Tag Archives: Judaism

Translating the Bible for Our Era

What difference does a translation make? If we take the Torah seriously, a lot. Whether we believe it was given by God to Moses, or only that it’s the foundational text of our identity as Jews, we want to get it … Continue reading

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The Fifth Question

Are you the same person today as you were yesterday? If so, how do you know? And what does it even mean for you to be “the same person” as you were yesterday? Therein lies a tale. It leads us … Continue reading

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What Is Faith in God?

What does it mean to have faith in God? It’s not a simple question. Lately, I’ve been wrestling with The Tenacity of Unreasonable Beliefs, a book that tries to analyze religious belief from a psychological perspective. The author, Solomon Schimmel, … Continue reading

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What Do You See?

Look at the ink blot. What do you see? The ink blot is used in what’s called a “Rorschach test.” The picture is supposed to be neutral, and not to look like anything in particular. What you see in it … 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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Turning Around Spinoza’s Challenge

By N.S. Palmer Spinoza meant it as a taunt. But it might hold one of the keys to Jewish survival. Depending on where you sit, Baruch de Spinoza is either the founder of modern Jewish philosophy or Judaism’s deadliest critic. … 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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