Buddhist ideas that Maimonides would like

  Dr. Oliver Kent wrote a fascinating educational book called “Inspirational Buddhist Quotations: Meditations and Reflections.”[1] He quotes 100 Buddhist teachings and adds his own brief reflections on each of them. The famed philosopher Maimonides wrote that people should realize that “The truth is the truth no matter what its source.” Although Jewish, he saw […]

The solution is simple

                                                  In an exccelent and informative article, Professor Marty Lockshin of York University, a rabbi, examined the difficulty raised by Deuteronomy 13:2-4 and tells the solutions offered in a Midrash and by several medieval Jewish commentators.[1] I will add another solution. Deuteronomy states: “If there appears among you a prophet or a dream-diviner – […]

The Bible forbids only certain intermarriages

  We are not Bible Jews. We are Rabbinical Jews. The Torah only forbids intermarriages with certain non-Israelites, not all of them. But at least since the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, Judaism has forbidden intermarriages with non-Jews who have not converted. There are many verses that proscribe marriages with non-Israelites, but until the time […]

I just published a new book.

Pub date: October 2018 Nachmanides An Unusual Thinker by Israel Drazin ISBN: 9789652298874 Price: $24.95 Pages: 217 Binding: Hardcover Nachmanides was and still is a highly respected scholar. Yet despite his brilliance he had ideas that many modern Jews are unable to accept. He was the first person who contended that the Bible, Targum Onkelos, […]

Why the “Merchant of Venice” is nonsensical

The 1596 Merchant of Venice play seems to me to be nonsensical, filled with actions that make no sense, and it is extremely anti-Semitic. Contrary to what most people think, that it is only Shylock’s demand that the merchant of Venice, Antonio, fulfills his vow that he made to give Shylock a pound of his […]

Some things are hard if not impossible to understand

Some things are hard if not impossible to understand unless a person has a good background of knowledge about the subject. One would not expect a person to understand the philosophy of Aristotle or Maimonides if the individual never took a course in philosophy, even if he or she spends twelve hours a day “learning” […]

Does the Bible contain humor?

   In his sixth “Young People’s Concert: Humor in Music,” Leonard Bernstein tells viewers that many very good pleasant pieces of music contain humor. He proves this by examining parts of musical compositions by Haydn, Mahler, Mozart, and Shostakovich.  He tells us what it is in music that can make it funny. He tells us […]

Why we see and hear what we do not see and hear

Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts was one of the best things on TV. He introduced people, not only young but even older people, to music, what it is, what does it means, and how to enjoy it. In the 1958 hour-long film, the first in the series, he focused on What Does Music Mean? While […]

Tisha B’Av is not the date temples were destroyed

Today, July 22, 2018, 10 Av according to the Jewish calendar, many Jews fast. The fast this year is not on 9 Av because 9 Av, Tisha B’Av in Hebrew, occurs on Shabbat when it is inappropriate to fast, so the fast is delayed until the next day.[1] Tradition states that the ninth of Av […]

The Tragedies of King David

In my previous blog, I stressed that most people read what people say is in the Bible even though the Bible does not say what they are told it says. Frequently, the Bible actually says the opposite of what rabbis, priests, and ministers say is in the text. I gave examples from my book “Who […]

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