Advertisement

Virtual Talmud

Virtual Talmud

October 2006 Archives

Borat vs Jewface: The Politics of Jewish Humor

Truth be told, my first three years watching Sacha Baron Cohen was spent fast-forwarding through Borat on to Ali G. And for the last year or two Bruno has replaced Ali G as my favorite character. But recently–maybe only the […]

Advertisement

Borat vs Jewface: The Politics of Jewish Humor

Truth be told, my first three years watching Sacha Baron Cohen was spent fast-forwarding through Borat on to Ali G. And for the last year or two Bruno has replaced Ali G as my favorite character. But recently–maybe only the […]

Advertisement

Is Borat the New Archie Bunker?

Maybe I am dating myself, but when I hear one of Borat’s tirades, I immediately think of Archie Bunker of “All in the Family.” That TV show broke ground a few decades ago because it exposed in humorous fashion the […]

Advertisement

Is Borat the New Archie Bunker?

Maybe I am dating myself, but when I hear one of Borat’s tirades, I immediately think of Archie Bunker of “All in the Family.” That TV show broke ground a few decades ago because it exposed in humorous fashion the […]

The Case for Borat

“Throw the Jew down the well” is the chorus to a Kazakh folk song brought to us by Borat, starring in his own movie opening in just a few days. Of course as everyone knows, both the song and the […]

Who’s Orthodox Bashing?

Rabbi Stern, who’s Orthodox bashing? I also believe having a large Jewish family is a mitzvah. If you can afford the extra room, great. And if you can fix up your home and stay in the neighborhood near family, even […]

McMansions and Orthodox Bashing

All too many times the “McMansion” issue is just a socially acceptable form of Orthodox bashing. “Why do these Jews have to destroy our communities?” “The Orthodox have no respect for our aesthetic.” “Don’t they have any shame?” These are […]

All Out of Proportion

Rabbi Grossman sees McMansions as a sign of status and wonders how much money their owners gave to tzedakah, as opposed to pouring it into gold bathroom fixtures–a fair question. In fact, Judaism is not an ascetic religion and encourages […]

All Out of Proportion

Rabbi Grossman sees McMansions as a sign of status and wonders how much money their owners gave to tzedakah, as opposed to pouring it into gold bathroom fixtures–a fair question. In fact, Judaism is not an ascetic religion and encourages […]

Jewish McMansions and the American Dream

I see them everywhere, in new suburban developments and in urban neighborhoods: gigantic homes that could house a tribe, let alone an average family, and sometimes contain such perks as indoor pools. Labeled McMansions in the 1980s, Jews are building […]

Can We Trust our Leaders?

Today’s front page New Times article on Israeli machismo is very telling. It highlights how even those who speak in the most universal ethical/religious terms can locally act in the most unethical and anti-religious manner. The Israeli machismo issue is […]

Of Humility and Hypocrisy

Both Rabbi Stern and Rabbi Grossman correctly point to the hypocrisy of those who claim moral authority acting in immoral ways. But the issue goes deeper than that when we come to the question of people in positions of political […]

Of Humility and Hypocrisy

Both Rabbi Stern and Rabbi Grossman correctly point to the hypocrisy of those who claim moral authority acting in immoral ways. But the issue goes deeper than that when we come to the question of people in positions of political […]

Katzav Meets Foley’s Folly

Rabbi Stern points out the distinct irony of Israeli President Moshe Katzav refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of Conservative and Reform rabbis on the basis of Orthodox law as interpreted by Israel’s Religious Ministry while engaging in personal behavior that, […]

Katzav Meets Foley’s Folly

Rabbi Stern points out the distinct irony of Israeli President Moshe Katzav refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of Conservative and Reform rabbis on the basis of Orthodox law as interpreted by Israel’s Religious Ministry while engaging in personal behavior that, […]

Katzav’s Piety

If there is any truth to the mounting rape and misconduct charges facing Israeli President Moshe Katzav, it will be a sad day not only for Israel but all religious Jews. The truth is that at this point there is […]

Katzav’s Piety

If there is any truth to the mounting rape and misconduct charges facing Israeli President Moshe Katzav, it will be a sad day not only for Israel but all religious Jews. The truth is that at this point there is […]

C’mon, Get Real

Idolatry as “Bad habits,” “addictions,” “kissing Torah scrolls”: Weren’t these the kind of things pulpit rabbis spoke about in the 1950s on Shabbat when they couldn’t think of anything else to talk about? Both Rabbi Waxman and Rabbi Grossman fail […]

Of Love and Torah

I don’t share Rabbi Waxman’s ambivalence about whether kissing the Torah smacks of the very idolatry Judaism has always been so vigilant against. I think of it more like kissing a love letter: a physical expression of a passion for […]

A Slippery Slope to Idolatry

The Torah scroll is taken out of the ark. The rabbi walks in a procession around the synagogue holding the Torah as congregants reach out with their tallises (prayer shawls) or siddurim (prayer books) to touch the scroll and then […]

Sukkot’s Lessons, Lost on Us?

It’s ironic that Rabbi Grossman sees Sukkot as an enjoyable holiday. In its essence, the holiday is meant to make us feel uncomfortable and challenge our sense of rootedness and complacency. Yes it might say in Scripture that you should […]

Holiday Fatigue, or No Protestant Model?

I’m inclined to agree with Rabbi Grossman about the virtues of Sukkot relative to Yom Kippur. Too many American Jews are “twice-a-year Jews,” meaning they show up at synagogue for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Now granted, these are extremely […]

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 postings over a time frame of days (rather than moments

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 it’s that blogging doesn’t lend itself so well to t

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 advisors. She was right. I never should have cited those web

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 black and Jewish communities look to this period either

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 in visits to other (largely white) seminaries. We were

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

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.