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Are human beings basically animals who need to be tamed by the forces of civilization? Or are humans angelic beings who sometimes get dragged down by the external forces of nature? Thomas … more
Our parasha, Re’eh, contains the obligation to physically destroy all objects used for idol worship: “You shall tear down their altars, smash their monuments, burn their idolatrous … more
If American Jews are unhappy with Israel, it may not be so much a function of the new nation-state law as the growing consensus that it is “illiberal.” In articles in both secular … more
The first mention in JTA of the Hebrew word hasbarah was in 1988, at the height of the first intifada. The article focused on Israeli and American Jews’ concern that the media were showing … more
The rules for appointing a king are followed by a few personal restrictions the Torah places on him: he must be an observant Jew with all that entails, and he may not have an excess of horses, … more
Our parasha, Shoftim, contains the celebrated verse, “Justice, justice shall you pursue, [in order] that you may live and possess the land the L-rd, your G-d, is giving you.” (Devarim … more
Each generation of Jewish parents seems to face the same dilemma. We teach our children that all humans are created in the image of G-d; to respect and assist others; that love of G-d means love … more
My inspiration this week comes from a magazine article featuring 50 kinds of sliders. It looked like fun, so I tried a few vegetarian ones and some made from salmon and eggplant. I made several … more
I was at a wedding in LA when the family of the groom decided to daven mincha. Someone immediately asked, “Which way is east?” I was struck by the fact that in Israel, no one … more
There’s an old saying “Seeing is Believing.” But while many idioms have truth, this one is factually inaccurate. I’ve watched many a magic trick, both live and recorded. I … more
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