Virtual Talmud
January 2007 Archives

Rabbi Grossman gets it just right on the issue of Judaism’s relationship to bio-ethical issues. Here Judaism radically differs with certain elements of the Christian tradition. Instead of looking for an all-embracing universal theory that runs through every situation–such as […]

As with most science, medical technology can be both a blessing and a curse. Our charge is to use such technology for good and not ill. The problem, of course, is that choosing a course that does “good” and not […]

The ancient rabbis who wrote the Talmud (in modern-day Falluja, incidentally) understood something very important about capital punishment that we in this country–to say nothing of those in Iraq–seem to have forgotten. It’s not that capital punishment is philosophically indefensible, […]

The entire war in Iraq has been one big tragedy deceptively perpetrated by President Bush. The American people should hold him accountable. That said, Rabbi Stern is missing the point when he thinks the issue surrounding Hussein’s execution is an […]

Dear Thomas Freidman, In the spirit of the many letters you have written over the years I have decided to write one special to you. I have always enjoyed your pieces in the Times (especially after 9/11) and find myself […]

Rabbi Grossman, if you read my posts, you would see that I have no problem condemning Orthodox violence. I have done so many times before on this blog and in other publications. Nor am I, nor have I ever been […]

My problem with Rabbi Stern’s comments is that, while acknowledging the propensity for violence among the ultra-Orthodox, he dismisses it as a relatively minor phenomena in comparison to extremist violence by Muslims and Christians (though I am not sure of […]

Point well taken, Rabbi Waxman. I pretty much agree with everything you are saying about certainty. I just think that by focusing on this aspect of Orthodoxy we end up missing more than we uncover. The miniscule rise in Orthodox […]

Rabbi Stern, it strikes me, doth protest too much. It is true that the vast majority of Orthodox Jews are not extremists who will take matters into their own hands to enforce their own social and religious agenda. It is […]

Reading Rabbi Waxman’s post, I thought to myself “I could easily have written the exact same piece…10 years ago when I was freshman at Yeshiva University.” Much of what Rabbi Waxman says is correct. The problem is that it’s too […]