The relevance of the Sabbath

For someone who has never observed the Sabbath, the ‘rest’ of the Seventh can seem overwhelmingly restricting. Besides for all agricultural labor that is outright prohibited, there are also restrictions that affect many other aspects in day-to-day life. For instance, one is not permitted to cook, write, dye, ignite a fire, carry any objects outside of their home, travel, prepare anything for Sunday, and tens more. Continue reading “The relevance of the Sabbath”

Scared to Death

Most people I know don’t like to think about dying. Death is taboo, especially when talking to ninety-five year-old’s. When people are depressed, when they have nothing to look forward to, they think about death, and usually it makes them feel even worse. Today, I asked myself, what is so scary or sad about dying?

My conclusion was, that it’s what millennials call FOMO, [Fear Of  Missing Out]. Continue reading “Scared to Death”

As Holy as God?

God tells Moses: “Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy.” (Leviticus 19:2) This verse clearly sounds like a command; but some leading scholars believe that it is not a commandment for itself. It is, rather, the mission statement of the Jewish faith.

Before we examine this verse let’s read the Midrash: Continue reading “As Holy as God?”

The Golden Calf. Why not a lion?

Robots and angels don’t err, they can live for a thousand years without making a single mistake. Human beings, however, sin and fail and make lots and lots of stupid decisions; individually and communally. There is, however, an obvious distinction between mistakes committed by individuals and sins perpetrated by a collaboration of many people. Current day Germany is a perfect example. Continue reading “The Golden Calf. Why not a lion?”

Is there room for me?

Maimonides. It’s hard to finish the sentence. No praise can do justice and no words can encapsulate the magnificence of this brilliant light, eternal fountain of wisdom, and bright star in the skies of our history. He was a physician by profession, a philosopher by nature, and by heart, a teacher and student of Jewish Law. I won’t tire myself and try to write a short bio, that’s what Wikipedia is for. (Obviously, expect some inaccurate information and flawed judgement there, as you shall always.)

Anyway, in his theological defense of rationalism titled “Guide for the Perplexed,” Continue reading “Is there room for me?”

God’s Wall

One of the greatest privileges of living in Jerusalem, is that you can visit the Western Wall at any given time for just $1.75!

The Western Wall is a small remnant of the majestic Herodian wall that encircled the Temple Mount. The wall served as a fortification for the Temple, but more importantly, it was the border of the common world and the Divine. Outside these walls is the world of money, power, greed and lust; within these walls is God’s Presence, and therefore, love, charity, blessing and purity.

In 70 C.E. when the Romans conquered the Holy Land and destroyed its cities, the Jews of Jerusalem found refuge in the Temple. The people were protected by the Temple, and the Temple was protected by the mountain’s Wall. Continue reading “God’s Wall”