Tag Archives: ritual

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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(My Working Will Be the Work) Maintenance Art and the Messianic (Mierle Laderman Ukeles)

As it turns out, Jewish ritual, the idea of the holy, informs much of this artist’s work and her thought. They cut against the grain of “messianism” in ways that are at once profound and ordinary. My introduction to her … Continue reading

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Lag Ba’Omer (Conflagration)

Fire is a critical ritual marker in Judaism. On the combustible nature of religion,  you can read here about Lag Ba’Omer forest fires in Jerusalem. There are more pictures here. Sometimes ritual gets out of hand. You just need to know … Continue reading

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Watching Block Statue (Ancient Egypt Middle Kingdom)

In the Christian west, devotion tends to be identified with the erect figure of the orant who extends his or arms towards the heavens in an act of supplication. Compare in contrast this fellow from ancient Egypt, Middle Kinddom. With its … Continue reading

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Keep Off On Pain of Death (The Temple Mount, King Herod & Historical Context)

It sounds like King Herod wanted to allow non-Jews to go up to the Temple Mount so that he could show off the new Temple digs. But they could only go so far into the heart of the complex. An … Continue reading

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