Judaism

Judaism

We live-tweeted our conversation with Rabbi Lawrence Kushner for an upcoming show on the scholar Gershom Scholem and the roots of modern Jewish mysticism. For those of you who couldn't attend, we've compiled our tweets and responses from others in response to this 90 minutes of profound wisdom. Pick out your favorites and share them with your friends and family. You'll be glad you did.

How does one leave home in peace?

Passover, which begins on Monday evening this year, can offer some clues to answering this most universal of questions. But when I left Israel at 18, determined to start a new life not as a Jew but as a human being, I wasn’t ready to receive them.

With a master of midrash as our guide, we walk through the Exodus story at the heart of Passover. It's not the simple narrative you've watched at the movies or learned in Sunday school. Neither Moses or Pharaoh, nor the oppressed Israelites or even God, are as they seem. As Avivah Zornberg reveals, Exodus is a cargo of hidden stories — telling the messy, strange, redemptive truth of us as we are, and life as it is.

My mother is one of those twice-a-year Jews, but, for some strange reason during a brief segment of my childhood, my sister and I went to bed each night with a prayer. A lavender elephant and a yellow giraffe that my mom and her best friend had painted on our bedroom walls floated above our heads as my sister and I chanted:

“Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.”

Hasidim are not known for their affinity for social media, so it came as a surprise to see photographs of the 32-year-old Hasidic Jew, Satmar Hasid Yoel Weisshaus, appear in a series of American Apparel ads posted on the photo-blogging site, Tumblr.

In this photo essay, Joy Ladin reflects on how gender is a covenant she has broken "with others and a covenant with myself."

A Jewish Arbor Day, this Jewish holiday is experiencing new life as Jews become more ecologically concerned.

The Chief Rabbi of the UK says that the plasticity of our brains should lead us into a whole new study about "deep practice" and developing attributes such as gratitude in our daily rituals.

A cache of old documents recently discovered in Afghanistan reveals a thriving intellectual culture among Persian-speaking Jews — and a treasure trove for historians and Persian linguists alike.

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