Browsing Tag


Habakkuk: The Prophet You've Never Heard Of

Habakkuk: The Prophet You’ve Never Heard Of

By On December 22, 2015

Big ideas can certainly come in small packages. Just ask Habakkuk, eighth of the twelve minor prophets, and certifiable man of mystery. The minor prophets, so named for the brevity of their… Read More

The Book of the All-Virtuous Wisdom of Joshua Ben Sira

Ben Sira, The Prophet Who Wasn’t One

By On December 29, 2014

Believe it or not, the fact that the prophet Jeremiah is both Ben Sira’s father and grandfather is not the weirdest thing about him. Yup–according to apocrypha, evil men forced Jeremiah to… Read More

What’s In God’s Tefillin?

What’s In God’s Tefillin?

By On June 25, 2014

Tefillin, or phylacteries, are the black leather straps and boxes that are worn on the head and on the arm during weekday morning prayers. Madonna puts them on with her teeth. Barbie has a pair. Once on… Read More

What Does God Pray For?

What Does the Master of the Universe Pray For?

By On March 5, 2014

Humans pray for all kinds of things: food, water, health, a good grade on a spelling test, no more meatloaf for dinner, a kiss from a handsome boy, acceptance into college, finding a… Read More



By On July 31, 2012

How many righteous people can you name? A hundred? Fifty? When Abraham played that game with God, they couldn’t even find ten. (Admittedly, the two were looking in Sodom and Gemorrah, the two evilest cities… Read More


The Secret Jewish Burial Society

By On June 20, 2012

The hevra kadisha, or “holy fraternity,” is a group that ritually cleans a dead body before it’s buried. A hevra kadisha exists in virtually every Jewish community. Participating in one is rarely a high-profile job, and… Read More


The Last Battle

By On January 25, 2012

The End of Days occupies a much more central place in Christian theology than in Jewish thought. Judaism, for the most part, is more concerned with the present day than the final days. Perhaps we don’t think… Read More


Praying in the Fields

By On December 29, 2011

In the sixteenth century, kabbalists living in Safed developed an elaborate ritual for welcoming the Sabbath. Dressed in white garments, they would leave the city limits and go into the fields, singing psalms and the mystical song “Lekhah Dodi.” Today we… Read More


The Physics of God

By On August 22, 2011

“While you’re talking, you’re not learning anything,” Richard Feynman used to say. Ironically, Feynman used to talk a lot. A physicist, philosopher, teacher and one of the inventors of the atomic bomb, Feynman was one… Read More



By On August 4, 2011

The word amen is Hebrew, dating back to the Book of Numbers–but it’s not only used by Jews. When the ancient Greeks controlled the Land of Israel, the word entered the Greek language. From there, the little word made its… Read More


This Ain’t Your Grandpa’s Shema

By On July 15, 2011

The prayer known as the Shema, the six-word proclamation of God‘s singularity, might be the most important prayer in Judaism. The version that appears in prayer books today includes this crucial sentence, followed by… Read More


God Is Great (and I’m Not)

By On June 22, 2011

Sometimes, a spiritual search can be as hard as the search for the perfect boyfriend. Here’s a film that chronicles the quest for both. The 2002 film God is Great (and I’m Not) stars… Read More

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