Did The Hebrew Bible Give Birth To Democracy?

Scholars beginning to challenge view that the rise of democratic values belongs solely to Western secular thought.
Staff Writer

When the Texas Board of Education voted last month in favor of a proposal that would emphasize the religious origins of democracy in high school curricula, many liberals were outraged. It seemed to fly in the face of the long-held assumption that Western political ideas — toleration, the separation of church and state, indeed the genius of democratic rule itself — was born from the steady secularization of the West. It was the age of the Enlightenment, after all, that produced America’s great experiment in democracy.



Dublin native Carl Nelkin synthesizes his dual musical heritages and releases an Irish-inflected Holocaust album.
Staff Writer

Standing on the bima behind a golden menorah, an emerald green leprechaun read from the megillah last Purim, a plush green top hat perched on his head and a red Irish-chasidish beard glued onto his flushed cheeks.

Jewish soul, Irish hearta: Even Nelkin’s somber Holocaust album is touched with an Irish lilt.
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