The Wisdom of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

By |2015-11-11T05:44:36-07:00November 11th, 2015|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

                                                       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 [...]

Does God Control and Manipulate Us?

By |2014-11-24T06:54:23-07:00November 24th, 2014|Thoughts|

                                                                                                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, [...]

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

By |2014-06-08T07:58:42-07:00June 8th, 2014|Thoughts|

                                                                           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 [...]

Judges 7 – Does God help?

By |2014-04-03T07:26:17-07:00April 3rd, 2014|Thoughts|

                                                                                        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 [...]

Does God know us?

By |2014-03-12T05:59:52-07:00March 12th, 2014|Thoughts|

                                                                                                          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 [...]

VAYIKRA – Can we bewitch God with sacrifices and prayers?

By |2014-03-02T08:14:33-07:00March 2nd, 2014|Thoughts|

                                                                                 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 [...]

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

By |2014-01-26T08:10:45-07:00January 26th, 2014|Thoughts|

                                                                                                                                    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 [...]

God, divine laws, and suffering

By |2013-10-04T06:32:17-07:00October 4th, 2013|Book Reviews|

                                                                      Review by Israel Drazin                                    Believing and its Tensions By Rabbi Dr. Neil Gillman Jewish Lights Publishing, 2013, 113 pages   After teaching religion at The Jewish Theological Seminary for some [...]

Did God create the world from nothing?

By |2013-09-15T01:52:40-07:00September 15th, 2013|Thoughts|

                                                                            By Israel Drazin                              Two views As startlingly as it may appear to many people today, the fact is that many intelligent religious people did not believe that God created the world out [...]

Why Mistreat the Canaanites?

By |2013-08-10T23:10:38-07:00August 10th, 2013|Thoughts|

                Why does the Bible require Israelites to treat Canaanites brutally?                                             By Israel Drazin     The Torah appears to lack respect for Canaanites and seems to order that they be mistreated. In [...]

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 [...]

Sinai revelation?

By |2013-07-31T08:54:18-07:00July 31st, 2013|Thoughts|

                                                                             By Israel Drazin     In my essay “Divine revelation continues today,” I discussed the views of Rabbi Kook, Maimonides, Aristotle, Ba’al Shem Tov’s grandson, and others who stated that divine [...]

Three apparently non-rational holiday practices

By |2013-07-26T07:55:15-07:00July 26th, 2013|Thoughts|

                                                                                 By Israel Drazin   Thirteen divine attributes A central part of many Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur synagogue services is the recital of the thirteen divine attributes mentioned in Exodus 34:6 and 7, [...]

Va’etchanan – Unusual Interpretations 45

By |2013-07-17T09:36:43-07:00July 17th, 2013|Thoughts|

                                                                  By Israel Drazin    We will use the portion of Va’etchanan (3:23-7:11) to explore the nuances, deeper significances, and lessons missed in translations from Hebrew to English, and we will examine some verses that [...]

The true definition of God

By |2013-07-11T07:41:57-07:00July 11th, 2013|Thoughts|

                                                                     By Israel Drazin                       Most people do not try to understand the definition of words, have wrong ideas of their intent, and are kept from knowing what they should know. “God” is a good [...]

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 [...]

Race, angels, and evil

By |2011-12-23T07:03:50-07:00December 23rd, 2011|Thoughts|

By Israel Drazin   A reader of this website sent me three questions. Here are the questions and my responses.   (1)   I note your pure blue eyes and wonder: how do some Jews have [...]

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 [...]

On prophets and miracles

By |2011-10-30T07:20:37-07:00October 30th, 2011|Thoughts|

By Israel Drazin   As I wrote in my discussion about the origin of evil, I am convinced that God created the world out of nothing or formed it out of preexisting and eternal matter, [...]

What is the source of evil?

By |2011-10-30T07:07:51-07:00October 30th, 2011|Thoughts|

By Israel Drazin   Contrary to the belief and hopes of most people, but consistent with the thinking of people such as Maimonides and Yeshayahu Leibowitz (1903-1994), I don’t think there is a personal God. [...]

Some Thoughts about God

By |2011-10-21T04:06:04-07:00October 21st, 2011|Thoughts|

Some Thoughts about God By Israel Drazin   The popular view that God is ever present and meticulously involved, such as making detailed decisions about and controlling every raindrop and every falling leaf, and counting [...]

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