Archive for 'Talmud, Zohar, and Midrash'

Respecting the Limits of Human Knowlege

Most Jews tend to identify Maimonides, Saadia Gaon, Judah HaLevi, Martin Buber as among  the great Jewish philosophers of all time, but there are a number of ancient Jewish thinkers whose ideas are rich with originality; in fact, their insights are no less valuable today than they were over two thousand years when they first introduced their wisdom to the world.

Among those scholars we are quoting, we will cite the Wisdom of Ben Sira, who is better known by his ...

Learn More

Why did God punish Onan with death?

Here is the passage we are examining from Genesis 38:9-10:

38:9 וַיֵּדַע אוֹנָן כִּי לֹּא לוֹ יִהְיֶה הַזָּרַע וְהָיָה אִם־בָּא אֶל־אֵשֶׁת אָחִיו וְשִׁחֵת אַרְצָה — But since Onan knew that the offspring would not be his, he spilled his semen on the ground whenever he went in to his brother’s wife, — The wording of the text  “ba” suggests Onan’s behavior was not a one time action; he seems to have habitually climaxed in this manner. The NRSV’s  translation, “whenever he ...

Learn More

Think like a Haredi?! The Roots of Haredi Misogyny

It has long been my contention that if you want to understand the mindset of the ultra-Orthodox world in Israel and in the Diaspora today, one must first learn how to think like one. Having been once an ultra-Orthodox Jew, I thought it would be helpful to deconstruct their way of thinking, which is probably a mystery to most normal thinking people.

וְשִׁנַּנְתָּם לְבָנֶיךָ  – You shall teach them to your children  . . .  (Deut. 6:7).

The Talmud in tractate Kiddushin ...

Learn More

The Divine Feminine—The Theology of Immanence

The Divine Feminine—The Theology of Immanence

History has shown us time and time again how God-images impact the way a religious culture treats its female members. Cultures ruled by a misogynistic conception of the Divine, cannot help but treat its women in a barbarous manner. Indeed, a society that hates its women becomes incapable of loving anything else. Conversely, a religious culture that respects and values the maternal aspects of the Divine Feminine produces a community of believers where life ...

Learn More

Better Dead than Alive? A Tale from the Haredi Zone

The ultra-Orthodox rabbis in Israel never cease to take the Jewish imagination to places   where no rabbi has ever gone before. A case in point: One Israeli Haredi rabbi, Dovid Kornreich, thinks that homosexuals are better off dead than alive. In one of his popular blogs (his blogspot is called “A Voice from the Wilderness”), the rabbi ...

Learn More
Page 5 of 7 «...34567