Naming a child in any religious tradition is a momentous occasion. In recent decades, in the Jewish tradition, one can combine traditional Jewish ceremonies and contemporary Jewish customs in a personal, familial and communal way which perpetuate the values and ideals which we cherish.
The idea that religion has historically been opposed to science is simply an erroneous and unsupported construct that was created in the late 19th century, primarily as an anti-Catholic polemic. And it is an idea that all -- yes, all -- knowledgeable historians categorically reject.
When Billie Sol died, a door closed in a religious tradition that nurtured many and promised more than it could deliver.
There are those who maintain that you have to make impossible promises in order to get elected or stay in business. However, we should always ask whether a promise is at least plausible or whether it deserves to be denounced as a shevuat shav -- a vain oath.
Biblical passages to which conservative Christians appeal on these issues can be interpreted differently. But even those convinced that conservatives do not interpret the Bible correctly in these cases must concede that they do so consistently.
A thriller incorporating the work of the 14th century poet Dante Alighieri, 18th century philosopher Thomas Malthus and 21st century gene manipulation, the novel puts into perspective differences between Catholic and Jewish visions of hell, and the way our respective histories have shaped our contemporary circumstances.
Hell-busters exude the Spirit. They give off a Christ-like spirit. When you're in their presence, you can almost smell holiness. But the holiest of holy smoke has a tinge of the burnt smell with it. It's a smell that tells you it's been slightly singed near the fires of burning flesh and souls on fire.
In coming to a greater understanding of Christian masculinity, I am calling us to introspect and to adopt more fitting approach -- one that bears the fruit of Scripture's high calling, "reconciling the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers."
As the "Arab Spring" and its aftermath continue to upset the historical order in many countries, future Muslim leaders would do well to follow the example of Dhul-Qarnayn. Acknowledging the limits of their own political systems and promoting collective action are central to good governance in this increasingly pluralistic age.
Woodward and Bernstein seem like two Talmud study partners who continually probe each other to ascertain the truth. Each questions the other, and is unafraid of challenging or criticizing his friend.
Thinking of these graduates, I turn to Jeremiah, as I often do: "For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope."
Pope Francis takes the Gospel warnings against Satan very literally, seeing the modern tendency to write the devil off as a kind of mythical expression or literary fiction as a kind of victory for evil's influence in the world. Having been trained by Jesuits, I understand where he is coming from.
In the prophecy from Joel that Peter quotes on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, God makes an incredible promise: "I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh." What if this statement is taken as the centerpiece of God's salvation of humanity and the world?
Aaron was upset that he and his tribe did not get to donate offerings for the inauguration of the Altar. G-d cheered him up by reassuring him hat he would get to light the Menorah. Was Aaron jealous?
In crisis, the wrong question to ask is, "What have I done to deserve this?" The right one is, "What am I now being summoned to do?" Each of us has a task. Every life has a purpose. We can bear the pain of the past when we discover the future we are called on to make.
Nearly seventeen years ago, my friend and his wife lost their 34 year old son to cancer. A friend of the son who attended the funeral was doing mission work in the Ukraine and offered to take the son's clothing back with him to the impoverished nation