Tag: God

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 […]

The Wisdom of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

                                                       The Wisdom of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks   Change is necessary Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks published “Lessons in Leadership” in 2015. Professor Ronald Heifetz who wrote the Forward points out that the rabbi is stressing that people of all religions and cultures should not sit passively and rely on the decisions of authorities […]

Ancients, including Jews, believed their god functions only in their territory

                         Ancients, including Jews, believed their god functions only in their territory   Many scholars contend that in the ancient Near East people believed that there were many gods, the power and presence of a god was localized in the territory inhabited by the worshiper, and did not know that all lands belong to […]

Does God Control and Manipulate Us?

                                                                                                Does God Control and Manipulate Us?   Since the beginning of time, since people believed that God exists, men and women of every religion asked whether God is involved in their lives and, if so, how? The Hebrew Bible does not answer this question. So individuals developed their own views. Those with a […]

An extremely significant view of religion

  On the Relationship of Mitzvot between Man and his Neighbor and Man and his Maker By Daniel Sperber Urim Publications, 2014, 221 pages ISBN 978-965-524-145-7   The winner of Israel’s prestigious Israel Prize, Professor Daniel Sperber, a rabbi and Dean of the Faculty of Jewish Studies at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University, published an extremely significant […]

Why did Moses send spies if God was helping the Israelites?

                                                                           Why did Moses send spies if God was helping the Israelites?                                                                                                Shelach (Chapters 13:1–15:41)     The plain reading of the Torah text reveals a discrepancy. There are two different accounts concerning the dispatching of spies to reconnoiter Canaan in advance of the impending military offensive to conquer the land during […]

Judges 7 – Does God help?

                                                                                        Chapter 7                                                                             Gideon and the 300   This chapter is a work of art. The author presents a story containing several themes: the number three, the consequences of fear, and the question, is God involved in what we do?  A careful reading of the Bible reveals that despite it apparently […]

Does God know us?

                                                                                                          Does God know us?                                                        The views of some Jewish philosophers   Many Jews are convinced that Jews are judged by their behavior not by their beliefs. They can believe what they want as long as they harm no one.[1] Thus it is not surprising that there were famous Jewish […]

VAYIKRA – Can we bewitch God with sacrifices and prayers?

                                                                                 VAYIKRA                                                                      (Chapter 1:1–5:26)                                                                                                          Can we bewitch God with sacrifices and prayers?[1]   The biblical book Leviticus describes elaborate ceremonies of sacrifices. Although the rabbis maintained that the sacrifices were accompanied by prayers, most people do not realize that prayer is not explicitly mentioned in the Pentateuch, the five books […]

Terumah – Why do we have a “House of God”?

                                                                                                                                    TERUMAH                                                              (Chapters 25:1–27:19)                                         The ancient Sanctuary was not built for God[1]   This section of the Torah commands the building of a Sanctuary, a tent in which sacrifices were offered to God. Commentators dispute whether the command was issued before or after the episode of the golden calf which is […]

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