Rabbinic Attitudes toward Uncertainty Reveal the Underlying Humanity of Halakhah

Oct. 29 2020

When one hears about religious discussions of doubt, one thinks about those who are unsure in their beliefs. But in his book The Birth of Doubt, Moshe Halbertal examines something else entirely: how the rabbis of the 3rd and 4th centuries CE dealt with situations of halakhic uncertainty, such as a piece of meat that might have been purchased from a kosher butcher, but could possibly have originated from a non-kosher one. Zalman Rothschild writes in his review:

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Read more at Marginalia

More about: Halakhah, Judaism, Moshe Halbertal, Talmud

 

Despite Reasons for Worry, Jews Shouldn’t Lose Faith in the American Promise

Sept. 24 2021

From synagogue shootings, to attacks on Jews on the streets, to the gathering strength and viciousness of anti-Zionism, especially in the corridors of political power, American Jewry has ample reason for concern about its safety and wellbeing. But, surveying both the present situation and the deep roots of what has made America a welcoming home to Jews with “no analogue in the 2,000 years after the destruction of the Temple,” Josef Joffe argues that the U.S. remains exceptional. The bad news, however, is still bad:

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Read more at Commentary

More about: American exceptionalism, American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Chuck Schumer