Faith and Practice

Celebrating the Jewish Body: Exercises for Body and Soul

June 4, 2010

The very first thing the Torah tells us about ourselves is that we are created b’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God. What would our lives be like if we built a Judaism around the physicality of the body?

The Spirituality of Madness

June 3, 2010

Rabbi Kukla writes, “holiness and madness inspire awe” and asks how we can use this spiritual knowledge to approach care of the mentally ill.

Jewish Enlightenment : Neo-Hasidism and Vedanta Hinduism

May 20, 2010

Jewish mystics face a problem Hindus don’t have: if there are no distinctions in the absolute, then the religion of the relative, with its rules and prohibitions, suddenly becomes incoherent. If nothing else, Judaism is a religion of distinctions and lines, and if Ein Sof erases lines, it erases normative Judaism.

Seven Days for Shavuot?

May 16, 2010

Of the three harvest festivals, Sukkot and Passover are weeklong. Why not Shavuot?

Micro-Shechitah; Local, Seasonal, Organic, & Kosher

May 13, 2010

I had not eaten meat in 12 years. But I became convinced that meat could be an ethical choice for me–if I the animals were raised locally and sustainably, and if I slaughtered the animals myself, according to the values embodied in the Jewish laws of shechitah, kosher slaughter.

The War Against Tolerance (with response from Phyllis Chesler)

May 10, 2010

Rifqa Bary is an Ohio teen who ran away from home after converting to Christianity. Jews and Evangelicals banded together to save her from her Muslim family. They saw their effort as being part of a global struggle against Islam. What they were really fighting was multiculturalism. Phyllis Chesler, quoted in the article, responds.

The Non-Duality Dialogues

April 29, 2010

Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Schelling and Maimonides jostle with the Big Dipper and earthquakes, in an effort to decipher what it really means for us to say God is One.

Our Day, Their Prayers

April 26, 2010

The National Day of Prayer is supposed to celebrate America’s religious diversity. According to Rachel Tabachnick, the annual event has been hijacked by fundamentalists.

Why I Choose to be a Lesbian Rabbi

April 14, 2010

I am lesbian. I am a rabbi. I often fear, however, that if I embrace the identity of “Lesbian Rabbi” that people will make assumptions about my agenda that are untrue.

Ranking Righteous Gentiles

April 12, 2010

On Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), Jews are not only encouraged to remember the victims of Nazism. We are also moved to recognize our shared humanity with others.

Why We Need Rabba, Not Maharat, Sara Hurwitz

April 7, 2010

The biggest fear of male rabbis who refuse to share their authority with women like Sara Hurwitz is that they’ll cause the breakdown of the status quo. I hope they are correct.

Dogmas in Contemporary Judaism

April 6, 2010

Sh’ma and Zeek co-present Shaul Magid’s controversial thesis that American Judaism is dominated by three dogmas: pro-Israelism, the uniqueness of the Holocaust, and the war against intermarriage.

Disenchanting Zionism

March 29, 2010

Zionism was once considered a Jewish demand for human rights. It was not, as it has been recast, an expression of Jewry’s divine rights.

Obama's Seder: Stay for a While

March 26, 2010

President Obama’s seder reminds me of what makes our rehash of history so special.

The Jewish Picture Book: Storytelling as Midrash

March 24, 2010

Writing a children’s book is harder than writing one for adults, because adults often speak condescendingly to children. Discovering Jewish picture books in the public library showed me that there was another Talmud available.

Rabbi David Ingber of Romemu discusses the future of Jewish Renewal

March 19, 2010

Rabbi David Ingber of Romemu talks to Zeek about the future of Jewish Renewal and the legacy of Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi.

Control and Order, Wonder and Chaos

March 2, 2010

This Lord of orderliness troubles me, maybe because I am a messy person. Keeping my meat dishes apart from my milk ones challenges my disorganized soul. And makes me wonder: is it God who wants an orderly world, or is it we who attribute order to God?

Their Religion is Hatred

February 28, 2010

Christian Zionism is frequently conflated with two other equally racist brands of Protestantism: Christian Identity and British Israelism. While acknowledging their shared antipathy towards Jews, Bruce Wilson emphasizes that it is important to appreciate their differences.

Saving Jews From John Hagee

February 15, 2010

Over the last four decades, Evangelicals infiltrated Zionist circles, convincing naïve Israelis and Jews that they were friends. Manipulating Jewish desire for respect and repentance, today, their support for Israel is considered indispensable. And, to a growing number of Jews, suspect.

Birth and Fear: Bringing God In

February 4, 2010

I knew something was wrong when my son-in-law didn’t call. My daughter was in the birthing room, two weeks overdue.

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