Tag: sacrifices

Yom Kippur is not a biblical holiday

Yom Hakippurim: A Holiday The Romans Destroyed   Like Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur does not exist in the Bible. It replaces another day known as Yom Hakippurim. Yom Kippur is singular, “day of atonement,” while Yom Hakippurim is plural, “day of atonements.” The biblical Yom Hakippurim is mentioned in Leviticus 16:29–31, 23:27–32, and Numbers 29:7–11. No work […]

Thoughts on “The Picture of Dorian Gray”

  I watched the 1945 black and white film “The Picture of Dorian Gray” and it reminded me of some serious questions. The film a perfect portrayal of Oscar Wilde’s famous tale of a handsome young man, living in 1886 London, who looked at a picture painted of him and said sadly that while he […]

Another interpretation of Abraham’s near sacrifice of Isaac

                                        Another interpretation of Abraham’s near sacrifice of Isaac In a recent posting, I gave my opinion that Soren Kierkegaard’s analysis of the Abraham story of Genesis 22 is designed to teach about “faith” is faulty. […]

An unusual interpretation of Cain and Abel’s sacrifice

                                           An unusual interpretation of Cain and Abel’s sacrifice   Most people know no more about the Bible than what they learned as children or what they heard their clergy tell them in a sermon, which was not designed to reveal what the Bible says but some moral lesson the clergy feels the […]

When is Passover?

                                                                           When is Passover?   The question “When is Passover?” seems as simple as the humorous question, “Who is buried in Grant’s tomb?” Everyone with the slightest bit of Jewish education would answer that it begins on the 15th day of the Jewish month of Nissan and ends seven days later in Israel or eight […]


                                                                              TZAV                                                               (Chapter 6:1–8:36)                                                   DOES GOD WANT SACRIFICES?[1]   Much of Leviticus focuses on sacrifices. After the Second Temple was destroyed in 70 CE, when sacrifices could no longer be offered, the rabbis said that the synagogue and prayer services would take the place of sacrifices. Many individuals today agree with […]

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 […]

Chukat – Unusual Interpretations 30

                                                                                                    By Israel Drazin   Commentaries on the biblical portion Chukat (Numbers 19:1-21:35) raise theological questions such as, are biblical laws rational, is original sin a Jewish concept, did pagan practices influence Torah laws, and obscurities in the Torah.   Is a chok a biblical law that has no reasonable basis? Rashi influenced […]

Soloveitchik’s view of Abraham and Judaism

Abraham’s Journey Reflections on the Life of the Founding Patriarch By Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik Ktav Publishing House, 2008, 224 pages ISBN 978-1-60280-004-5   This is the ninth of so-far eleven posthumous writings assembled, edited, and published by The Toras Horav Foundation based on writings collected from various sources by the famed Rabbi Joseph B. […]

Vayikra – Unusual Interpretations 18

                                                                                                             By Israel Drazin   Abraham ibn Ezra. Joseph Bechor Shor, and Arnold Ehrlich have what some people would consider unusual interpretations of the biblical portion Vayikra, Leviticus 1:1-5:26. The following are few of them.   Ehrlich: Many didactic sermons have been delivered to explain why the Hebrew text of Vayikra begins […]

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