Many thanks to editor Aaron Berkowitz, who just published my poem about Albert Einstein in The Jewish Literary Journal. Check … Continue Reading “Albert Einstein” – New Poem at the Jewish Literary Journal
After rattling off the usually long list of reasons why the God of the Hebrew Bible is everything from in … Continue Reading Thoughts for Shabbat: A Working Definition of YHWH
A marvelous end to an amazing book, here is Gershom Scholem final words in Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, on the … Continue Reading Thoughts for Shabbat: A Bit from the Baal Shem Tov
A wonderful passage from Jacob Neusner, which shows again that religion is change: Surveying the landscape of ancient Judaism from … Continue Reading Thoughts for Shabbat: Rabbinic Judaism Emerges
One of the most lucid examples of how religions both change and still remain meaningful comes from James Kugel’s two … Continue Reading Thoughts for Shabbat: Will the Real Psalm 23 Please Stand Up?
Karl Shapiro, “The Alphabet” The letters of the Jews as strict as flames Or little terrible flowers lean Stubbornly upwards … Continue Reading Karl Shapiro, “The Alphabet”
Probably the most lucid example of how religions both change drastically, and yet remain meaningful, is right here in James … Continue Reading Will the Real Psalm 23 Please Stand Up?
From Mark Cohen’s Under Crescent & Cross: The Jews in the Middle Ages: An aspect of Jewish-gentile sociability under Islam … Continue Reading Jews & Muslims on Pilgrimage Together in the 1300s
from David Carr’s book on literacy and the creation of literature in the ancient world: … many ancient texts were … Continue Reading What the Earliest Forms of Literacy Looked Like
From Primo Levi’s 1986 book, The Drowned and the Saved, remembering the concentration camps: On Levi’s own—and others’—guilt at having … Continue Reading Primo Levi’s Hardest Thoughts on the Holocaust
After rattling off the usually long list of reasons why the God of the Hebrew Bible is everything from in … Continue Reading A Working Definition of Yawheh
Lawrence Wright’s recent book on the history of Scientology is an immensely important document for studying how religions begin. While … Continue Reading What Scientology Tells Us About How Religions Begin
The oldest book about religion on my shelves is Karen Armstrong’s A History of God. The note inside still says … Continue Reading “One day the Gestapo hanged a child”: God on Trial at Auschwitz
From Kafka’s novel The Trial: Before the Law stands a doorkeeper. A man from the country comes to this doorkeeper … Continue Reading Kafka’s Great Fable: “Before the Law”
Four stories from the great Jewish tradition of the sacredness of the Torah, of Hebrew, and of the letters of … Continue Reading The Great Myths #45: Sacred Language Creates the World (Jewish)
And it happened after these things that God tested Abraham. And He said to him, “Abraham!” and he said, “Here … Continue Reading The Great Myths #18: The Sacrifice of Isaac (Jewish)