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“Jews” for Jesus? No Way!

Posted on 12/02/2018 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
The term “pluralistic institution” can often seem quite oxymoronic. Pluralism is generally defined as a state where two or more worldviews, groups, or sources of authority can co-exist without much...

Feeling Deep Compassion for the Oppressed

Posted on 12/02/2018 by Rabbi Yaakov Bieler in Beliefs and Practices
A particularly moving paragraph that is recited by the entire congregation of pray-ers as part of the Shacharit (morning) services on Mondays and Thursdays, before the Tora is returned to the Ark, describes...

Anti-Zionism, Anti-Semitism, Both, or Neither

Posted on 12/02/2018 by Jacob Schwartz in Beliefs and Practices
B”SDAnti-Zionism is not inherently anti-Semitic. If you don’t agree with that sentiment, you may want to open another tab right now. This article will address what I understand to be the nuanced...

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...

Jewish Tug Of War

Posted on 11/13/2018 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
There are two ways to look at Jewish history and, individually, they are both simultaneously right and wrong. Judaism, for at least the first couple centuries, had a king and high priest who were at the top of...

Learning From Psalms by Rabbi Yaakov Bieler

Posted on 11/04/2018 by Rabbi Yaakov Bieler in Beliefs and Practices
While Jewish liturgy very much emphasizes God’s various attributes, in the spirit of “imitateo Dei” (learning from God’s macro example to embody, as best we can, Godly behavior on our...

Arise, Arise, Shake Off Your Dust

Posted on 11/02/2018 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
I was not surprised to turn on my phone and read that 11 Jews had been murdered in cold blood while praying in a synagogue last Shabbat morning. This is not a normative claim, rather a descriptive one. For how...

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,...

Controlling One’s Emotions in Order to Become a Better Person -- Yaakov Bieler

Posted on 10/23/2018 by Rabbi Yaakov Bieler in Beliefs and Practices
The “Binding of Isaac” (Genesis 22:1-18) is an iconic event in the Bible, and has transcended its religious context, to become part of the corpus of the classics of Western literature. While it is...

Church on Sunday

Posted on 10/23/2018 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
A casual email forwarded to me by a colleague thrust me into one of the more interesting and stimulating experiences I have had in quite a while. Roughly a month ago, I arrived at Eastside Christian Church, a...
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