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8 12, 2019

Will the Messiah be human?

By |2019-12-08T08:22:10-07:00December 8th, 2019|Jewish Books|

One of our readers wrote and asked if the Bile predict the future arrival of a godly messiah. The following was my response.   Maimonides I agree with Maimonides that there is no clear explicit statement in the entire Hebrew Bible about a miraculous messiah coming to save the Jews or, better stated, the world.  [...]

1 12, 2019

Does God Know Us?

By |2019-12-01T08:29:13-07:00December 1st, 2019|Thoughts|

In response to my article “Noah’s Flood teaches us how to understand the Bible,” our reader Turk Hill wrote with a question that I answered. Dear Rabbi Drazin, After the flood, Genesis recounts G-d in a state of regret, “His heart was saddened.” This has caused some scholars to ask the question, “Does G-d regret?” [...]

26 11, 2019

Why must women begin the Sabbath before men?

By |2019-11-26T07:08:05-07:00November 26th, 2019|Thoughts|

                                       Why Must Women Light Sabbath Candles Long before the Sabbath Begins? If people would take the time to look at the bulletin of an Orthodox Synagogue, they would find something very curious. The women are instructed [...]

18 11, 2019

A fascinating new scholarly look at Moses

By |2019-11-18T08:45:02-07:00November 18th, 2019|Thoughts|

Aviva Gottlieb Zornberg is an exceptionally good scholar. In her book Moses, she offers her readers an interesting generally different but thought-provoking look at the life and deeds of the biblical Moses. She approaches the telling of Moses’ history based on Midrash because, as she states, “the biographical challenge is immeasurably enriched by the existence [...]

17 11, 2019

My most reviewed article, even today

By |2019-11-17T07:41:28-07:00November 17th, 2019|Thoughts|

                                                                                           The Shofar Scares and Confuses Satan, Keeping Him at Arm’s Length   It is absolutely [...]

11 11, 2019

An excellent history of ancient Israel

By |2019-11-11T05:22:16-07:00November 11th, 2019|Book Reviews|

Alex Israel’s new book on II Kings follows his book on the first half of the book of Kings, called I Kings. Both are excellent, easy to read, very thorough, very informative. The Book of Kings was broken into two parts because the Greek translation of the book around 200 BCE divided the book in [...]

8 11, 2019

Was Isaac angry that Abraham tried to kill him?

By |2019-11-08T10:36:18-07:00November 8th, 2019|Thoughts|

Many people are convinced that Isaac was angry with his father Abraham because he lied to him when he said that the two were going on a trip to offer a sacrifice to God, implying that the sacrifice would be an animal, and that Abraham tied him up on top of a stone altar, planned [...]

5 11, 2019

Mistaken ideas about Abraham

By |2019-11-05T05:57:50-07:00November 5th, 2019|Jewish Books|

Some rabbinical imaginative notions about Abraham Many claims are made about Abraham, most likely to enhance his stature, reputation, distinction, and prestige. Perhaps also because it was felt that Abraham must have had some kind of relationship with God before he was 75 years old. None of these views are even hinted in the Torah. [...]

1 11, 2019

Noah’s Flood teaches us how to understand the Bible

By |2019-11-01T06:57:49-07:00November 1st, 2019|Jewish Books|

The biblical story of the flood during the days of Noah raises many questions, but the answers help us to understand how to interpret biblical events.   Some of the questions are: Why were different divine punishments done in very different ways. For example, Cain was banished in Genesis 4:12 for murdering his brother Abel; [...]

27 10, 2019

What is the origin of the Oral Torah?

By |2019-10-27T01:17:23-07:00October 27th, 2019|Thoughts|

Many people think that the Oral Torah was given to Moses on Mount Sinai. Many rabbis preach this view despite it being untrue to encourage Jews to obey the Oral Torah teachings believing that God ordered them to do so. Actually, the Oral Torah was developed by the Pharisees and later rabbis. The Pharisees made [...]

23 10, 2019

Some questions about Cain and Abel

By |2019-10-23T22:19:22-07:00October 23rd, 2019|Thoughts|

Who was the better person, Cain or Abel? It is possible to see the tale of Cain and Abel in a different light. Cain became a farmer. This is very difficult work. Abel opted to be a shepherd, arguably a lazy activity. Why does the Bible seem to prefer Abel? Why did Abel think that [...]

19 10, 2019

A startling example of an inability to learn from history

By |2019-10-19T23:19:36-07:00October 19th, 2019|Jewish Books|

History repeats itself mostly because people fail to learn from the terrible consequences that occurred following the foolish acts of the past. The Bible tells us about the supposed wisdom of King Solomon. In my book “The Authentic King Solomon,” I show that actually, scripture is demonstrating that the king was not as smart as [...]

17 10, 2019

Rosh Chodesh is not observed as the Torah commands

By |2019-10-17T05:11:33-07:00October 17th, 2019|Thoughts|

Like all other biblical holidays, Rosh Chodesh is not observed today as required by biblical law. This is because of changed social circumstances and because the principle element of the biblical worship was animal sacrifices, which was discontinued after the Romans destroyed the Jewish Second Temple in 70 CE. Additionally, the name of the celebration [...]

14 10, 2019

Four misunderstood discontinued Jewish institutions

By |2019-10-14T23:52:29-07:00October 14th, 2019|Thoughts|

There are many disagreements about four ancient Jewish institutions: the Sanhedrin, the Men of the Great Assembly, the Pharisees, and the Sadducees. Put differently, no one knows the truth about these institutions, even though that for many Jews, the subject is profoundly important.   Sanhedrin Jewish tradition supposes that the institution of the Sanhedrin began [...]

13 10, 2019

Difficulties and explanations regarding Kohelet

By |2019-10-13T00:07:47-07:00October 13th, 2019|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

Tradition mandates that Jews should read the biblical book Kohelet, also spelt Koheleth and Qohelet, called Ecclesiastes in English, during the holiday of Sukkot. Both the Hebrew and English names mean “collector” or “collection.” We do not know why this mandate was made. Some say that since Sukkot is a very happy holiday, we need [...]

10 10, 2019

The origin of Sukkot

By |2019-10-10T22:37:45-07:00October 10th, 2019|Thoughts|

People who pay attention to what they read realize that none of the Jewish holidays are practiced today as the Torah mandates. The rabbis made extensive changes in Torah laws because of changes in human circumstances. I discuss this in detail in my first “Mysteries of Judaism” book. The following is from this book. What [...]

7 10, 2019

Problems with Jonah that make us think

By |2019-10-07T23:46:21-07:00October 7th, 2019|Thoughts|

In my book “Unusual Bible Interpretations Jonah and Amos,” I raised problem areas in the book of Jonah in my introduction and answered them in the pages that followed. Here are some but not all of the problem areas. Some of the questions are: Who was Jonah? When did he live? Is he mentioned elsewhere [...]

5 10, 2019

Ancient rabbis disagreed on how to interpret the Torah

By |2019-10-05T22:11:10-07:00October 5th, 2019|Philosophy, Thoughts|

  Two Talmudic sages lived around 130 CE and disagreed on how to interpret the Bible. Rabbi Akiva won out, and Rashi, Nachmanides, and most ancient Bible commentators as well as most Midrashim follow his view. Others, such as Rashi’s grandson Rashbam, Abraham ibn Ezra, and Maimonides interpret the Torah as Rabbi Ishmael.   Rabbi [...]

1 10, 2019

Yom Kippur which the Romans destroyed

By |2019-10-01T21:29:17-07:00October 1st, 2019|Jewish Books|

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 was permitted on this day, special sacrifices [...]

29 09, 2019

The truth about the untrue “since creation” calendars

By |2019-09-29T04:26:34-07:00September 29th, 2019|Jewish Books|

Many people, secular and religious, of different cultures and worldviews, have attempted to calculate the age of the world. There is no agreement between them, simply because it is an impossible task. Christians,[1] Muslims, and Jews have tried to do the calculation based on a literal reading of the Bible and have come up with [...]

24 09, 2019

A new book on Jewish philosophy

By |2019-09-24T21:13:30-07:00September 24th, 2019|Philosophy|

“Judaism Reclaimed: Philosophy and Theology in the Torah,” by Shmuel Phillips, a rabbi and lawyer with a law degree from the University of London, is a book filled with interesting information inspired by his understanding of the views of Maimonides and Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch. The book has thoughtful articles often prompted by all of [...]

21 09, 2019

Genesis according to Methuselah

By |2019-09-21T21:32:19-07:00September 21st, 2019|Jewish Books|

“Genesis According to Methuselah” by Reva Spiro Luxenberg is hilarious. Every page has several funny remarks by Methuselah as he comments on God, heaven, and what God created. I don’t think that I ever read another book that is as clever and as funny as this one. Mark Twain wrote several books about heaven and [...]

19 09, 2019

Jewish and Christian concepts of repentance

By |2019-09-19T23:55:17-07:00September 19th, 2019|Jewish Books|

Repentance as we know it today is not a biblical concept despite the thinking of many[1] that the prophet Hosea talked about it. Hosea 14:2 states “Shuva Yisrael ad Hashem Elokekha,” “Return Israel to the Lord your God.” Actually, Hosea says in chapter 14 what he said several times in earlier chapters when he also [...]

15 09, 2019

Was the biblical command to destroy nations cruel?

By |2019-09-15T08:54:54-07:00September 15th, 2019|Jewish Books|

Deuteronomy 29 relates that Moses reminded the Israelites that when they approached Canaan, “Sihon, king of Heshbon, and Og, king of Bashan, went out against us in battle; we smote them, and took their land.” These events are detailed in Numbers 21 and Deuteronomy 2 and 3. The battles with Heshbon and Bashan remind us [...]

11 09, 2019

Why Blow the Shofar – Satan?

By |2019-09-11T04:47:29-07:00September 11th, 2019|Jewish Books|

In 2008, in my first book on Maimonides called “Maimonides: The Exceptional Mind,” I described how ancient Jews had a totally different idea why they were blowing the shofar on Rosh Hashana. Here is some of what I wrote. The Shofar Scares Satan and Keeps Him at Arm’s Length It is absolutely certain that both [...]

8 09, 2019

Rosh Hashana was not a new year holiday in the Bible

By |2019-09-08T04:30:47-07:00September 8th, 2019|Jewish Books|

I just completed my fourth book called “Mysteries of Judaism,” my 54th book. It is part of a series in which I point out hundreds of facts about Judaism that most people do not know. While most of these facts are surprising to many people, Jews and non-Jews, they should not threaten readers. I am [...]

28 08, 2019

Orthodox Jewry is changing

By |2019-08-28T10:13:00-07:00August 28th, 2019|Jewish Books|

Professor Chaim Waxman, a prominent and highly respected sociologist of contemporary Orthodoxy, has made a superb assessment of the history, development, and current and future situation of Orthodoxy in his relatively short but comprehensive 178-page book, “Social Change and Halakhic Evolution in American Orthodoxy,” with 48 additional pages of bibliography and index. Readers will receive [...]