When Anti-Semitism Is Inconvenient
Posted on 12/15/2019 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
So it turns out that non-white supremacist anti-Semitism could be deadly in America. Who would have thought? It couldn’t have been the growing number of Jews and Jewish leaders sounding the alarm on the...
Oh NO, Not Another Hanukkah Article!
Posted on 12/08/2019 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Holidays
About a month ago I was ordering a latte at a local coffee shop. The barista, a 40ish year-old man, asked if I minded a quick question about Judaism. “Of course” I responded, always excited to...
The U.N.'s Erasure of Jewish History and Why it Matters for Israeli Leftists
Posted on 12/03/2019 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Israel
For roughly 1,000 years a temple stood on top of the Temple Mount in the center of Jerusalem. This temple was the center of Jewish life, serving as the religious, social, and at times even political center of...
The Answer to the Growing Israel-Diaspora Rift = Torah
Posted on 11/26/2019 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
Everyone understands the awkward potential of a large family gathering. Maybe you bump into an aunt or uncle you haven't seen since your bar/bat Mitzvah and brace yourself for a barrage of comments about...
The Ancient Jewish Debate about Modern Israeli Politics
Posted on 11/17/2019 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
“...Now appoint us a king to judge over us (so we can be) like all other nations” (1 Sam 8:5)But the Jews aren’t supposed to be like other nations, Samuel thought to himself. And in the...
Jewish Practice and Abolishment of Human Sacrifice
Posted on 11/10/2019 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
Right outside of the southern wall of the old city of Jerusalem lies a deep valley known as the Valley of Hinnom (Gei Hinnom) or Gehenna. Today as one walks through modern Jerusalem, coming across the Valley...
Explaining Eden- The Deep Philosophical Truth at the Beginning of the Torah
Posted on 10/27/2019 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
Man’s banishment from Eden serves as a prologue to the Torah and therefore, by extension, to Judaism as a system of ideas and practice. A mythical story that truly sets up the epistemological background...
An Introduction to the Talmud_Part 3_Tips for Starting Your Talmudic Journey
Posted on 10/20/2019 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
This is part three in a series: An Introduction to the Talmud. For part 1 click here. For part 2 click here. There is a famous story in the Talmud of a young and poor Hillel who wanted to learn Torah but was...
History, Memory, and Sukkot
Posted on 10/17/2019 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Holidays
One of the central dialectics within Judaism is the interplay between history (what actually happened) and memory (what events are embedded into our national consciousness). It is clear that the historical...
Justin Trudeau did T'Shuvah
Posted on 10/06/2019 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Holidays
In a few day’s time millions of Jews will gather in synagogues across the globe praying for forgiveness. We have sinned throughout the year. Sinned against God. Sinned against our fellow humans. And...