Tag Archives: ritual

A Yom Kippur Primer (Liturgical Highlights)

A dear friend and close colleague of some twenty years in the Department of Religion, not Jewish, asked about Yom Kippur. Just what is Yom Kippur and what exactly does one do all day, assuming of course that one is … Continue reading

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Caffeine Suppositories (Yom Kippur)

After excruciating headaches this Yom Kippur, I appreciate that this definitely seems to be a thing. From the Forward, you  can read the article here about the use of caffeine suppositories to ease the horrible effects of withdrawal on the … Continue reading

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Jerry-rigged Church Space (Rescue Baptist Church)

Walking down W. 123rd Street between Adam Clayton Powell and Frederick, you are at first not sure what you are looking at. Illuminating a basic point made by Durkheim about the sacred, the only thing that distinguishes Rescue Baptist Church … Continue reading

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Not So Awesome Days of Awe This Year

Rituals, we know from the study of religion, are supposed to encapsulate a perfect order completely unlike the messiness of lived, daily life. In the ritual space, everything is supposed to go right. This is what marks the disjunctive quality, … Continue reading

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Pagan Rabbis of the Mishnah (Jacob Neusner)

Against history and messianic end-times, Jewish philosophy might want to take note that at the conclusion of a discussion of the Order of Appointed Seasons (Seder Moed) of the Mishnah, Jacob Neusner describes these pagan rabbis. Their world picture is … Continue reading

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(Levantine) Aesthetic Judaism (Lucette Lagnado)

Memoir is an unusually interesting genre for the study of modern religion and modern Judaism. Casting about for material that would expand the contours of my mid-level class last semester (spring 2017) on American Judaism I finally got around to … Continue reading

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Particles (חמץ)

There used to be a lot of talk in Religion Studies about ethos and nomos, ritual and myth. There’s Durkheim, Eliade, Geertz, J.Z. Smith, and Michael Fishbane. But I think ritual may “mean” nothing “more” than forced attention to the … Continue reading

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