Tag: judaism

  • Some Thoughts on Vaera and the First Four Plagues

    This is a text of a d’var Torah I gave at Altshul on January 25, 2020      First, I want to say that I am so glad my family joined altshul a year and a half ago. The generosity and kindness of this community is amazing. I feel lucky to be a part of […]

  • Some Quick Thoughts on the Rambam, Mishneh Torah, and Chavrusa Learning

    Mishneh Torah – Talmud Torah Maimonides In March, my friend Noah asked me if I’d like to learn some Torah with him. Of course I said yet. By Torah here Noah meant the expansive sense of the word, covering texts of religious importance to Jews. After some back and forth, we settled on learning Maimonides […]

  • Review: Friedman’s Who Wrote The Bible

    Who Wrote the Bible Richard Elliott Friedman In the last couple of years, I’ve been making a real effort to engage more deeply with Torah study, and particularly with the weekly parshas.* This year, after coming across what seemed like a contradiction in Genesis, I asked a rabbi friend what to make of it. “Do […]

  • Boyarin’s The Jewish Gospels

    The Jewish Gospels: The Story of the Jewish Christ Daniel Boyarin Daniel Boyarin is one the most interesting scholars of rabbinic Judaism and early Christianity working today. He’s also, usually, an incredibly dense and academic writer. I read, and loved, his book Borderlands, but I’m also not sure I understood it. The Jewish Gospels is […]

  • Donin’s To Pray As A Jew

    To Pray As A Jew: A Guide To The Prayer Book And The Synagogue Service Hayim Halevy Donin A detailed discussion of the technical aspects of the rituals and traditions of Orthodox Jewish prayer. Literally a handbook that takes you, moment by moment, through Shabbat and daily services, and prayer at home. As I’ve written […]

  • Brandes’ The Orchard

    The Orchard Yochi Brandes A fictionalize portrayal of the life of Rabbi Akiva, told from the perspective of his loving, but long suffering wife. Akiva is a luminary of early rabbinic Judaism and one of the central figures in the Talmud. He was, allegedly, a simple Shepard, who won the heart of the daughter of […]

  • Boyrain’s Borderlands: The Partition of Judaeo-Christianity

    Borderlands: The Partition of Judeo-Christinaty Daniel Boyarin Daniel Boyarin is a genius and a personally fascinating scholar. A Talmudic scholar and an expert on rabbinic Judaism and early Christianity, he’s also versed in what is generally called “theory” and rhetoric. He’s an observant Jew, and an anti-Zionist.  He’s also, I’m afraid to say, a complex […]

  • Book Review: Lew’s This Is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared

    This Is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared: The Days of Awe as a Journey of Transformation Allan Lew A meditation on the Jewish High Holidays by one of the most important reform rabbis of the last fifty years. A deeply honest and moving book. The most spiritually moving piece of literature I have read, […]

  • Fishkoff’s The Rebbe’s Army

    The Rebbe’s Army: Inside the World of Chabad-Lubavitch, Sue Fishkoff “Excuse me sir, are you jewish?” If you live in New York and you look even remotely like an Ashkenazi jew, you’ve been asked this question. The people doing the asking are members Chabbad Lubavitcgh, the largest, most outwardly looking movement in Hasidic Judaism. This […]

  • 100 Days of Milo: Day 26 — Interesting Gers

    As regular readers of this site might know, I’m what they call a “jew by choice” or, in the parlance, a Ger. It’s a bit of a strange place to be and I’m fascinated by the stories of other people who’ve also decided to convert to Judaism. On this page, I collect short pieces on […]