practice of judaism

Is Nothing Sacred? Questioning Assumptions, Past and Present

A commentary on Douglas Ruskoff’s religious reflections in Nothing Sacred, which focuses on his view of God as unknowable, Judaism as iconoclastic, abstract in its monotheism, and a religion of social justice.

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Question Authority, Part Two
Author: Moishe Rosen

In the last issue of Havurah we talked about questioning authority, particularly where the Jewish religion is concerned. We observed a shift in authority following the destruction of the Temple. That shift occurred at the council of Yavneh, where the rabbis appointed themselves as the leaders of Judaism in place of the priestly system established […]

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Question Authority
Author: Moishe Rosen

In the ’70s many of us were inspired, instructed and even informed by bumper stickers. Some people used their bumpers to speak out, others to talk back. One Christian group had a bumper sticker that proclaimed, We found it,” to which a group of Jewish people countered with their own bumper sticker declaring, “We never […]

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For the Relief of Unbearable Urges

For the Relief of Unbearable Urges by Nathan Englander (Knopf) 191 pp., $22 His lips are drawn and taut. His eyes are deep-set with remembrances. His mouth is turned up at the corners. But don’t mistake the expression for a smile or the eyes for wistful reminiscing. This is the grimace of a man with […]

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Letter Regarding Jewish Identity

Shalom Steve! Yesterday I received the Mishpochah Message with your lead article Alarming Our Community.” I must say that what I read made me angry. I am not angry with you personally, but with what you wrote. Please allow me to explain. Your analysis of what happened to Chuck Snow presents many important concerns. But […]

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Today’s Rituals: Reminders or Replacements?
Author: Zhava Glaser

Very few Jews have the courage to talk about the most important subject in the Jewish religion: that is, the question of the Temple, the high priest, the altar and the place of sacrifice. Gershon Salomon is a man of such courage. This 53-year-old scholar is the founder and head of a group called, The […]

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Monotheism of the Ancient Hebrews: Evolved, Invented, Stolen or Revealed?
Author: Rich Robinson

Whatever else may be in question, we all agree that in the Jewish religion there is only one God. Yet there is disagreement as to the origin of Jewish monotheism.

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A Deliberate Mistranslation?

Judaism, as practiced today, is sacrifice. The siddur emphasizes this fact and offers an explanation: Lord of the universe, Thou has commanded us to sacrifice the daily offering at its proper time and manner… Now, through our sins the Temple is destroyed, the daily offering is abolished, and we have neither priest officiating, nor Levite […]

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Why Doesn’t the Messiah Come?

Once there was a poor man who, may God spare us all a like fate, did not have a groschen to his soul. Nevertheless, he sat night and day studying Torah with pure intention, as God has bidden. One Friday morning, when his wife discovered that they did not have the wherewithal to buy the […]

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The Messiah Texts
Author: Rich Robinson

The Messiah Texts by Raphael Patai, (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1989 reprint), $19.95 paperback Everyone knows that through the ages, the sum and substance of Jewish thinking about the Messiah has been reflected in that one statement: When Messiah comes, there will be peace.” Right? Wrong! The Messiah Texts, by Jewish scholar Raphael Patai, […]

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The Torah: God’s Indestructible Book: But It Can Be Broken

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the original Torah of God in his hands, he found out that his people had broken one of its commandments. For the Torah he held in his hands said, Thou shalt not make unto thee…any manner of likeness, of any thing that is…in the earth…Thou shalt not […]

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Torah, the Best Merchandise

Once upon a time a ship carrying merchants and merchandise sailed over the sea, and among the passengers was a great scholar. The merchants began to converse about the wares which they carried with them, and what they intended to buy. Finally they asked the scholar what merchandise he had, and he answered: I carry […]

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