Redemption and the Power of Man.
In Christianity, redemption is essentially an act of divine grace, the salvation of a sinful humanity that is incapable of saving itself. In Judaism redemption depends entirely on man, who is responsible for his own fate. To what extent did Judaism influence
the development of progressive, pluralistic democracy?
posted by semmi
on Sep 22, 2004 -
I'd like to introduce you to Norman Finkelstein.
A Jew whose parents were survivors of the Warsaw ghetto and various concentration camps, he is one of a handful of modern Jewish scholars who wants to "maintain the integrity of the history of the Nazi holocaust". I was introduced to him when I read his book The Holocaust Industry
, which reminds us that "its central dogmas sustain significant political and class interests. Indeed, The Holocaust has proven to be an indispensable ideological weapon." Indeed.
posted by taumeson
on Feb 16, 2004 -
Bar Mitzvah Disco
• When We Were Shtetl Fabulous
"If you are Jewish, there would have been a golden year when it seemed like you attended a bar mitzvah disco almost weekly. Each one was like a pee-wee Studio 54, a potent cocktail of ritual, acne, insecurity, and hormones run amok." Help
at Bar Mitzvah Disco gather photos
, stories and details from Bar/Bat Mitzvahs from the 70s and 80s to publish in their forthcoming book on the subject.
posted by dhoyt
on Jul 31, 2003 -
Avadim Chayeinu: A BDSM Haggadah
In some way or another, all who celebrate Passover, end up writing their own Haggadahs. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of different ones to choose from. Tradition says: never forget that YOU were freed from the land of Egypt. The desire to tell one's own tale of liberation and free one's own voice has led to holocaust haggadahs
, gay and lesbian
haggadahs, secular humanist
haggadahs and now, a haggadah for those to whom the term "slave" has an altogether different meaning. (via boingboing.)
posted by jann
on Apr 15, 2003 -
Nu, These New Rabbis, What Chutzpah, Huh?
Judaism has decried proselytism
, at least since Rome officially adopted Christianity, but a new wave of showbizzy American rabbis seem to be wowing their audiences. Their logic, apparently, is that there's nothing wrong with preaching to the converted. The refusal to engage in propaganda
[scroll down to "Jewish Propagandism"
] and conversion campaigns (since, unlike the other two great monotheisms, there is no need to be a Jew to have a place in the world to come) is often seen
as one of the most attractive features of Judaism
[see Part III
], although many think its implied exclusivity
and indifference to the world at large (and its religions) may actually foster antisemitism. Are things about to change? Should they? Whatever your view, have a happy Hannukah
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Nov 30, 2002 -
In the most bizarre collaboration between the American Christian Right and ultraorthodox Jewish Zionists in Israel, Pentecostal minister and Georgia cattle farmer Clyde Lott
has collaborated with the Temple Mount Institute
of Jerusalem to breed a red heifer
suitable for purifying the foundation of a rebuilt version of Solomon's Temple
, which ultraorthodox Jews hope will lead to the coming of the Messiah. The problem is that the proposed site for the rebuilt temple is on the same site as the al-Aqsa mosque
, the holiest site in Islam after Mecca and Medina. Some Zionist extremists in Israel have attempted to "solve" this problem by plotting to blow up the mosque
, which doesn't exactly promote peace in the Middle East. And to think all of this could have been started by a cow that looks like it should have belonged in "the Horse of a Different Color" sequence in the Wizard of Oz!
posted by jonp72
on Oct 30, 2002 -
The Guardian isn't so good
at letting you link to their articles anymore. But if you use this link then click on "printable version" you might get to the site I want you to link to. My title being: If you're Jewish and American its hard to know whose side your on these days.
posted by donfactor
on Oct 28, 2002 -
"I asked who was playing. A Moroccan group, said the cabbie. He told me its name. Did I want to know what it was singing? Certainly. It was a plea to Israel from the Arab people. The chorus was, 'We have the same father. Why do you treat us this way?' Who might the father be? I asked. 'Ibrahim
,' he said. 'The song is called Ismail and Isaac,' after his sons."
posted by artifex
on Sep 24, 2002 -
Is Current Israeli Policy Incompatible With Judaism?
Jonathan Sacks, Britain's Chief Rabbi and arguably the outstanding Jewish intellectual of his generation, has apparently broken away from the established stance of Orthodox Judaism and made public a series of worries and reservations that rabbis have been making privately ever since Sharon took power. It's not so much politics (though everything is) that is at stake but the dissonance
between the highly peaceful (indeed anti-military) and human character of Judaism and the hard, secular realism of present-day Israeli politics. Are they becoming irreconcilable? Were they always so?[Jonathan Freedland, who interviewed Professor Sacks, had this to say about the bigger picture.
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Aug 27, 2002 -
Catholics, Jews, Muslims - all three feel suddenly embattled and isolated
[nyt reg req] "This is a rare moment in history, like a planetary alignment: three world religions simultaneously racked by crisis....this confluence is highly unusual but not without precedent... — from 800 to 200 B.C., a period of tremendous violence and upheaval on many continents.... We could use this suffering to create wonderful new religious systems, as the Buddha did, or we could retreat into the spiritual barbarism of hatred ." Perhaps Karl Marx
was right that religion, like opium, results only in illusion and false hope.
posted by Voyageman
on Jun 13, 2002 -
Stretching a Jewish Vigil for the Sept. 11 Dead.
The usual Jewish tradition of sitting shmira, keeping the dead company for the twenty-four hours before burial, has been going on outside the New York City Medical Examiner's Office since Sept. 11. Every soul has been given companionship and prayer. For me, this is a reminder not to forget the souls of the living as we get on with our daily lives.
posted by sierray
on Nov 6, 2001 -
An anthropology professor explores the common threads of fundamentalism ranging from Native American revivalism, Christian fundamentalism, the Islamic Movement, Jewish Orthodoxy and Shinto and how they give rise to vigilante groups such as Operation Rescue, American militias, Hamas and Gush Emunim.
posted by kliuless
on Sep 15, 2001 -
Very important article about Israel, says Jorn
An article published on Arab web site, with intro by Gore Vidal, and re-issued with intro by Edward Said, is written by highly credentialled Israeli professor. Well, the opening intro para by Vidal is just plain contrary to facts. The Russian leader, Stalin, was violently anti-semitic and yet his country (33-13) also voted for the State of Israel. Did the "Jewish Lobby" give Joe a few million too?
Jorn. This stuff is getting tiresome. Be anti-Israel if you will. But please do not become a bore.
posted by Postroad
on Apr 1, 2001 -
I get lost for hours in the wealth of information on Judaism 101
. It's a great way for a goy to spend a Sabbath.
posted by tdecius
on Oct 19, 1999 -
The Shmaltz Brewing Company
out of San Francisco is the brewer of He'brew, the Chosen Beer. Be sure to try the Sammy Davis, Jr., which is a cocktail of Guinness floating atop He'brew Genesis Ale. L'Chaim!
posted by tdecius
on Oct 10, 1999 -