Archive for 'Current Events'

Cain and Abel: According to Levinas

Emmanuel Levinas was in France in 1930 and reveals that, even at this early stage, he enlisted in the French army. In 1940 he was captured and spent the remaining five years of the war in two prisoner-of-war camps. Upon being liberated he returns to Lithuania and finds-out that his parents and siblings had been killed by the Nazis, while his wife, whom he had left behind in Paris, had survived thanks to the help of French nuns who hid her. Levinas  eventually ...

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Why does the Bible tolerate slavery?

Q. I honestly would like to believe that the Bible is the untainted Word of God, but there are several passages that very clearly go against any sane standard of human decency. Two quick examples are Numbers 31, and the commandment that a Canaanite slave must be kept forever. I don’t understand how my God could demand such grotesque acts in the former tale, and condone eternal slavery in the latter bit. Since you are far more learned than I ...

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The Inconspicuous Messiah

As Napoleon marched triumphantly through Europe, the Jews of the ghetto felt joyous by his arrival. Was Napoleon really the Messiah? Many of our ancestors thought so; but again, that was before Napoleon got defeated at the Battle of Waterloo. And then there was Franklin Delano Roosevelt better known to my parent’s generation as “FDR.” Many Jews living back in the gloomy days of WWII believed that FDR might have been the Messiah, but that was before we learned that ...

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Did Scientists Discover a "God Spot" ?

Q. For centuries scholars have long wondered why the belief in God is so ubiquitous in cultures all around the world. Recently, neurologists propose a possible explanation suggesting that the belief in God is deeply embedded in the human brain. Simply put, the brain is hardwired and programmed for religious experiences. A study involved forty participants, including Christians, Muslims, Jews, ...

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Respecting the Human Face

Martin Gilbert in his book on the Holocaust tells the story about a young sixteen year-old named Zvi Michalowski. On September 27, 1941, Zvi was supposed to be executed with 3,000 other Lithuanian Jews. He had fallen into the pit a fraction of a second before the Nazis shot their guns. That night, he crept out of the pit, and fled to ...

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