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Virtual Talmud

January 1970 Archives

Merry Christmas, Mike Huckabee

Much ado is being made out of Mike Huckabee’s, all I want to do is wish you “a Merry Christmas” TV advertisement. Huckabee’s ad seems sincere. He is an ordained minister, a devout Christian, and someone who seems to be […]


What Huckabee & Romney Mean for Jews

With the Iowa caucuses just two short weeks away, the candidates are all scrambling against the clock to get their message out. And with Christmas as the backdrop, it seems that several of the candidates are trying to use the […]


Acts of Heroism Increase the Light

While Rabbi Grossman’s sentiments are certainly heartwarming and worthy, and I tend to agree with Rabbi Stern’s analysis of the Adler-Askari incident, I don’t think this story proves that anti-Semitism is rampant on the Upper West Side of New York […]


The Randomness of Anti-Semitism

Only in America, was my response to the New York Post story referred to by Rabbi Grossman. Could one ever imagine the same scene playing itself out in a European subway? Aside from it being a truly heartwarming story of […]

Muslim Rescues Jew in NY Hanukkah Miracle

I was in New York this week and actually bought a New York Post for the first time in my life. Why? Because it featured on it’s Dec. 12 cover a photo of Walter Adler, a Jewish subway passenger, with […]

Dear Virtual Talmud Readers–

posted by jsturiale

Due to a technical upgrade here at Beliefnet last weekend, we experienced unexpected issues with the blogs– namely, missing comments on some posts. Our Tech team moved the entire Beliefnet infrastructure to a new, more modern data center, which was […]

Hitchens: Got History?

Rabbis Stern and Rabbi Waxman are right that our Hanukkah rituals are multi-valanced, as is any ritual that has lasted thousands of years. As such, Hanukkah responds to the human needs for light and hope at this darkest time of […]

Why Christopher Hitchens Just Doesn’t Get It

I was as aghast as Rabbi Stern was by Christopher Hitchens’ article on Hanukkah in Slate from last week. Not because of the venomous rhetoric or offensive bombast–this is Hitchens’ stock-in-trade and without it it’s not clear anyone would know […]

A Response to Christopher Hitchens’ ‘Hanukkah’

Christopher Hitchens is more than a clever chap. He is one of those rare public intellectuals that no matter what is the subject matter being addressed one can sit and listen to him rant and rave for hours on end. […]

The Truth About George Washington’s Hanukkah

For centuries, the lights of the Hanukkah menorah have inspired hope and courage. They may have also been responsible for inspiring then-General George Washington to forge on when everything looked bleak when his cold and hungry Continental Army camped at […]

What Would Judah (Maccabee) Do?

We Jews have our own WWJD: What Would Judah Maccabee Do? Judah lived at a time much like our own. A large number of Jews spent their days enjoying the pleasures of modern (for them Hellenistic) society, not really caring […]

Hanukkah’s Lesson on Conserving Energy

It seems each day we hear about the continued consequences of our dependence on oil as a source of energy–the greenhouse gas emissions that come with burning fossil fuels, the devastation to local communities and ecosystems of exploring for and […]

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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