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Virtual Talmud

Virtual Talmud

January 1970 Archives

This Sukkot, the Whoa of Israeli Farmers

As Jews have done for thousands of years, I am in Jerusalem celebrating the festival of Sukkot. As one journalist put it to me the amazing thing about Israel is that on any given day there are 10 stories that […]

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Greening Sukkot

Wednesday night begins the holiday of Sukkot, a time when Jews around the world move temporarily out of our comfortable homes and eat, and sometimes also sleep, in sukkot, fragile structures with three to four walls and a roof that […]

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Jerusalem: A Matter of Perspective

As American Jews prepare once again to pray, “next year in Jerusalem,” on Yom Kippur, they should know that plans are being made to prevent that from taking place. For better or for worse, if it were up to Ehud […]

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On the Road to Perfection

Rabbi Grossman’s post on the wish “Next year in Jerusalem” reflects the fact that for much of Jewish history Jerusalem has been more of an ideal than a historical or geographical reality. It is only in the last hundred-odd years […]

Why Next Year in Jerusalem?

Why do we end our Yom Kippur services with the prayer: “Next year in Jerusalem?” Why not: “This year in Jerusalem?” Last year when we ended our holiday services, many in my congregation meant just that: this coming year in […]

Ten Things Jews Should Ask Forgiveness for

For not being more honest about the Armenian Genocide For not being more responsible for the upkeep of our sacred tradition For not putting an end to the case of Agunot For not reaching out and being more welcoming For […]

The Language of Sin

Someone once told me that the number of words a culture has for a particular idea or phenomena reflects its importance to that culture. The Yupik Eskimos are reported to have 24 words for snow, which makes sense since much […]

The Power of Sin

With Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur fast approaching, Jews around the world are supposed to be reflecting on our behavior over the past year by acknowledging our wrongdoings, asking forgiveness, and committing to doing better in the year ahead. It […]

Isaac and Ishmael Side by Side

I agree with Rabbi Waxman that we must be proactive in working towards strengthening the relationships between our various Jewish movements to facilitate closer cooperation and deeper respect within the Jewish community here and in Israel. However, I also agree […]

We Need to Get Our Own House in Order

I appreciate Rabbi Stern’s insightful and eloquent plea for the American Jewish community to make a concerted effort to begin building bridges to the Muslim world and to the American Muslim community in particular. It certainly is one of the […]

Preparing for Rosh Hashanah in Ishmael’s House

If there is one thing Rosh Hashanah teaches us, it is the importance of self-reflection and the ability to be self-critical in the way we relate to one another. Communally speaking, as we enter the High Holidays the American Jewish […]

What Does AIPAC Have to Do with God?

Before I get shrill about Christiane Amanpour’s “God’s Warriors” let me just put a few things on the table: I am vehemently opposed to the continuation of the Israeli settler project. I find those Jews who live in Hebron to […]

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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