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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...

#MeToo and the Pursuit of Modesty

Posted on 04/09/2018 by Rabbi Ben Hecht in Beliefs and Practices
There can be no denying the significance of the #MeToo movement. It has confronted, and continues to confront, a major problem within our society and, for this, it deserves acknowledgment. What I find somewhat...

The Often Overlooked Message of Purim

Posted on 02/27/2018 by Rabbi Ben Hecht in Holidays
In many ways, the story of Purim epitomizes the battle of good versus evil. The lines are clearly drawn and we know for whom we should cheer and for whom we should not. That is why its celebration is so...

The Uphill Battle of Teaching Orthodox Judaism

Posted on 01/30/2018 by Rabbi Ben Hecht in Beliefs and Practices
I read with great interest the JVO blog posting from Moshe Daniel Levine entitled The Uphill Battle of Teaching Liberal Judaism and found myself agreeing with many of his points. In many ways, I found him...
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