Tag Archives: talmud-midrash

Creation/Contemplation of the Virtual World (Genesis Rabbah)

Reading in seminar with Syracuse undergrad students Naama Erez, Sam Gelfand, Giulia Kean from Genesis Rabbah 1:4. According to the rabbis here, the Torah and Throne of Glory were created before the creation of the physical world, and the contemplation … Continue reading

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Anti-Black & White in Jewish Texts (Abraham Melamed)

Abraham Melamed’s The Image of the Black in Judaism was first published in Hebrew in 2002 and then translated into English in 2003. While the title does little to recommend itself and the theoretical apparatus is dated, the data are … Continue reading

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Trans-Torah (Dubbs Weinblatt)

In this short-form reflection by Dubbs Weinblatt on Torah and Trans Jewishness, an emerging sense of awareness is brought to bear vis-a-vis an ancient text-tradition, one that has done so much harm to LGBT Jews and continues to challenge. What’s … Continue reading

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Rush Limbaugh at Yeshiva Bubble

  Explaining the confluence between Haredi Jewish society and Trumpism, this piece here in Mishpacha indicates that in the tightly enclosed bubble of the Haredi yeshivot and culture, with limited access to secular newspapers, at least for this author and … Continue reading

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Uncivil Religion (Haredi) (Coronavirus)

  Saving life, or pikuach nefesh, has nothing to with it. “Uncivil Religion,” in contrast to Civil Religion, is religion set apart from and, under crisis, against civil society and the larger social good against which it seeks to protect … Continue reading

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Shekhina (2nd Temple & Rabbinic Sources)

On God/Shekinah in Targumim, 2nd Temple Period, and rabbinic sources, see this exhaustive entry by Kaufman Kohler and Ludwig Blau in the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia available online here. “The term,” they explain, “was used by the Rabbis in place of … Continue reading

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(סמא דמותא) Death-Torah (Coronavirus)

  As a rule, religious tradents associate kedushah (holiness) with life and images of life like light, water, and fruit. But with what kind of life? Life in this world or life in the world to come? In truth, religion … Continue reading

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(Things) Mishnah Shabbat is Beautiful

    cedar bast [lekhesh], uncombed flax [ḥosen], raw silk [kalakh], willow bast [petilat ha’idan], desert weed [petilat hamidbar], nor green mosspitch [zefet], wax [sha’ava], castor oil [shemen kik], burnt oil [shemen sereifa], fat from a sheep’s tail [alya], tallow … Continue reading

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(Without Justice And Without A Judge) Tulsa (לית דין ולית דיין)

לית דין ולית דיין The accounts here of gruesome death from the race-massacre in Tulsa bring to mind the words of the arch heretic in midrash and Talmud, Elisha ben Abuye, reflecting in response to Roman rule; the world is … Continue reading

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Care for a Corpse (Gemilut Chasadim) Flowers (Cornovirus)

Readers of ethics and Jewish ethics, in particular, should recognize in the remarkable story about this woman and this powerful act of caring for a corpse one of the greatest acts of kindness marked in rabbinic sources that one person … Continue reading

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