practice of judaism

Mysterious Passover Symbols
April 1, 2010

Passover is a beautiful, often mysterious, celebration. More than any other festival it has been at the heart of the universal Jewish experience, helping to form the core of spiritual identity and pointing inexorably toward the hope of Israel’s salvation. Two especially mysterious items on the Passover table were not part of the original celebration;…

Continue Reading Reading Time: 4 minutes
Is Nothing Sacred? Questioning Assumptions, Past and Present
November 1, 2003

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.

Continue Reading Reading Time: 8 minutes
Question Authority, Part Two
February 1, 2003
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…

Continue Reading Reading Time: 7 minutes
Question Authority
December 1, 2002
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…

Continue Reading Reading Time: 6 minutes

Jewish Spirituality and the Holy Spirit
January 1, 2000
Author: Moishe Rosen

A look at the Jewish yearning for spirituality questions whether increased spiritual practices will provide a real connection with God.

Continue Reading Reading Time: 8 minutes
For the Relief of Unbearable Urges
September 1, 1999

Book Title: For the Relief of Unbearable Urges Author: Nathan Englander Date Published: March 21, 2000 Publisher: Vintage Genre: 1. Short Stories2. Contemporary3. United States ISBN: 978-0375704437 Reviewer: David Brickner 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…

Continue Reading Reading Time: 2 minutes
Letter Regarding Jewish Identity
July 1, 1997

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…

Continue Reading Reading Time: 3 minutes
Questions and Answers on Jewish Law and Tradition Concerning Death
April 1, 1995

  Why does Jewish law require that the deceased be buried within twenty-four hours of death? Are any exceptions allowed? The biblical basis for this law is questionable, as a portion of Deuteronomy 21:23 is cited: His body shall not remain overnight…, but you shall surely bury him that day.” If you read the command…

Continue Reading Reading Time: 3 minutes
The God I Believe In
March 1, 1995
Author: David M.

Book Title: The God I Believe In Author: Joshua O. Haberman Date Published: 1994 Publisher: The Free Press Reviewer: David M. Review Date: March 1, 1995 Judaism, it has been said, is a religion of deed and not creed. A rabbi may have no difficulty explaining the history of a practice and can easily refer…

Continue Reading Reading Time: 4 minutes

Today’s Rituals: Reminders or Replacements?
May 1, 1992
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…

Continue Reading Reading Time: 8 minutes

Monotheism of the Ancient Hebrews: Evolved, Invented, Stolen or Revealed?
September 3, 1987
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.

Continue Reading Reading Time: 0
A Deliberate Mistranslation?
March 1, 1986

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…

Continue Reading Reading Time: 3 minutes
Why Doesn’t the Messiah Come?
September 1, 1982

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…

Continue Reading Reading Time: 3 minutes
The Messiah Texts
Author: Rich Robinson

Book Title: The Messiah Texts Author: Raphael Patai Date Published: December 1, 1988 Publisher: Wayne State University Press Genre: 1. Messianic Judaism ISBN: 978-0814318508 Reviewer: Rich Robinson 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…

Continue Reading Reading Time: 2 minutes
The Torah: God’s Indestructible Book: But It Can Be Broken
September 6, 1980

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…

Continue Reading Reading Time: 6 minutes
Torah, the Best Merchandise
September 3, 1980

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…

Continue Reading Reading Time: 2 minutes