Virtual Talmud
August 2006 Archives

Judaism has always been a religion that focuses on, teaches, ritualizes the ability to tell the differences between things: the difference between Shabbat and the rest of the week; the difference between kosher and non-kosher food; the difference between shatnes […]

The violence in Israel continues to worsen, and now wide-scale evacuations of the North are finally under way as it appears Israel is preparing to enter Southern Lebanon in force. I pray for the well-being of the brave Israeli soldiers […]

Following the mourning of Tisha b’Av (commemorating the destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem in 586 BCE and the Second Temple in 70 CE), Jews traditionally read selections from prophets (Haftorot) that draw on images of comfort: the sense […]

For years now people have been calling terrorism a cancer. As Itamar Rabinovich, the president of Tel Aviv University and former Israeli diplomat, put it, “You either cut it out or it eats you up.” Right now, this is certainly […]

A few hours before Tisha b’Av began I was reflecting that the violence in the Middle East shows absolutely no signs of abating. Instead, it’s been getting worse–with Hezbollah shooting more than 200 rockets into Israel and Israel vowing to […]