Secularites grouse about how ‘black’ the country is becoming, but issues of religion and state in Israel may not be as divisive as they seem.
Special To The Jewish Week
Jerusalem — The separation of religion and state, be it ever so beleaguered, remains a fundamental tenet of American democracy. In Israel, it’s quite the opposite. A Reform or Conservative rabbi, for example, cannot not perform a legally binding wedding in the State of Israel, whose Chief Rabbinate, dominated by ultra-Orthodox leaders, has hegemony over Jewish marriage, divorce and conversion.
Panel of analysts say observance level more of an indicator than denomination.
Editor and Publisher
Religion will play less of a role in the 2012 presidential vote than it has in recent elections, three leading political analysts agreed this week, with the economy far outweighing other voter concerns.
Discussing “Religion and the 2012 Election” at a well-attended forum sponsored and hosted by Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women on Monday evening, the panelists spent little time discussing the heavy religious infusion from Republican candidates in the primaries and focused on the next six months of the campaign.
Can religion, especially Judaism, work if you don’t believe in the Big Guy upstairs?
The latest turn in the New Atheist debates can be summed up like this: even if you don’t believe in God, religion still has a lot to offer. Public intellectuals like Alain de Botton and James Gray in Britain, and scientists like E.O. Wilson and Jonathan Haidt in America, all of them atheists, have made a similar case in their recent books and essays.
Conference on Moses Mendelssohn, new book fuel debate on thorny issues of faith, identity.
Special To The Jewish Week
The case for a new, fuller understanding of what defines Judaism.
As any Jew knows, trying to define what it means to be Jewish is difficult, if not impossible. Yet still we try: over the past two decades, the number of American Jews who define themselves as secular has nearly doubled; in Israel, a country founded on secular and nationalistic notions of Judaism, the religious population has risen dramatically. Fifty-eight percent of Israeli Jews now consider themselves either traditional or religious, while just 42 percent say they’re secular.
In his usually precise and incisive way, critic Adam Kirsch tackles a thorny issue: should Christians read their Bible like Jews read theirs? The occasion is a new book--"The Rise and Fall of the Bible: The Unexpected History of an Accidental Book"--by Case Western religion professor Timothy Beal, who is also the child of evangelical parents.
My youngest son, who is a senior in the Abraham Joshua Heschel High School in Manhattan, is studying economics for the first time, and he’s finding it fascinating.
His teacher is introducing the basics of marketing, and the dynamics that drive the consumer market. Each student has been assigned to focus on a particular product, and assess how the advertising for that product has shaped the marketplace’s opinion of it, and, of course, sales.