Archive for 'Askarabbi'

What did God “know” after the Binding of Isaac?

After the binding of Isaac, כִּי עַתָּה יָדַעְתִּי כִּי־יְרֵא אֱלֹהִים  אַתָּה  – “now I know that you fear God?” What does this passage really mean?

The verse would seem to imply that God did not know whether Abraham feared God. But, now as a result of the Akedah, God’s personal knowledge has been expanded.[1] But such a limited view of omniscience  was something many rabbis found theologically scandalous, for how can a human being grasp the nature of God’s ...

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Fighting for Your Soul (Jer. 45:5) Counselling through Post-Traumatic Stress

Q. I have a very close friend who is Jewish (Conservative). He is deeply religious and his faith is the foundation of his entire life; it provides the context for his close relationship with his family and motivates his work. The Torah is very important to him.

As part of his duty he served and played a key role in the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and was on the ground there for several months. Since his return he has ...

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Did Jesus believe in Original Sin?

Q. I know that Christians and Jews share many religious beliefs and are very close to each other in spiritual brotherhood. But Christians basically believe that they are created sinful and unclean and, therefore, need a Redeemer, Jesus, to take the sins of believers on Himself so that they may come to God’s Kingdom when they pass over. Since Jews do not have this Redeemer, how do they become pure enough to enter God’s Kingdom? I realize there is the ...

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Can a woman serve as a Mohel?

Q. One of my congregants asked me a wonderful question. In Orthodox Judaism can a woman perform Brit Milah (ritual circumcision)?

I wrote back,

“ You have asked a great question! There is a controversy in tractate Avodah Zarah 27a regarding this very issue between Daru bar Papa who cites in the name of Rav and Rabbi Yochanan. Here is the substance of the argument. Daru b. Papa held that only someone who is obligated to observe the precept of circumcision can ...

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The Bible’s Most Famous Ghost Story: The Witch of Endor

The Bible’s Most Famous Ghost Story

In honor of the Halloween holiday, I thought we would examine one of the great tales of the supernatural found in the Bible. I originally wrote this piece as I was preparing for my Confirmation class. The kids really enjoyed it. One of the most remarkable and famous ghost stories of all time is the episode found in 1 Samuel 28 about Saul’s encounter with the Witch of Endor.  Over a thousand years ago, Jewish ...

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