12 05, 2013

Lag B’omer – Unusual Interpretations 25

By |2013-05-17T06:56:25-07:00May 12th, 2013|Thoughts|

                                                                                                  By Israel Drazin   The semi-holiday[1] Lag B’omer is based on an unsubstantiated and unlikely tradition. Lag B’omer means the “thirty-third day [since bringing the barley harvest] omer [to the tabernacle and later temples to thank God for the barley harvest].” An omer is a certain weight of the grain such as [...]

28 02, 2013

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 Literal Meaning). He attempts to show here that the ancient Israelites were very superstitious and that at least certain parts [...]

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 [...]

15 11, 2011

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, but a failure as a man. When he was young, he drank too much, gambled, and was over amorous with [...]

21 10, 2011

The truth about Judaism’s famous “prayer”

By |2011-10-21T03:44:25-07:00October 21st, 2011|Book Reviews|

All These Vows Edited by Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman Jewish Lights Publishing, 2011, 264 pages   Remarkably, very few people understand the content, purpose, and history of what many consider Judaism’s most important prayer, a recitation embroiled in controversy, a legal document that the rabbis tried to expunge from the high holiday Day of Atonement [...]