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) predicated upon the belief in the value of and […]
Rabbi Grossman writes movingly about the reasons she abstains from chametz on Passover. As a Reconstructionist Jew, I too believe that God doesn’t intervene in the world to punish wrongdoers or those who violate the commandments, and yet I still place great importance on them. When we choose to observe Passover by abstaining from bread and other leavened foods, we are binding ourselves to a sacred story–one that connects us to our history, to Jews around the world, and to God. I do this not because I worry I will be punished if I don’t, but because I believe acting this way brings its own reward. The ancient rabbi, Ben Zoma, captured this idea perfectly: Doing the right thing not to receive reward or from fear of punishment. He said, “The reward of a mitzvah is a mitzvah and the reward of a transgression is another transgression.” (Pirkei Avot 4:2) By creating sacred places in our own lives and our own communities through these mitvzot, we invite God to enter into our midst and be present.
Read the Full Debate: Does God Really Care If We Eat Bread on Passover?
- Rabbi Stern: We Should Make ‘Choosing’ the Focus
- Rabbi Grossman: ‘I Don’t Eat Bread Because I Love God‘
Explore Beliefnet’s Complete Passover Features: