30 08, 2017

Is the concept of “faith” sensible?

By |2017-08-30T06:45:30-07:00August 30th, 2017|Thoughts|

My answer is no. Ever since I was a child, I heard about faith and understood that it makes no sense. One day when I was still young my father Rabbi Dr. Nathan Drazin took me to hear a lecture by the famous Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. Heschel said the faith is not a Jewish [...]

23 10, 2016

Soren Kierkegaard’s mistake about “faith”

By |2016-10-23T04:42:14-07:00October 23rd, 2016|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

  The thrust of Soren Kierkegaard’s 1843 influential book “Fear and Trembling” is long reflections on Abraham’s near sacrifice of his son Isaac, a story told in Genesis 22. Kierkegaard concludes from his analysis that Abraham represents the prototype of faith, for he showed faith when he was willing to obey God’s command to sacrifice [...]

11 10, 2013

Philosophers reject the concept of grace

By |2013-10-11T07:05:45-07:00October 11th, 2013|Thoughts|

                                                                                                                   By Israel Drazin     Philosophers and thinkers generally reject many religious concepts. There is no religious concept more anathema to them than grace. Grace is commonly understood as God’s free unearned love given generously by a loving deity. It is unearned for there is nothing that people can do to merit God’s [...]

16 09, 2013

Passive Faith vs. Active Deeds

By |2013-09-16T05:34:29-07:00September 16th, 2013|Thoughts|

                                                                                                  By Israel Drazin                                            If the Jewish philosopher Maimonides (1138-1204) is correct that the purpose of the Torah is three-fold – to teach some truths, help people improve themselves, and aid them in developing society – and I think he is right - then it would seem to be wrong [...]

26 06, 2012

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 no indication that God was involved in any way in helping Esther and Mordecai save the Jews of Persia from [...]

1 01, 2012

One approach to understanding Maimonides

By |2012-01-01T11:46:15-07:00January 1st, 2012|Book Reviews|

Maimonides Essential Teachings on Jewish Faith & Ethics The Book of Knowledge & the Thirteen Principles of Faith Annotated & Explained By Rabbi Marc D. Angel, PhD Skylight Illuminations, 2012, 177 pages There are many divergent interpretations of the great sage Moses Maimonides (1138-1204). Some scholars, such as Leo Strauss of the University of Chicago [...]

29 12, 2011

The Lonely Man of Faith

By |2011-12-29T05:51:26-07:00December 29th, 2011|Book Reviews|

The Lonely Man of Faith By Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik Maggid Books and OU Press, 2012, 79 pages     Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (1903-1993) was a highly respected rabbi and teacher and the mentor of over 2,000 rabbis. He had a PhD from the University of Berlin, wrote his doctoral dissertation on the philosopher [...]

23 11, 2011

Should we have faith?

By |2011-11-23T05:15:16-07:00November 23rd, 2011|Thoughts|

By Israel Drazin   The humorist Ambrose Bierce wrote in his The Devil’s Dictionary that faith is: “Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.” Unlike most people, I agree with Bierce. I am convinced that religion should be based on reason, not faith. People should [...]