“Your Thoughts: Deuteronomy”

Martin Noth, as well as Philip R. Davies (two brilliant biblical scholars), discuss the idea that Deuteronomy was not composed together with the other books of Moses (Genesis-Numbers), but rather that it was written separately and attached to the canon at a very late stage. Davies argues, “Hence the account of the death of Moses…originally stood…

“Do Not Wrong Another”

This week’s parsha is Behar, meaning “on the mountain,” and features the laws and precepts for the Israelites during the time of the Jubilee years.  Every seventh year, the land will observe a Shabbat, a Sabbath of rest; you’re not to work that year, not on your field or on your vines.  And after 49…

“Your Thoughts: The Afterlife”

What would humanity do if we learned there was proof of an afterlife?  The Netflix original “The Discovery” seems to speculate that people would commit suicide en masse, trying to “get there.” Death, after the discovery of overwhelming proof of an afterlife, becomes nothing to fear, but rather a convenient escape from pain, and the chance…

“Your Thoughts: Lonely Man of Faith”

In his essay Lonely Man of Faith, Soloveitchik states that he is lonely, and that he suffers from this loneliness because “in my humble, inadequate way, I am a man of faith for whom to be means to believe, and who substituted “credo” for “cogito” in the time-honored Cartesian maxim.” Soloveitchik is referring to Descartes’ time…

“The Dream of Israel”

“I believe that a wondrous generation of Jews will spring into existence. The Maccabeans will rise again. Let me repeat once more my opening words: The Jews who wish for a State will have it. We shall live at last as free men on our own soil, and die peacefully in our own homes.  The…

“Your Thoughts: What We Remember”

I was reading a book by Julian Jaynes which discussed what he calls “The consciousness of consciousness,” and I came upon something that I found fascinating.  Jaynes was speaking about how we shape our memories and from what perspective and stated the following: “..introspect on when you last went swimming: I suspect you have an…

“Your Thoughts: In the Face of Evil”

When I was ordained as a rabbi, I was handed a piece of paper with 13 things for a rabbi to embody, by Moses Cardover. They are the following: Forbearance in the face of insult. Patience in enduring evil. Pardon, even to the point of erasing the evil suffered. Total identification with one’s neighbor. Complete…

“Out of Context”

This week our parsha, “K’doshim,” contains a series of mitzvoth aptly named “The Holiness Code;” these mitzvoth begin with the charge by God for we as Jews to seek holiness as a people, as God states, “You shall be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am Holy.”  These are the laws of Leviticus and…

“Your Thoughts: The Light We See”

I’ve been reading Julian Jaynes’ book: The Origin of Consciousness in the Break Down of the BiCameral Mind, recently.  It has stood on my shelf for years, and lately I’ve been on a kick of picking out those books I’ve not studied much and re-reading them, looking for gems to learn, and to speak about.  Jaynes…

Rabbi’s Corner – Monthly Newsletter – May 2017

It was my duty at this year’s annual meeting, as instructed by the President, to speak to the congregation, outlining our accomplishments of the past year. I am happy to reiterate the points spoken about in this month’s newsletter. We have, this past year, secured almost $50,000 in individual donations, which have been allocated to…

“Your Thoughts: The Killing Fields”

This month I was reading about something or other, following down the “google hole” and I came upon the Cambodian Genocide.  Don’t ask how.  But, genocide is a topic of which I have been fascinated with for many years.  I have served as an intern at Holocaust museums multiple times in my life, studied and…

“Your Thoughts: Patrilineal and Matrilineal Descent”

In October of 1983, the Central Conference of American Rabbis declared: “The Central Conference of American Rabbis declares that the child of one Jewish parent is under the presumption of Jewish descent. This presumption of the Jewish status of the offspring of any mixed marriage is to be established through appropriate and timely public and formal acts of…