Virtual Talmud

Virtual Talmud

January 1970 Archives

The New Anti-Semitism and the Questions Left Unasked

I never would have thought that two American professors from prestigious American universities would have much in common with Osama bin Laden. But then I noticed that in the most recent tape attributed to him, Bin Laden identified those in […]


A Conspiracy of Dunces

I recently attended a talk where Rabbi Mordechai Liebling discussed his visit to Sudan as part of an interfaith delegation. He commented wryly that this was one time where anti-Semitism worked in his favor: all of the Sudanese officials with […]


On Crusaders and Zionists

“This Zionist-Crusader war” is probably the most oft-repeated line invoked by the terrorist-madman Osama bin Laden in his latest rant against the West. As Bin Laden sees it, “A war is under way to offend the messenger of Allah, his […]


The Shame of Inaction

This April 25 we observe Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. The date chosen for this observance is 27 Nissan in the Jewish calendar, associated with the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 in which 13,000 Jews perished in […]

Six Reasons to Remember the Holocaust

There are many reasons to remember and commemorate the Holocaust, which we will do this coming week around Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 25. Here are six reasons, each an important lesson we can learn from the Holocaust, lessons […]

The Casualties of Memory

After my last post, I received a number of responses asking me to flesh out and explain a little more what exactly I was trying to say about all this Jewish memory stuff. So with Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, […]

Fragile Freedom

In our house, the experience of Passover always comes early, with the preparations. As we shop, put away, clean, dust, scrub, vacuum, and scrub some more, the transformation our house undergoes slowly begins to pervade our consciousness as well, as […]

Why Is This Feast Different?

I was wondering the other day why family gatherings for Passover are so different than those for Thanksgiving? So many people find Thanksgiving to be an exercise in family dysfunction. In fact, an entire niche of the travel business is […]

Why I Am Not Going to Remember this Passover

“Remember this day that you departed from Egypt from a house of bondage for you with a strong arm God took you from here.(Exodus 13:3).” If there is one thing Jews love, it’s “to remember.” Perhaps the only thing Jews […]

The Purpose Driven Jew

I wasn’t surprised to read in The New York Times that Rick Warren, mega-church pastor and best-selling author of “The Purpose Driven Life,” is advising Jewish religious leaders on how to draw more Jews into synagogue life. It’s very Jewish […]

Of Jews and Pews

It’s a not-so-well kept secret that recently many Jews–many Americans, in fact–have come to find traditional, frontal services where congregants sit quietly in pews to be off-putting and, dare I say it, boring. For a certain generation raised with a […]

Rick Warren’s Mega-Synagogue

Do you think Rick Warren, the author of the “Purpose Driven Life” and super duper mega-church leader, knew the joke about two Jews and three opinions when he sat down to consult Synagogue 3000 on how to attract more Jews […]

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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