klinghoffer: I’m Not Ashamed of Abramoff

posted by mkress

Eliyahu Stern, an Orthodox rabbi, should take a few deep breaths, relax, and contemplate before rushing out with another condemnation of someone else’s sincerity or good faith as an Orthodox Jew. I’m confident that if he does this, he’ll realize […]

Shame on Jack Abramoff and His Rebbes

Let’s cut to the crux of the issue: Jack Abramoff is an embarrassment to Orthodox Jews. His rabbis and the religious figures supporting him and living off his dirty money are embarrassments to Judaism. Lest you have forgotten the way […]

Abramoff Fails the Shanda Test

What Jack Abramoff did is a shanda. It is unethical and illegal. On top of the laundry list of legal counts against him, Abramoff used racist and defamatory language about his Native American clients. Nice Jewish boys shouldn’t do such […]

A Jewish Lesson in Abramoff’s Misdeeds?

The news of Jack Abramoff’s guilty plea is, sadly, just the latest chapter in the sordid story of the intersection of money and power. Going back to the story of Purim, we see how the wicked Haman–the first lobbyist?–paid King […]

Previous Posts

The Task Is Never Finished
It has been heartwarming to read the warm responses to Rabbi Waxman's post asking Beliefnet to reconsider its decision to cancel Virtual Talmud. Virtual Talmud offered an alternative model for internet communications: civil discourse pursued in ...

posted 12:31:46pm Apr. 03, 2008 | read full post »

Some Parting Reflections
Well, loyal readers, all good things must come to an end and we’ve been informed that this particular experiment in blogging as a forum for creating wide-ranging discussion on topics of interest to contemporary Jews has run its course. Maybe ...

posted 1:00:29pm Mar. 31, 2008 | read full post »

Obama's Lesson and The Jewish Community
There are few times in this blog’s history when I have felt that Rabbi Grossman was one hundred percent correct in her criticisms of my ideas. However, a few weeks ago she called me out for citing a few crack websites on Barak Obama’s ...

posted 12:09:08pm Mar. 31, 2008 | read full post »

The Future of Race Relations
As a post-baby boomer, it is interesting to me to see how much of today’s conversation about racial relations is still rooted in the 1960s experience and rhetoric of the civil rights struggle, and the disenchantment that followed. Many in the ...

posted 4:04:41pm Mar. 25, 2008 | read full post »

Wright and Wrong of Race and Jews
Years ago, as a rabbinical student, I was one of a group of rabbinical students who visited an African American seminary in Atlanta. My fellow rabbinical students and I expected an uplifting weekend of interfaith sharing like we had experienced ...

posted 12:50:11pm Mar. 24, 2008 | read full post »

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