Archive for February 5th, 2010

In Praise of Naomi Ragan: An Israeli and Orthodox Rosa Parks

This story is somewhat dated, but most of the readers probably are unaware of what actually took place in Israel regarding a brave and outspoken Modern Orthodox feminist and famous authoress who dared to stand up to an ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) juggernaut in a bus heading toward Israel.

In American history, every citizen knows how Rosa Parks made history on Dec. 1, 1955. This brave woman got arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a municipal bus to ...

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A “Priestly Kingdom” (Exodus 19:6)

What does it mean to be a “priestly kingdom”  in the Torah?

There was nothing  intrinsic holy about the priest, he was not spiritually superior when compared to ordinary Israelites by the virtue of him being a born into a priestly family. The priests’ vocation was not one of privilege but of obligation and responsibility–noblige oblige.

According to the philosophers Philo of Alexandria (ca. 1st century) and Moses Maimonides (ca. 12th century), birth alone doesn’t guarantee uniqueness.  So too, when classical Judaism ...

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Freedom “of” Religion or Freedom “from” Religion?

The year: 2010.

Haredi rabbis demand separate buses to ensure the separation of the sexes.  Beyond that, they are now insisting on separate times for men and women whenever they go shopping at the local supermarket. Once again the politicians look the other way rather than deal with the real problem– the ubiquitous threat of religious coercion.

Any gentile or liberal Jew reading this news might smirk: Are they afraid shopping along the aisles or sitting in a bus might lead to ...

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