Virtual Talmud

Virtual Talmud

January 1970 Archives

‘God’s Warriors’ Flunk Out

Honest Reporting gives Christiane Amanpour and CNN a C- for her reporting of the six-hour series “God’s Warriors,” in which she looks at religious fundamentalism in Judaism, Islam and Christianity. However, I would give her and her producers an F. […]


Eco-Kosher: Halakha on its Head

Rabbi Grossman suggests that “The kosher laws are supposed to raise an awareness of what we eat and a sensitivity to the needs of all living creatures.” Interesting, because just like Jews have claimed that eco-kosher is a central tenet […]


Kosher Consciousness

The kosher laws are supposed to raise an awareness of what we eat and a sensitivity to the needs of all living creatures–that is why the disconnect between kashrut and the humane treatment of animals is so discordant to Jewish […]


Eco-Kashrut: You Are What You Eat

For thousands of years, Judaism has taken seriously the idea of “you are what you eat”-– in other words, that the choices we make about what food to eat (and not to eat) has the capacity to make us holy. […]

Why Be Jewish? Here’s Why!

That there is a need to convene the sort of conference called “Why Be Jewish” that Rabbi Stern recently did points to precisely how poor a job the institutional Jewish world has done at providing meaningful answers to why we […]

The Purpose-Driven Jew

There are many reasons to be Jewish: religious reasons, family reasons, emotional reasons, communal and historic reasons. Rabbi Stern’s summary of a conference he co-hosted for the Bronfman Foundation came up with four good answers to the question “Why Be […]

Why Be Jewish?

Recently, Adam Bronfman and I co-hosted “Why be Jewish?” a gathering of leading Jewish rabbis, writers and thinkers sponsored by the Samuel Bronfman Foundation. The gathering was driven by the need for the Jewish community to take a step back […]

Lebanon War: No Winners

I wish I shared Rabbi Grossman’s rosy assessment of the legacy of the Lebanon War, which marks its one-year anniversary next week. She lists a number of factors that she cites as positive outcomes from the war, and it is […]

Lebanon One Year Later

“No one feels safe in their home anymore,” is how my husband’s cousin Nina explained the impact of last summer’s Lebanon War. She lives near Tel Aviv. Last summer she hosted her mother, her husband’s mother, his brother’s family, and […]

Intermarriage: Why Be Jewish?

Rabbi Waxman nicely explains the dilemma facing rabbis today with regard to the intermarriage issue. He highlights just how torn many in the liberal movements are regarding intermarriage. But the intermarriage question is part of a much larger discussion that […]

Intermarriage, Expectations and the Feldman Factor

I feel sorry for Noah Feldman, but not for the reason he wants us to feel sorry for him. Feldman is important: a Harvard law professor who helped shape the Iraqi Constitution. Nevertheless, the Orthodox community in which he was […]

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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