Virtual Talmud
May 2006 Archives

In his masterful book “Sacred Fragments,” Rabbi Neil Gillman explores the question of revelation and asks: What really happened at Sinai? And what does our answer mean about revelation and the value of the Torah? Gillman considers, and rejects, a […]

According to tradition, God gave the people of Israel the Torah at Mount Sinai on Shavuot, the holiday we will celebrate Thursday night through Saturday. There is no way to truly know what–if anything–happened at Mount Sinai. Ultimately, it is […]

There is no question that neither the Jewish day school nor supplemental “Hebrew school” model is succeeding when it comes to educating our kids to be informed, conscientious, proficient, identified Jews. The reason is simple: both day schools and supplemental […]

I can go on for pages about how important a day-school education is toward ensuring the continuity of the Jewish people. Likewise, I could spend hours explaing how critical Jewish literacy is for Jewish life. There are no issues more […]

Thirty years ago (way before the 2000 National Population Survey shocked everyone with its intermarriage figures rising above 50 percent), a group of forward-thinking Jewish educators charged the Jewish community with devoting significantly more resources to Jewish education and improving […]

This past summer in Israel, on a long walk to a friend’s house for Shabbat dinner, I passed groups of young people hanging around street corners. Looking through the lit windows of Germantown’s cafes, I saw numerous individuals sitting alone […]

The Jewish press in America and Israel is abuzz about the recent comments of Israeli novelist A.B. Yehoshua to the effect that Jewish life in the Disapora (outside of Israel) is incomplete and irrelevant. The substance of the charges is […]

The recent spat at the American Jewish Committee‘s conference in Washington is what happens when you get a lot of Jews in one room who really do not know that much about Jews or Judaism. The debacle happened on the […]

Sadly, the story is all too common–Jewish families trying to outdo each other with over-the-top Bar and Bat Mitzvah parties that show off wealth and status in an orgy of conspicuous consumption. For some it seems it don’t mean a […]

When our son Yoni was 12, he begged us for a Bar Mitzvah disco party like all his classmates were planning. He was not initially pleased when we replied with plans for a Saturday night largely home-cooked dinner and talent […]

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