The Thirteen Principles

Now that the month of Tamuz is here, I believe it is an appropriate time to discuss belief, Emunah.  An ideal place to start is Maimonides, who, writing in the 12th Century, was the first Jewish scholar to systematically list and explain the principles of Jewish belief.  His “Thirteen Ikarim,” principles of faith, became the most authoritative formulation and they are studied in Jewish communities around the world. A condensed ...

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Absolutely!

There is a popular misconception that “Judaism is not a religion of dogma” and that it makes no demands on belief.  However, it is clear from the Torah itself that there are obligations of the intellect as well as obligations of action. I am the Lord your God, Who has taken you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery.  You shall not recognize the gods of others ...

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Simplicity

During the months of summer, I often find myself thinking of some of our memorable vacations. One comes to mind as especially enjoyable.  Our family attended a Shabbaton at Kesher Israel congregation in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where I was scholar in residence.  The Rabbi, the synagogue and the community were all wonderful, warm, fantastic and incredibly hospitable. On the way there we visited the Amish in Lancaster County, took a buggy ride, ...

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