Archive: October, 2011

On prophets and miracles

By Israel Drazin   As I wrote in my discussion about the origin of evil, I am convinced that God created the world out of nothing or formed it out of preexisting and eternal matter, set the laws of nature in it, and then stopped being involved in the earth and its people. God is […]

What is the source of evil?

By Israel Drazin   Contrary to the belief and hopes of most people, but consistent with the thinking of people such as Maimonides and Yeshayahu Leibowitz (1903-1994), I don’t think there is a personal God. I am convinced that God is transcendent: God created the world out of nothing or formed it out of preexisting […]

Does it Matter Whether God Exists?

By Israel Drazin   I dislike and reject the notion of “faith,” which is the acceptance that an idea is true even though the idea is clearly shown to be false by science, the use of our five senses, or reasoning. I accept as true only facts that are rational. I am not an atheist […]

Rabbis have abandoned the Bible to fundamentalist Christians

By Israel Drazin   Many rabbis have, in effect, abandoned Bible study to fundamentalist Christians. Very few of their books that ostensibly address the Torah actually do so. Instead, usually without disclosing the fact, the rabbis who composed these volumes and the rabbis who deliver synagogue sermons focus on the midrashic versions of the biblical […]

Sermonizing vs. The Truth

The First Ten Days By Rabbi Yaacov Haber Torah Lab, 2010, 88 pages There are essentially four different ways that people use to try to learn the truth about the world: religion, mysticism, philosophy and science, and a mixture of two or three of the previous methods. All should be lauded, for people should try […]

Noble Prize Winner Saramago Mocks Judaism

The Gospel According to Jesus Christ By Jose Saramago   The reviews of 1998 Noble Prize winner Jose Saramago’s brilliant book on Amazon and elsewhere have generally been quite comprehensive, very well written, and informative. Therefore I will not delve again into the aspects of the novel that they discussed, such as the book’s plot; […]

Some Thoughts about God

Some Thoughts about God By Israel Drazin   The popular view that God is ever present and meticulously involved, such as making detailed decisions about and controlling every raindrop and every falling leaf, and counting and recording the good and bad deeds that humans perform, is so well known that it doesn’t bear repeating. So […]

What are we expected to know about God?

What are we Expected to Know about God?  By Israel Drazin   I am more inclined to accept the Maimonidean position.   The term “tradition” is used frequently in discussions about Jewish values and practices. Maimonides warns us to be skeptical of traditions, no matter what their source and no matter how many people insist […]

Should we kiss holy objects?

Kissing Holy Objects By Israel Drazin     A significant number of people are unable to identify a religious practice as being nothing other than superstition, especially when the practice has existed for generations, they feel good about doing it, it gives them a spiritual uplift, and their religious leaders are performing the act. One […]

The truth about Judaism’s famous “prayer”

All These Vows Edited by Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman Jewish Lights Publishing, 2011, 264 pages   Remarkably, very few people understand the content, purpose, and history of what many consider Judaism’s most important prayer, a recitation embroiled in controversy, a legal document that the rabbis tried to expunge from the high holiday Day of Atonement […]

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