Moti the Mouse and the True Miracle of Chanukah

Some years back, my daughter Leba Lieder and I wrote a children’s book with drawings about a mouse and Chanukah. Here is the story without the drawings.   Moti the Mouse and the True Miracle of Chanukah                                        By                                 Leba Lieder                                      And                 […]

The book the rabbis loved but rejected from the Bible

  The book “The Wisdom of Ben Sira” was composed around the year 180 BCE by Yeshua ben (son of) Eleazar ben (son of) Sira, about a decade before the 167 BCE onset of the Chanukah story. It is a book that the rabbis did not include in the Hebrew Bible despite respecting it immensely […]

Current Judaism is unlike what the Bible demands

In his very informative 1928 book “Adjustment of Law to Life in Rabbinic Literature,” Solomon Zucrow, shows, as did many others, that current Jewish law is radically different than what is stated in the Hebrew Bible. Many Orthodox Jews say that the differences were ordered by God, that when God revealed the Torah to Moses, […]

What really happened at the Red Sea?

After years of devastating slavery, God aided Moses in leading the Israelites out of Egypt. Several days after the Exodus, the erstwhile slaves reached the banks of the Red Sea, also called the Sea of Reeds. They felt trapped and saw no escape. If they moved forward into the sea in front of them they […]

Maimonides’ methodology and prophecy

Maimonides (1138-1204) wrote his philosophical work Guide of the Perplexed in 1190 to disseminate truths as he saw them to fellow Jews who lacked his knowledge. He was particularly interested in demonstrating that the biblical and rabbinical writings are consistent with the rationalistic philosophy of the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384–322 B.C.E.). M. Friedlander, in his […]

The Torah requires orthopraxy not orthodoxy

  Jeffrey Radon’s easy to read book “Reconciling A contradictory Abraham” introduces readers to an orthoprax view of Judaism, an approach held by many ancient Jewish sages. Orthopraxy is not a water-downed Judaism; Radon is a practicing Jew. Orthoprax Judaism stresses that the Torah contains no philosophy, no system of beliefs, and no requirement to […]

Can we rely on God to perform miracles?

Joshua 8 tells an unusual tale. Joshua assumed leadership of the Israelites upon Moses’ death. He led them across the Jordan River into the promised land of Canaan. He conducted them in several successful conflicts against the Canaanite inhabitants but lost a crucial battle. He was now worried, and was unsure whether he could be […]

What underlies the humor of Shalom Aleichem?

  Shalom Aleichem is the pen name of the famous writer Solomon Rabinowitz, who wrote hundreds of humorous tales in Yiddish, and became one of the three most famous early Yiddish writers, along with Mendele Mocher Seforim and Yitzchak Leib Peretz. He was the only one of the three who wrote in a humorous vein. […]

Did we sin?

  I bought a statue of the famed philosopher Aristotle. It is covered in heavy bronze. It is 14.25 inches tall. It looks great. I placed it next to the Maimonides books that I wrote because Aristotle (384-322 BCE) and Maimonides (1138-1204 CE) are my favorite philosophers. Both are rationalists. Socrates taught Plato, Plato taught […]

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

  James L. Kugel’s thesis in his new book “The Great Shift” is that the Bible describes God in different and evolving ways, depending on when the biblical book or section was composed, and this points to a developing idea about what God is and how God functions, as well as what humans thought about […]

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