Thursday, May 30th, 2024

Parashat Beraishit: The Challenge of Free Will – From One Firstborn to Another by Yaakov Bieler

September 28, 2010 by  
Filed under New Posts, Parasha

While the Parsha of Beraishit contains many well-known, seminal stories with respect to the universal human condition,[1] the verse to which I find myself being drawn year after year, is Beraishit 4:7. After Kayin (Cain) is crestfallen as a result of his younger brother Hevel’s (Abel) sacrifice being divinely accepted, while his own is rejected, [...]

From Our Archives: Parashat Beraishit

September 28, 2010 by  
Filed under From Our Archives, New Posts

Population Control:  The Jewish View by Moses D. Tendler (8:3, 1966) Halakhic Criteria for Defining Human Beings by Moshe D. Tendler and John D. Loike (37:2, 2003) On Contradictions between Torah and Science:  The First Day of Creation – The Origin of the Universe by Nathan Aviezer (24:4, 1989) The Biblical Stories of Creation, Garden [...]

New Parasha, Archives, and Print Features

September 28, 2010 by  
Filed under New Posts, Text & Texture

We are pleased to announce that our regular contributor, Rabbi Yaakov Bieler, will begin posting weekly essays on the parasha for Text & Texture.  Rabbi Bieler’s essays will feature philosophical ruminations based on textual analysis and commentaries, but will not be overly technical and will remain accessible to a wide audience.    We are sure you will enjoy [...]

Books of Interest: Important Studies on Repentance

September 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Books of Interest, New Posts

Two recent book on teshuva are genuine must-reads. The first, Takanat Ha-Shavim (2007) by Prof. Nahum Rakover, discusses all aspects relating to the rehabilitation of criminals in halakha.  He discusses when and how we limit the reinstatement of offenders (especially if they had a public position) as well as the debates regarding how to demonstrate [...]

Can Belief in Science Fulfill the Criteria for Worshipping Avodah Zarah? Teshuvah and Fundamental Beliefs by Gidon Rothstein

September 12, 2010 by  
Filed under New Posts, Philosophy

Who’s Crazy Enough To Worship Idols? Growing up, I remember finding עבודה זרה a totally foreign concept— we were supposed to believe that many years ago, benighted and backward peoples believed that stones and statues and trees could control their lives, and worshiped them to secure better outcomes. And we Jews, with a tradition of [...]

The Aleinu Prayer and the Pardes Story: Major Trends in Hekhalot Literature Research by Shlomo Brody

September 5, 2010 by  
Filed under New Posts, Talmud

The prayer Aleinu, which plays a central role in the Rosh Hashana liturgy, first appears within the Hekhalot literature, a large corpus of mystical writings and experiences which emerged in late antiquity.  This literature, full of narratives of Sages ascending to the Heavens – including the famous Pardes story also found in the Talmud – [...]

What is Lost as We Eliminate the Impossible: Jews and Public Schools by Gidon Rothstein

September 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Education, Jewish Culture, New Posts

Sherlock Holmes’ advice, “Eliminate the impossible; whatever is left, however improbable, must be the truth,” made a deep impression on me.  It seemed so logical, so unequivocal, so indisputable1.  In the years since I first encountered the epigram, I have realized some major weaknesses in its presentation; for our purposes, here, some of those weaknesses [...]