Fascinating tales by a scoffer

  “Miriam & Other Stories,”[1] is a splendid collection of stories by Ukrainian-born Micha Josef Berdichevsky (1865-1921). [2] He was a journalist, a scholar with a PhD, a writer of fiction, and a collector of Jewish legends which he published in a book called “Mimekor Yisrael,” From an Israel Source.[3] He wrote in Hebrew, Yiddish, […]

Great stories by H. N. Bialik

“Random Harvest and Other Novellas,” by Haim Nachman Bialik ((1873-1934) contains six tales which vary in length from two being about 20 pages to two being close to 90. The book has an informative introduction of 18 pages about Bialik who many consider the greatest Hebrew poet in the past six hundred years, and each […]

The day I met Father Isaac at the supermarket

Jack Riemer, a rabbi, is one of the best clergymen of all religions in delivering sermons. Clergy can learn from his speeches, and congregants can enjoy listening to them or reading what he writes. It is a shame that other clergy lack his skill because sermons can be a great teaching tool. I think that […]

One of the best deals on Amazon

There are free short books written in easy to read English that contain significant history that can be obtained from “Hourly History” every Friday. The books can be read in their entirety in an hour. This past Friday, on November 2, 2018, for example, the free books were: Babylon, Anne Frank, Spartacus and the Slave […]

The truth about the Balfour Declaration and its results

On November 2, 1917, British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour sent a historic letter to a leading British Jewish citizen Lord Rothschild that publicized British support of a Jewish homeland. This was the first national recognition of the Jewish right to Israel since the destruction of Israel in 70 CE by the Romans. The letter […]

Maimonides’ personality unknown by too many people

                       Too many people, including rabbis and scholars, focus on just two of Maimonides’ books to help them decide Maimonides’ frame of mind: his philosophical Guide of the Perplexed and his code of law which he called Mishneh Torah, which means the Second Torah. Focusing […]

Amos Oz considers religion irrational, but makes good points

  Amos Oz (born in 1939) is the author of many books and the winner of multiple awards. Many consider him to be Israel’s most famous living author. He is a proponent of the two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict and is outspoken on the subject. He considers religion irrational. He just published a book […]

The Bible is filled with obscurities – examples from women

  The Bible has many obscure matters. In my forthcoming book “Mysteries of Judaism III,” I will give many examples of the obscurities and how some people have used the obscurities to disparage women. The following is a short version of what will appear in the 2019 book. These examples focus on women.   Eve […]

Difficulties with the Akedah story explained

    The thrust of Soren Kierkegaard’s 1843 influential book “Fear and Trembling” is long reflections on Abraham’s near sacrifice of his son Isaac, a story told in Genesis 22.[1] Kierkegaard concludes from his analysis that Abraham represents the prototype of faith, for he showed faith when he was willing to obey God’s command to […]

More examples of mystical additions to the siddur

  There are multiple examples of additions by mystics to the siddur and machzor and to the practices concerning how and when the prayers are said. The following are a few examples.   Additions to the Shema The several sections from the Torah which the siddur and machzor call the Shema are recited in the […]

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