An extremely important book

In “21 Lessons for the 21st Century,” Yuval Noah Harari gives us an extremely important book. He has a Ph.D. in history from the University of Oxford. He has a deep understanding of human behavior and states his views clearly and vividly. His prior two books on the past and future of humanity, Sapiens: A Brief […]

The Spiritual Revolution of Rav Kook

Even rationalists like me can read, enjoy, and learn from the writings of mystics. We do not have to accept everything they say as being true, but there are things they say which are true. Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook was born in Latvia in 1865 and died in Jerusalem in 1935. His father was […]

People don’t know what’s in the Ten Commandments

  Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, and Jews are convinced that while they do not know much about their religion, they do know about the “Ten Commandments.” This is not true, as the following examples show:[1] There are not ten commandments. The oft-used term “Ten Commandments” is incorrect. Scholars and clerics know there are more than ten […]

Adin Steinsaltz tries to save the honor of some biblical characters

    Many people who read the Hebrew Bible recognize that it does not try to conceal the faults of even the most significant people, such as the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and its most famous kings such as King David and King Solomon. Yet, since the general public needs heroes without blemishes, there are […]

How should insulting words be handled?

There has been much talk recently about what should be done against the comedians who insulted people. I think that what we need to understand is that the slander must be handled in a practical way. Saying that one is sorry is not enough. Something needs to be fixed. The word “sin,” which is a […]

All we want to know about Saudi Arabia

Ellen R. Wald’s book “Saudi, Inc.” about the Arabian kingdom’s pursuit of profit and power has been justly praised as “crucial reading for understanding Saudi Arabia” by Steve Forbes, and as “Masterful” by James B. Smith, American Ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 2009-2013. He also called it “mandatory reading.” They are right. The book is […]

Ecclesiastes does not say what we think it says

The JPS Bible Commentaries are highly respected for their scholarship and for the clear and easy to read manner in which this scholarship is presented so that even readers with little knowledge of the biblical books can effortlessly understand what is being explained. Michael V. Fox’s 2004 interpretation of Ecclesiastes in the JPS series reflects […]

A very good review of my book

By Jeffrey Radon   I am the author of the internet site Orthoprax Judaism (, and the author of a book on the Hebrew Bible Reconciling a Contradictory Abraham (, and I regard myself as a disciple of Rabbi Israel Drazin. I have never had the privilege of studying in person with Rabbi Drazin, but […]

Jews, according to J. L. Kugel, shifted in their understanding of God

As is well-known, there are many ways that are used to interpret the Bible. There is even a tradition that there are seventy ways to do so. Seventy was in biblical days a symbolic figure indicating a large number. Thus, for example, Exodus 1 states that seventy descendants of Jacob came to Egypt even though […]

Did Ruth Convert to Judaism?

Many rabbis insisted that Ruth, and perhaps even Orpah, converted to Judaism, although the rabbis did not agree on when this occurred. There are good reasons to think that the concept of conversion did not exist during the time of Ruth and was only introduced into Judaism around 125 BCE. Until then, the Israelites thought […]

Do You Want To Be Notified of New Blog Posts?