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God split the sea. What miracle can we do?
Two remarkable women in my family personify two disparate attitudes about life.
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One quick and easy thought.
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If you can only take one thing from the fire.
Ask questions, tell stories and make learning fun.
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Parenting and counting the Omer.
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Being proactive in dating.
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What is behind the most famous Jewish prayer?
Practical and relevant insights on the weekly parsha.
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Stories, lessons and insights on the weekly Parsha
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Aish.com’s parody from Disney’s Frozen.
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The Exodus story set to Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody."
Our modern take on the ancient plagues.
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What is the key to praying?
If today’s media told the Passover story. Aish.com's new Passover video.
God’s first message at Mount Sinai reminds us that He’s always here.
Why was the first Seder celebrated when we were still slaves in Egypt?
May 19, 2012
May 21, 2013 10:59 AM
This video is cool!
This makes me proud too. How many know that the American Constitution was directly based on the "Old Testament" ? No wonder America became the greatest nation on earth.
Gloria E. Schroeder,
May 15, 2013 9:34 PM
beautiful / inspiring / strengthening
Doesn't this make you proud, yet humble?
Prof. Feldman, PhD,
May 13, 2013 6:01 PM
Torah has proven to be the best University
B´HThe more I read the Torah, the more I study the Torah, the more I discuss and get into debates about the Torah and its history and teachings and laws, the more I realize it is the best University a person can attend. The laws os phisics, of linguistics, of nature in general are measured by science through observation and analizis. Science can analyze the Torah but it cannot apprehend all the layers and dimensions of the Torah because the Torah is revealed by a different technique of studying and reading. I learnt more with Tzvi Klor in a year in Jerusalem than in 20 years at university because there´s nothing above or below heaven or the earth that has not been made by Hashem.The fact we do not understand why we suffer or why we get sick or something bad happens to a loved one DOES NOT mean there is no G´d.Hashem is not there to be seen, to explain things or to serve us. We serve the King of the Universe, not the opposite. The King of Universe gave us the Torah (to say it is a code of laws or a kind of constitution to be followed is to say the least) and when our way diverge from it we either find ourselves in a dead end.No matters what others say or do, Hashem is our Lord, Hashem is One, our KingScience cannot discuss what it cannot see. Hashem is also feeling, perceiving, apprehending and more than all knowledge.Hashem, Baruch Shemo, Bless Israel and all its allies
May 31, 2012 2:44 AM
What an inspiring message! Of course the Bible is the greatest book, bar none.
It would be difficult to name any human composition which has had so extended and so lasting an affect. Everyone knows that it was translated into the language of every country. It worked nothing short of miracles.
Like the Torah says, As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness. Reality is the leading cause of stress among those in touch with it.
Finally, I quote Henry Adams who was the son and grandson of Presidents (the Adam's -- John and John Quincy), who said that "the Jews are the finest exponents of all virtue, honor and valor."
Irving from B'klyn,
May 31, 2012 4:28 PM
So many encouraging responses! Willy Basic said it as well as anyone. But all the comments (the POSITIVE one's) are really great. Be proud that your a Jew. We love all people of every religion. But this makes me proud that I'm Jewish.
May 25, 2012 5:21 PM
I think Religion and Science are NOT irreconcilable
It'll be most interesting to read in the future about the potential influence of Torah study on evolutionary psychology. I've always wondered about the different personality types that stem from different belief systems and associated cultural practices. Jungian archetypes are a doorway to the intersection of science and religion. Let's not focus only on the literal details in Genesis and forget the potential impact of increased "godliness" in our day to day behaviour. We were created in God's image, so who knows where adherence to his guidance will lead us as far as our evolution and potential split or deviation is concerned. I don't know of anything in the Torah that says we shouldn't consider and investigate every possibility. After all, by learning about our species, we learn a little more about God, since we accept that we were created in his image/likeness. Correct me if I'm wrong or out of line, I'm just exercising my imagination, but I imagine that Torah study has lasting psychological effects that are worth investigating over the long term, even from over the span of multiple generations. I wonder if photographic memory or "total recall" might be one possibility. Also consider the potential effects of being multilingual as many Jews are in larger proportions than other population samples. Very interesting at least.
May 24, 2012 10:41 PM
Name Those People! part II
-) Pascal - They have always been preserved, however, and their preservation was foretold... My encounter with this people amazes me..
-) Paul Johnson (American Historian) - [they] stand at the center of the perennial attempt to give human life the dignity of a purpose.
-) William Rees-Mogg, former Editor-in-Chief for The Times of London and a member of the House of
Lords - One of the gifts of [their] culture to Christianity is that it has taught Christians to think like [them], and any modern man who has not learned to think as though he were [one of them] can hardly be said to have learned to think at all.
-) Have carried a book with them for over 3000 years that
claimed many of these things would happen
-) light to the nations
-) will be exiled from their land
-) will return to their land
-) will be driven to other nations
Well, times up. How many did you come up with?
May 24, 2012 10:41 PM
Name Those People! part I
Name at least 10 groups of people/societies that have:
-) Had a common law for over 3000 years
-) Have won nobel prizes:
-) 20 % of all
-) % medicine (>20%)
-) % physics (>20%)
-) % chemistry(>20%)
-) Are 1/3 of !% of earth's population
-) Have returned to ancient homeland
-) Have revitalized ancient language
-) Have been exiled from many countries
-) Have created a democratic nation in the wink of an eye
-) Have had quotes about them:
-) Winston Churchill - the most formidable and the most remarkable race which has appeared in the world
-) Nietzche - could take over Europe if they wanted to (paraphrase)
-) Mark Twain - all things are mortal except [...them...] ... what is the secret of their immortality
-) John Adams - have (...) society more and more happily than any other people
-) Leo Tolstoy - that sacred being who has brought down from heaven the everlasting fire, and has illumined with it the entire world. He is the religious source, spring, and fountain out of which all the rest of the peoples have drawn their beliefs and their religions
May 24, 2012 8:04 PM
What's Darwin done for you lately?
Watson (of Watson and Crick the DNA people) is a product of the science that Stephen refers to, and his contributions are perhaps as life-changing as were Darwins...and, arguably, broader. And Watson sees people as being worthy of euthanasia - or at least sterilization - if they were born with too little intelligence. He has a number of pretty shocking beliefs and asserted them many times publicly.
He gets it from a religious Darwinistic belief system, that the Natural Way IS survival of the fittest. That the fittest MUST survive and that human efforts to cater to and serve the 'underendowed', is actually de-evolution and ought to be repressed.
THAT is the only real humanistic fruit of Darwinian science, rather than what Stephen suggests it is (the unity of mankind and liberation from a caste system).
Yes, much of Muslim society, Chinese society, Ayurvedic society, and African society - is based on a caste system, where 'birth' determines one's 'worth'. Terrible...But the liberation accomplished by Darwinian science is actually liberation from humanity itself. It substitutes the natural acceptance of INDIVIDUAL abilities and innate INDIVIDUAL worth with a drivel that leads to DENIAL of gender and DENIAL of individuality. Judaism and many other religions and societies accept individual roles and see a mother's place and a father's place in the family. But Darwinism's fruit is the denial of all that, and a breaking from the bonds of individuality. It is actually advocating sexual, philosophical, and psychological fascism. We are all one, individuality is shunned. No one can be born into any role, and property rights are only 'Natures'. Is that the way you want to live? I think not.
Like Marxism, it all sounds so nice when it is about one person, or maybe a few consenting ones. Henry David Thoreau's Walden works for individuals...if ALL of us go to the woods, we find we are in a city of people again!
Darwinism is the deatkhnell for humanity, itself.
May 24, 2012 7:59 PM
What is the most read document in the world?
Go and do your own research? And it is not the theory of evolution..................... ..........................................
May 24, 2012 4:10 PM
good reply David
Reprobates don't like truth, especially if it's God's truth.I'm glad you chose to reply in scientific terms rather than biblical terms. I, myself wrote a reply, but chose to put it in a biblical rebuke. As a result, the good folks at Aish chose not to post it, needless to say, I'm disappointed. Never mind that I took the time to write, but I felt it necessary that a Biblical answer is appropriate,especially to a Rabbi,and to some others,who tend to stray from the path of God's word. The temptation to get along with the world is great, but the children of God are not appointed to get along with darkness, but to oppose it, to be light to the nations. (God's light, of course)
May 24, 2012 5:14 AM
Darwin was wrong
Have you read "The theory of Evolution"?
Darwin admits clearly (I think on page 29) that there are major problems with his theory in that it cannot explain the survival of elephants and demise of mammoths which were more advanced than the elephants. Moreover, their complete undecomposed carcasses were found frozen in ice in Siberia which clearly indicates catastrophic or revolutionary, rather than evolutionary, change. Thomas Huxley (grandfather of famous Aldous Huxley, author of "Brave New World"), a noted British biologist and Darwin supporter (also an avowed agnostic and orignator of the term) in his private letters stated very explicitly that he thinks Darwin is wrong, but he supports him because it gives him a chance to attach religion, and attacking the basis of religion, was, by his own admission a goal so important that it did not matter to him if he compromisd the truth. Both Huxley's publioshed writings and public debates were fundamental in giving Darwin and his theories support within and without the scientific community in spite of serious scientific flaws in their formation. The scientific evidence that the Bible is of Divine Origin (go to Aish's Disocvery Seminar) are far more scientifically based than Darwin's now out-of-date theories Moreover, misreading the Bible can cause errors. Only three times does the Bible use the verb "bara" which means "to create ex nihilo." The other verbs are "to make" or "to fashion," which means that G-D caused certain things to happen, and in some cases it is Biblically acceptable that there were natural changes. Also according to Jewish tradition, the timeline of "6 days of creation" and is based upon the speed of light rather than the earth's orbit (because the sun and stars were not created until the 4th day of creation) and, according to Jewish tradition, this took, in modern terms. about 14.8 billion years. It is easy to misunderstand the Bible if you are looking for an excuse not to keep mitzvos.
May 24, 2012 8:38 AM
Excellent answer to Stephens comment
Well articulated answer to Stephen Chaim's comment below.
I found one of your quotes from Aldous Huxley admitting why he wanted to prove religion wrong in another aish.com article:
May 24, 2012 9:44 PM
Was Darwin wrong, or are we arguing about religion?
I appreciate that David and Ben Aliyah responded to my comment.
I ask David, What book is "The Theory of Evolution"? There are several books with that title; none of them written by Darwin. Further, Thomas H. Huxley, far from thinking Darwin wrong, was a proponent of Darwin. His nickname was "Darwin's bulldog!" Huxley did not agree with (or maybe did not understand), natural selection. I repeat that I'm a rabbi and not an evolutionary biologist, so I cannot explain the scientific disagreements between those two geniuses. BUT, T. H. Huxley did support Darwin and I'd like to see David's evidence to the contrary.
I suspect that David is confusing Thomas Huxley with his grandson Aldous. The fact that Aldous Huxley chose not to believe in God is NOT a refutation of Darwin's theories!! (This is why Ben Aliyah misses the point, although he at least cited the correct member of the Huxley clan.)
Both respondents seem to think that I was trying to reject both God and religion. Please note that I didn't use either word in my message. I do mention Judaism -- twice. And both times I express my love for it and pride in it.
So ultimately, what is the problem that D and BY are articulating? -- I have no idea. Belief in God is one thing. Darwin's explanation of evolution (although he never explained why life exists in the first place) is not about God or religion. It's about a great truth that he, Darwin, brought to the world. He published 150 years ago. There have been refinements since then, of course. But I find my two new friends to be missing my point, and I still contend that Charles Darwin had the two greatest ideas in history -- neither of which, for what it's worth, impedes me from being an ohev Yisrael and (I hope) a devoted rabbi.
May 21, 2012 11:13 AM
the "Aura" of Torah
Someone above wrote that the greatest idea in history came from Charles Darwin. I believe it's a "WIN/WIN" story, because what's WON, is what's ONE, and I am following a language-based story, and so it could be said, of course, for Darwin, and of course for all Discovery that has resulted in great healing for us all. And it does seem, all discovery has an edge, as knowledge has an edge, and surely the "guerilla" warfare following Darwin, all this furor about monkeys, about gorillas, about ancestry, is part of this. Could it be, the comic, in cosmic? Could it be, God is laughing? Let there be light!
As for Sinai, of course it was a MAJOR and reverberant event.
It WAS momentous. And people still debate the depths of those commandments. They themselves are not without some ambiguity, as we go through life, and experience the most amazing of human ethical conundrums.
It does seem there's a bipolarity to life, and even atheists, keep us honest.
We were there, as souls, on Sinai. And what cannot be denied, is the power of being there, on the mountain. Life is ascent, and a scent, and we're climbing, as stories are also for climbing.
May 20, 2012 8:08 PM
The most important idea in history
Though I'm a rabbi and I identify with all praises and appreciations of Judaism, I suggest that the greatest SINGLE IDEA in history -- two ideas, really -- are evolution by mutation and natural selection, and the common ancestry of all living things.
I am endlessly committed to my Judaism. But the greatest idea(s) in history come from Charles Darwin, and every thinking person must reckon with them.
May 21, 2012 11:47 AM
Darwin was a human being
His evolution theory encompasses a very important aspect of science. However this pales when confronted with all the other aspects which have affected the daily life of every human being.
May 23, 2012 5:25 AM
Mutation and natural selection are lacking as a theory
It's pretty surprising to hear that a rabbi believes Darwin's idea to be of such great importance. Unguided mutation and natural selection is now increasingly questioned by "thinking persons" as an explanation for how we have gotten from prokaryotes to sentient man. It is increasingly apparent that life is the product of an Intelligent Designer. Darwin's idea might be considered to be the one idea that has made more public school students question the idea of G-d, that much I'll give Darwin, for if Genesis isn't true, then why would anything else they've been taught about their faith be?
May 23, 2012 7:33 PM
I don't think that Intelligent Design is in favor with most scientists
Ayla makes a good point. But why is"thinking persons" in quotation marks -- is this meant to provoke doubt as to whether those people truly think??
If it is apparent that life comes from an intelligent designer, then I wonder why the vast majority of evolutionary biologists disagree with that proposition. In overwhelming numbers, the best experts in the field, Jews and non-Jews, do not believe in ID.
I am not a biologist. But I think the question is worth asking of Ayla and others of that mind. Yes, Torah says that God created the world in six days. But Rambam says that we have to accept the truth from wherever it comes. I am not surprised by the rabbi. I rather admire his effort to love both Judaism and truth. What's surprising in that?
May 24, 2012 10:38 PM
here's one possible reason
a neurosurgeon, Ben Carson, who has been referred to with terms like "one of the most extroadinary people on earth" was recently invited to speak at college commencement and recieve an honorary degree; 500 academicians and alumni protested; he was allowed to speak, but the president of the University made sure to modify the future selection process would ensure that such an error never happens again; what was his crime? he doesn't believe in evolution, and thinks it leads it no ethics (which most famous philosophers of evo agree - see Michael Ruse); if the academy can "expel" such an individual (look him up) what chance do regular mortals have of speaking against this theory;
I know a pHd candidate in bio who asked an advisor how a certain thing could have evolved, and the response was a whispered "it's a miracle" , but don't say it too loudly around here.
May 25, 2012 2:03 AM
Darwinian evolution is in conflict with faith
Mr. Dalkins: I put thinking persons in quotes because that's the term the rabbi used in his last sentence. You say that the vast number of evolutionary biologists disagree with intelligent design, but I wonder if that's really true... the current climate in academia is threatening to anyone who admits to having questions about Darwinism, and scientists fear losing their jobs if they attribute anything to a designer. Darwinism proposes that we arrived at sentient man by a series of mutations acted upon by natural selection, which is an undirected process, that is, no goal of having an outcome of any sort. It is in direct conflict with Judeo-Christian faith, where man is the goal - where man is imbued with G-d's image. It's my opinion that there are a lot more who look at the mind of man, and ponder where conciousness comes from, and who question the precise fine-tuning of our universe, and perhaps secretly believe that there is a Designer - but aren't willing to put those questions out there for fear of retribution.
May 25, 2012 7:09 AM
Judiasm is the only truth
The reason that some scientists, biologists and the "best experts in the field " disagree with the most obvious truth of intelligent design by an Intelligent Designer is fear. Because this recognition obligates us to worship this Designer, to sing praises to His great and glorious Name, and to follow His will. The whole creation calls out to us "Look at Me, I'm here. I am your Creator Who gave you all this beauty and magnificence". But if one says, "Oh no. It was just an accident" then he can do what he wants, eat what he wants, act how he wants with whoever he wants. And that is why people keep searching for a different answer.One theory falls, they'll come up with another , and another, anything , any thing, but G-d. There is no camera or telescope that can compare with the human eye, no plane that can compare with the bird, or computor with our brain. Is there a paper or wrapper in existence that can compare with the peel on a carrot or an onion? Is there a clearer proof of a Creator Who loves us and wants us to quench our thirst than the packaging of a coconut? Open your eyes! See. Think. Open you rmouths and call out, "How great are Your works, H-shem, You have done everything with wisdom. H-shem, my Creator, I love You:"
May 23, 2012 8:44 AM
Thinking is not a terrorist plot.
There is so much fear brought on by the consideratiion of different ideas that I'm sure G-d laughs loudly at our troubled minds....when we should recognize His hand and His plan in all things.
May 24, 2012 4:52 AM
Caroll - i don't understand the logic in statement "God laughs at our troubled minds". Searching for truth is fundamental to the human condition forced on us if for not other reason - and i believe there are many reasons - is to not allow for lies to win!
May 24, 2012 3:17 PM
Just how committed are you?
I'm not sure what you mean when you say you "identify with all praises and appreciations of Judaism". That sounds like a euphemistic way of saying that while you intellcutally understand what others like about Judaism but don't actually believe anything in Judaism. Not sure who gave you the honorific of "Rabbi" that you claim, but I question your qualification as a spiritual leader and authority on Judaism. Maybe you are a fine scholar or teacher of Hebrew, Talmud, etc. But what do you actually believe, if anything, in Judaism? I'm not aware of any evidence in support of Darwinian evolution that mathematically, scientifically, or logically precludes the traditional Jewish scriptural accounts (not limited to Tanakh) of the development of the earth and life on earth.
May 20, 2012 1:36 PM
WOW!! Standing ovation!
I never knew about those wonderful comments that were said about our people!!! Let's hope we can still live up to those accolades!!
May 21, 2012 11:54 AM
These accolades are well deserved as they are based on facts and involve a few.
Alas we too have our rotten apples. These people are Jewish in name only, breaking every commandment in order to achieve fame and fortune
May 20, 2012 9:24 AM
nice- very, VERY nice.
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