This week, for the second time, I am undertaking the “SNAP challenge” of spending on food only the average daily benefit for those receiving food stamps (AKA the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). Nationally, that benefit is $4.50 per person per day, and in New York State it is $4.92 per person per day. When budget […]
Hello friends, After a sabbatical from the synagogue and from “Honest to God” — although I hope not from honesty to God — I am returning to JCast Network and to this blog. It’s good to be back. Please give a gander and this next post, to follow anon.
This past Shabbat’s Torah section, Be’ha’alotekha, includes the famous description of Moses’ singular virtue [Numbers 12.3]: “This man Moses was very humble, more than any other human being on the face of the earth.” If anyone could justify a little vanity, maybe it would be the man whose face glowed with light because he came […]
Rabbi David Teutsch responded to my comments comparing his Guide to Jewish Practice with the Conservative work The Observant Life with some criticisms of his own. I thank David for writing back, and invite him – and others – to continue the conversation. I’d like to respond to David’s observation with 3 points. First, David affirmed that […]
How does a liberal Jew behave? This is heterodox Judaism’s greatest challenge: Does our religion demand any particular way of living? If we do not eat differently than our non-Jewish neighbors, do not marry differently, do not work and rest, nor buy and sell differently, then maybe our Judaism amounts to nothing more than vestigial, […]
This past Shabbat at Ansche Chesed we heard a presentation from Dov Elboim, a well-known Israeli writer, editor and television host, a face of the phenomenon called hazara bi’she’ela, “returning with questions,” a pun meaning “those who left ultra-Orthodoxy.” Dov was recently profiled here in Haaretz. Hebrew readers will also enjoy his excellent book Journey in […]
A variety of important/inspiring/challenging things have made it through across my screen for Yom Ha’Atzmaut. I’d like to share some with you. A truly inspiring figure and one of the great rabbis in Orthodox America, R. Yosef Blau – the “Spiritual Guide” or Mashgiach Ruchani at Yeshiva University’s rabbinical seminary – spoke a year ago of […]