Category: Jewish Books

Do Jews believe in Satan and demons?

Jews are no different than people of other religions. There is no subject that every Jew accepts. Even rabbis differ in what they think is right. Many Jews reject the notion of the existence of demons and even angels. They feel, like Maimonides, that there is no mention of demons in the Hebrew Bible and […]

Rabbis invent a false Maimonides

The “Yeshiva world,” is comprised for the most part of schools where far-right rabbis teach Jewish students their view of Judaism, a religion that rejects secular studies as harmful and heretical. Many far-right rabbis respect Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah, his code of Jewish laws, but not his philosophical Guide of the Perplexed because it is based […]

Jewish fasts are not what people think they are

The Fast of 17 Tammuz occurs this year on July 20 which is a Saturday, so the fast is postponed to Sunday July 21, as will be explained below. The Jewish calendar contains a mourning period during the summer months. It begins and ends with fast days, whose precise dates are not based on verifiable […]

Reinventing Maimonides

“Maimonides: Between Philosophy and Halakhah: Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s lectures on the Guide of the Perplexed” is interesting because it shows the basic ideas of Rabbi Soloveitchik’s thinking. But readers should not suppose that they will gain an insight into the teachings of Maimonides or even some of his teachings by reading the book. It […]

The messiah is descended from the evil Jezebel

It is generally unknown that according to tradition the messiah who will bring peace to the world is not only a descendant of King David, but also from the wicked King Ahab and Queen Jezebel, the later being a rabid worshiper of the idol Baal and murderer of many prophets of the Lord. A brief […]

A Great Love story

The story of Peter Abelard (1079-1142) and Heloise (1095-1163) is considered a great medieval love story. We have still today Abelard’s autobiography and letters between the parties, so we know much but not all of the love story. James Burge’s “Heloise and Abelard” is an interesting easy to read scholarly study. Peter Abelard was a […]

Golf joke

A Catholic friend of mine sent me this joke. The Pope met with his Cardinals to discuss a proposal from Benjamin  Netanyahu, the leader of Israel. “Your Holiness”, said one of his Cardinals, “Mr. Netanyahu wants to challenge you to a game of golf to show the friendship and ecumenical spirit shared by the Jewish […]

Is the Zohar an Ancient Book?

Many mystics insist that the Zohar was composed by Rabbi Simeon bar Yochai around the year 130 CE. However, scholars recognize that Moses d’ Leon, a Spaniard living in Granada, wrote it around 1286, that parts of the book were added by others after his death, and that the work is a pious forgery. Zohar […]

Differences between a Jewish and non-Jewish tale

There are many instances where both Jews and non-Jews tell stories with some variations on the same plot. In many of these instances, the Jewish version attempts to use its version to teach Jews proper behavior. The following is an example. Rip Van Winkle Washington Irving (1783-1859) published “Rip Van Winkle” in 1820 and the […]

The world is filled with Jews

Most people are convinced that there are comparatively few Jews in the world, only about 13.3 million in 2001, about 1.4 percent of the world population, 4.9 million lived in Israel and 8.3 million outside the Holy Land. Logic would dictate that the actual figure is many times that number and percentage. It is even […]

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