Henry David Thoreau famously said that the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. I never really understood that line when I first read it many years ago, and as I was growing into maturity, it always seemed to me a bleak assessment of the human condition. ”Quiet desperation” seemed to negate the very possibility of living a meaningful if not joyous life. In my youth, hearing those words made me feel distant at best from what Thoreau was trying to say.
He was no King David. But biblical King Joash has suddenly been thrust into the international limelight.
Joash, who ruled the Kingdom of Judah for about 40 years (835-793 BCE), is linked to a fascinating debate over the authenticity of a 2,800-year-old stone tablet that bears his name.
The black sandstone tablet would be the most spectacular (and virtually only) archaeological find linked to the First Temple: coming at a time when some Arab Muslim leaders claim the two Jerusalem Temples never existed on the Temple Mount.
The new year is bringing with it a slew of new interfaith news and events. Perhaps the most critical issue involves the nasty political environment in Washington, D.C., and the Senate impeachment trial of President Clinton.
A coalition of Christian, Muslim and Jewish religious leaders are strongly criticizing what they say is the deplorable lack of political civility in the nation's capitol and on television and radio talks shows.
eon Levy, a son of Turkish Jewish immigrants who became a philanthropist and leader of several major Jewish organizations in the United States, died Sept. 19 in Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital of heart and lung failure. A resident of Jamaica Estates, Queens, he was 84.
As the days grow shorter and the shadows longer, we cling to our faith and are reassured as the story of the Bible unfolds once more, offering us the opportunity to read the familiar text anew and dig deeper into its meanings.
The Coen Brothers’ new movie, “A Serious Man,” has received decidedly mixed reviews; critics disagree on whether its tale of a hapless Jewish academic makes for a brilliant comedy or hopeless bore. But most agree that it is Joel and Ethan Coen’s most overtly Jewish film, a modern-day version of the Book of Job, a man grappling with a litany of tragedies, seemingly brought on for no reason.