2 04, 2018

Senator Lieberman teaches the value of Torah law

By |2018-04-02T13:48:25-07:00April 2nd, 2018|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

Senator Joe Lieberman and Rabbi Ari D. Kahn offer readers fifty essays in “With Liberty and Justice.”[1] The number is built on the brilliant rabbinical idea to connect the holidays of Passover and Shavuot by instituting the practice of counting 49 days between the two holidays (changing the biblical requirement to count seven full weeks), [...]

21 03, 2018

Nachmanides’ Unique View of Passover

By |2018-03-21T06:44:02-07:00March 21st, 2018|Thoughts|

  Some may say that the mystic Nachmanides was more interested in heaven than earth. Unlike Maimonides, who focused on a scientific study of the world, Nachmanides was concerned with the way in which Jews interact with God. Maimonides’ view led him to see three people-oriented purposes for the 613 biblical commandments. In his Guide [...]

14 04, 2017

Counting the Omer is not a biblical practice

By |2017-04-14T06:30:26-07:00April 14th, 2017|Thoughts|

The following is chapter 8 in my book "Mysteries of Judaism." My followup book "Mysteries of Judaism II: Why the rabbis and others changed Judaism" is arriving in the US within days. If you want either book and agree to write a review and post it on amazon, even if the review is short, I [...]

22 11, 2015

Demons and Sympathetic Magic in the Passover Seder

By |2015-11-22T07:44:16-07:00November 22nd, 2015|Thoughts|

                                               Demons and Sympathetic Magic in the Passover Seder   We saw in the prior articles that the belief in demons, the power of sympathetic magic to conjure the appearance of the messiah, the use of an intercessor to obtain God’s attention, and the belief in the effectiveness of magic numbers to help accomplish [...]

15 04, 2015

The odd practice of starting a holiday a half a day early

By |2015-04-15T04:48:17-07:00April 15th, 2015|Thoughts|

                                     The odd practice of starting a holiday a half a day early   The Bible requires the Israelites to observe Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month, currently called Nissan, by sacrificing a lamb, called the Pascal Lamb, and eating it together with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. This biblical holiday [...]

3 04, 2015

The Strange Biblical Mandate to Count Weeks

By |2015-04-03T15:12:27-07:00April 3rd, 2015|Thoughts|

  This article appeared in my book “Mysteries of Judaism” where I point out that all the biblical holidays were changed radically by the early Israelites, Pharisees, and later rabbis. The following practice is an example of such a change.  I am repeating it here because the practice will begin this week on the second [...]

2 04, 2015

The mystery of the first Passover

By |2015-04-02T12:16:56-07:00April 2nd, 2015|Thoughts|

The following article appeared in my book “Mysteries of Judaism” where I showed that all the biblical holidays, without exception, were changes by the early Israelites, Pharisees, and later rabbis. I repeat it here because the holiday of Passover occurs this week.   Why Was The First Passover Different From All Other Passovers? The Israelites’ [...]

28 03, 2015

Passover ceased to exist

By |2015-03-28T22:59:34-07:00March 28th, 2015|Thoughts|

The following article is from my recent book "Mysteries of Judaism" where I showed that every biblical holiday is not observed today as mandated in the Bible.                                             Passover: A dead holiday passed on its name Unlike Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the holiday of Passover did not continue to exist in a radically modified [...]

10 04, 2014

When is Passover?

By |2014-04-10T07:33:06-07:00April 10th, 2014|Thoughts|

                                                                           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 [...]

1 04, 2014

Why Was The First Passover Different From All Other Passovers?

By |2014-04-01T09:23:47-07:00April 1st, 2014|Thoughts|

                              Why Was The First Passover Different From All Other Passovers?   The Israelites’ first Passover, celebrated in Egypt just prior to the exodus and described in Exodus 12:1–11, was radically different from the biblically mandated holiday observed after the exodus. Exodus 12, which describes the Egyptian ceremony, raises many questions. (1) Why does the [...]

7 09, 2013

An unusual haggada

By |2013-09-07T21:09:53-07:00September 7th, 2013|Book Reviews|

By Israel Drazin     The Bird’s Head Haggada By K. Mosele and L. Birkinshaw The Israel Museum and Koren Publishers, 2012, 66 pages ISBN 978-965-301-1045   This very clever, instructive, and colorful pop-up edition of the Passover Haggada is adapted from one of the oldest illustrated Haggadot in the world, published in Germany around [...]

24 03, 2013

Rabbi Soloveitchik on Passover

By |2013-03-24T06:38:36-07:00March 24th, 2013|Book Reviews|

                                                                       Review by Israel Drazin    Festival of Freedom Essays on Pesah and the Haggadah By Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik Ktav Publishing House, 2006, 206 pages   This is the sixth of so-far eleven posthumous writings assembled, edited, and published by The Toras Horav Foundation based on writings the famed Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik [...]

18 04, 2011

Original ideas about Passover

By |2011-04-18T03:15:49-07:00April 18th, 2011|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

  The Origin of the Seder The Passover Rite and early Rabbinic Judaism By Baruch M. Bokser Jewish Theological Seminary Press, 2002, 188 pages This reprint of the 1984 classic by Professor Bokser explains the origin of the Passover Seder meal ritual. He notes that the Pascal sacrifice was an important part of Jewish ritual [...]

30 12, 2010

Why was the first Passover different from all other Passovers?

By |2013-03-18T06:57:34-07:00December 30th, 2010|Thoughts|

                                                       Why was the first Passover different from all other Passovers?                                                  By Israel Drazin   The Israelites’ first Passover, celebrated in Egypt just prior to the exodus and described in Exodus 12:1-11, was radically different from the Torah mandated holiday observed after the exodus. Exodus 12, which describes the Egyptian ceremony, raises many [...]