Category Archives: Modern Orthodoxy

Faith Lost and Faith Found

Why do some people lose their faith, while other people find it? It’s not because of differences in intelligence or education. Atheists and theists are often equally smart and educated. Orthodox Jewish Israeli physicist Gerald Schroeder and Evangelical Christian geneticist … Continue reading

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What We Owe to Past, Present, and Future

What do we owe to people who lived in the past and are now dead? What do we owe to people now living? What do we owe to people in generations yet to come? And perhaps most important: What is … Continue reading

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What Must We Believe?

By N.S. Palmer Are certain beliefs required to be a Jew in good standing? Moses Maimonides says yes. Moses Mendelssohn says no. (And yes. And no. Mendelssohn was all over the map on that issue.) Among religious Jews, Maimonides is … Continue reading

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Maimonides and Keeping the Commandments

By N.S. Palmer “God rewards those who perform the commandments of the Torah and punishes those who transgress its admonitions.”1 The Jewish sage Maimonides called that an essential tenet of our faith. But there’s something a little odd about it. … Continue reading

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Words, Order, and Tisha B’Av

By N.S. Palmer One of Judaism’s deepest beliefs, says Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, is “that God is to be found in words, that these words are to be found in the Torah …”1 That’s right in one way, but wrong in … Continue reading

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Is the Messiah Coming?

By N.S. Palmer Is the Jewish Messiah coming? Yes. But it’s complicated. Belief in a Messiah is central to the Jewish tradition. Maimonides listed it as a key principle of Judaism: “I believe with perfect faith in the coming of … Continue reading

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Is Jewish Philosophy Bad for the Jews?

By N. S. Palmer Is Jewish philosophy bad for the Jews? I think it has to do with apple pie. Whatever it has to do with, it’s not an idle question. Moses Mendelssohn, the 18th-century philosopher who led the Jewish … Continue reading

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Where You Stand Depends on Where You Start

By N.S. Palmer We like to think that we base our beliefs only on logic and evidence, but we don’t. Don’t worry. It’s not just you. Or me. Nobody does. If we start with different assumptions, we interpret evidence differently. Based on those different interpretations, … Continue reading

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