Posted on 09/26/2019 by Rabbi Ben Hecht in Holidays
The Value of the Question The Torah reading for the Second Day of Rosh Hashanah is the powerful account of the Akeidat Yitzchak [the Binding of Isaac] (Bereishit 22:1-19). We are told how God commanded our...
The Essential Call is to Look Forward, Not Back
Posted on 08/07/2019 by Rabbi Ben Hecht in Holidays
In a previous blog presentation of mine, Torah Advice on Responding to Negative Emotions -- also written to mark the mourning period of The Three Weeks in which we remember the destruction of the Holy Temples...
Is Judaism a Religion?
Posted on 07/22/2019 by Rabbi Ben Hecht in Beliefs and Practices
For those who regularly read my work, the question framed in this title would, no doubt, be seen as a loaded one. They would clearly surmise that something is up for I almost always inherently critique the...
Sinai – The Binding of Belief and Knowledge
Posted on 06/05/2019 by Rabbi Ben Hecht in Holidays
One of the difficulties in approaching the Biblical text is that it describes realities that are vastly different than our own. It describes occurrences which are beyond our comprehension. This further...
Why Be Jewish? (Part 3) -- Roots and Beyond
Posted on 05/02/2019 by Rabbi Ben Hecht in Beliefs and Practices
In our opening discussions on this topic (please see Why Be Jewish? - Defining the Question and Why Be Jewish? - The Forces Within and the Forces Without), we effectively described the tension that exists...
Why Be Jewish? [Part 2] The Forces Within and the Forces Without
Posted on 01/03/2019 by Rabbi Ben Hecht in Beliefs and Practices
In our opening discussion on this topic (please see Why Be Jewish? - Defining the Question), we raised the issue that, while defining oneself as Jewish indicates that one is a member of a certain grouping,...
Why Be Jewish?
Posted on 11/29/2018 by Rabbi Ben Hecht in Beliefs and Practices
Defining the Question Why be Jewish? It seems to be a simple, straightforward question, often employed to begin a presentation on the accolades and benefits in choosing to be a Jew. The problem is, in the vast...
Belief and Knowledge
Posted on 10/25/2018 by Rabbi Ben Hecht in Beliefs and Practices
One of the difficulties in approaching the Biblical text is that it describes realities that are vastly different than our own. For example, when we speak of the truth of God’s Existence, we, generally,...
High Holy Days: On Communal Teshuva
Posted on 09/08/2018 by Rabbi Ben Hecht in Holidays
Teshuva -- roughly translated into English as ‘repentance’ but actually involving much, much more -- is fundamental to Jewish thought and life. It is, actually, the very engine of all Jewish...
The Call of Introspection
Posted on 07/16/2018 by Rabbi Ben Hecht in Holidays
As the Three Weeks began, I found myself thinking about the movie “The Gladiator” with Russel Crowe. It is, clearly, a film that presents a motif of good versus evil and we are to feel, in a...