Biblical prophecy does not predict what will be

By |2016-02-14T06:21:01-07:00February 14th, 2016|Thoughts|

                                           Biblical prophecy does not predict what will be   Most people read the Bible literally without much thought. When the Bible has a prophet say that something will occur, they understand this as [...]

How to read the Bible

By |2015-03-25T11:12:50-07:00March 25th, 2015|Thoughts|

                                                                                How to read the Bible   I have been asked to explain the mystery of the half shekel: why were the Israelites in the desert during the days of Moses required to [...]

A very strange assessment of the Torah

By |2014-11-21T09:09:09-07:00November 21st, 2014|Thoughts|

                                                                                            A very strange assessment of the Torah   When Mordecai told Ether that Haman planned to murder all Judeans, Esther requested that Mordecai arrange that all Judeans fast for three days. The book [...]

Scholarly studies on the book of Esther

By |2014-11-11T04:41:15-07:00November 11th, 2014|Book Reviews|

                                                          Scholarly studies on the book of Esther   Carey A. Moore, the author of the highly praised Anchor Bible commentary on the biblical book Esther collected 37 scholarly articles on Esther which he placed [...]

You Don’t Understand the Bible because you are Christian

By |2014-08-19T11:58:02-07:00August 19th, 2014|Book Reviews|

                                                                          Review by Israel Drazin                                                                     You Don’t Understand the Bible because you are Christian By Richard Gist Friesen Press, 2014, 176 pages ISBN 978-1-4602-4271-7 Cost: $13.99   I enjoyed this book; it is [...]

The Obligation to learn Hebrew

By |2014-08-18T11:44:43-07:00August 18th, 2014|Thoughts|

                                                      The Obligation to learn Hebrew   Should Jews and non-Jews learn Hebrew? Rabbi Evan Hoffman of Congregation Anshe Shalom in his always learned weekly column emphasizes the values of learning Hebrew and decries [...]

The Torah doesn’t expect people to obey its laws

By |2013-12-19T15:21:28-07:00December 18th, 2013|Thoughts|

                                                                                                                                         The Torah doesn’t expect people to obey its laws                                                                             By Israel Drazin   I encourage everyone to read Professor Berman’s very informative, thought-provoking article “What is This Thing Called Law? The [...]

Shemot – The Bible is filled with obscurities

By |2013-12-15T16:07:55-07:00December 15th, 2013|Thoughts|

                                                                                                                                       SHEMOT                                                         (Chapters 1:1–6:1)                                               The Bible is filled with obscurities   I am not going to explain a biblical section or supply answers this week as I usually do. Instead, I want [...]

Shoftim – Unusual Interpretations 48

By |2013-08-04T08:36:55-07:00August 4th, 2013|Thoughts|

                                                                      By Israel Drazin   There are many phrasings in this portion (16:18-21:9) that allows us to examine the biblical writing style: obscure and ambiguous texts, apparently unnecessary word, God’s view of non-Israelites, and which [...]

More on women in the Bible

By |2013-08-04T05:53:47-07:00August 4th, 2013|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

                                                                       By Israel Drazin   Dr. Naomi Harris Rosenblatt examines the biblical report of the lives and activities of seventeen biblical women in her well-researched, insight-filled, and frequently innovative reading of biblical tales in [...]

Women’s Lives in Biblical Times

By |2013-08-02T08:02:40-07:00August 2nd, 2013|Thoughts|

                                                                                                                      By Israel Drazin   Many people recognize that women have still not entirely succeeded in participating in society as they should. How were women portrayed in the Hebrew Bible? Professor Jennie R. Eberling [...]

A biblical holiday that was replaced

By |2013-06-11T03:48:54-07:00June 11th, 2013|Thoughts|

By Israel Drazin                         No biblical holiday is practiced today as mandated in the Bible. The rabbis changed all of the holidays. The major but not only reason for the alterations is that many biblical [...]

Unusual Biblical Interpretations 16 – Ki Tisa

By |2013-03-01T10:55:21-07:00February 28th, 2013|Thoughts|

                                                                                   By Israel Drazin   The Jewish iconoclast Arnold B. Ehrlich (1848-1919) offered unusual thought-provoking, sometimes disturbing, Bible interpretations on Exodus 30-33 in his book Mikra Ki-Pheshuto (The Bible According to its [...]

The Secret of Shavuot

By |2012-08-03T05:43:02-07:00June 27th, 2012|Thoughts|

                                                                                                                                                                     By Israel Drazin   No Jewish holiday is practiced today as the Bible mandates. Shavuot, called Pentecost in English, is a good example. The current observance of the holiday has no [...]

The Secret of the Book of Esther

By |2012-06-26T06:35:23-07:00June 26th, 2012|Thoughts|

                                                                                                                                                             By Israel Drazin   The Book of Esther is one of the twenty-four books of the Hebrew Bible. Curiously, God is not mentioned in this volume of Scripture and there is [...]

Do religious laws benefit God?

By |2011-12-07T07:58:10-07:00December 7th, 2011|Thoughts|

By Israel Drazin   It is certainly true that most Jews today, including most rabbis, see a distinction between ritual and social laws. The first focuses on God and the second on people. In the [...]

Tolstoy did not respect women

By |2011-11-15T04:54:55-07:00November 15th, 2011|Book Reviews|

Tolstoy A Russian Life By Rosamund Bartlett Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011, 544 pages    Rosamund Bartlett, an authority on Russian culture, describes Lev Tolstoy, as she calls him, the greatest Russian writer, probably a genius, [...]


By |2011-11-14T07:47:26-07:00November 14th, 2011|Thoughts|

By Israel Drazin   Many scholars are convinced that no book of the Hebrew Bible, with the possible exception of the biblical book Daniel 12:2-3, speaks about life after death, and feel certain that the [...]

What is the Messiah?

By |2011-11-09T05:17:44-07:00November 9th, 2011|Thoughts|

By Israel Drazin I think that the messianic age is not a miraculous affair and the messiah is not a supernatural figure. There will be a gradual evolutionary and educative process that will improve people [...]

What is the Soul?

By |2011-11-07T06:49:06-07:00November 7th, 2011|Thoughts|

By Israel Drazin   I don’t think that people need to believe that a soul exists.   The currently-used Hebrew word for soul is nefesh. Nefesh is in the Torah, but it does not mean [...]

A revolution in Bible study

By |2011-11-07T05:42:48-07:00November 7th, 2011|Book Reviews|

Bringing the Prophets to Life By Neil N. Winkler Gefen Publishing House, 2011, 193 pages   Many Jews consider the Bible to be the sacred text revealed by God to the Israelites trough Moses. Multiple [...]

Sermonizing vs. The Truth

By |2011-10-21T10:41:20-07:00October 21st, 2011|Book Reviews|

The First Ten Days By Rabbi Yaacov Haber Torah Lab, 2010, 88 pages There are essentially four different ways that people use to try to learn the truth about the world: religion, mysticism, philosophy and [...]

An irreverent version about Cain

By |2011-08-25T13:51:50-07:00August 25th, 2011|Book Reviews|

Jose Saramago’s (1922-2010) last book Cain is a delightful, frequently funny, heretical, mocking, feverishly anti-God, retelling of the early books of the Hebrew Bible. He is the 1998 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. [...]

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