Tag Archives: Judaism

The Man Who Did Not Love His Wife. (The Second Chapter of Mishnah Berakhot)

Every winter-term, I teach a class entitled “Introduction to the Mishnah.“ I go with my students through the first chapter of Mishna Berakhot (Blessings): From when on does one recite the Shma’ of evenings? – it’s a text read a … Continue reading

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When a Queen Called Shabbat Knocks at the Door

Is not the sun red at sunrise and at sunset? [It is red] at sunrise, because it passes by the roses of the Garden of Eden; at sunset, because it passes the gate of Gehenna. Others reverse the answer (Babylonian … Continue reading

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Das Spiel mit der Angst

Seit einigen Wochen schon schwelt die Anti-Willkommenskultur-Backlash-Debatte. Der Plot läuft ungefähr so: Nachdem unsere emotional agierenden Kanzlerin Flüchtlinge „willkommen“ hieß, und diese gleich einer „Lawine“ unsere schöne Kulturnation überrollten, müssen nun die Männer der CDU-CSU wieder Ordnung, Sinn und Verstand … Continue reading

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“The sun does not shine, it radiates.” About Tel Aviv, Philosemitism and Germany’s Redemption

Each year, towards the Jewish New Year, the Berlin-branch of the Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO) issues a journal, containing schmancy pictures of Bar Mitzvot, Chanukkah-balls, and the organization’s laudable activities and accomplishments. It is not a journal one is … Continue reading

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Why is Nobody Here Talking About Conversions?

First, a disclaimer: There are many good reasons not to speak about one’s own conversion. It is an individual legitimate choice, it is private and nobody’s business, and in halakhic terms, a converted Jew is bound by all obligations and … Continue reading

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Secular Israelis in Liberal Synagogues in Berlin

A few weeks ago, I read an article, published in an Israeli newspaper that described the author’s great joy about joining one of Berlin’s synagogues and witnessing the opening of the Torah Ark. The synagogue to which the author referred … Continue reading

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Three Men Walk into a Mikwe

Victimization does not empower me A couple of month ago, Rabbi Freundel, a rabbi from Washington D.C., lost his job. He had clandestinely peered at female converts, while they were preparing for their immersion in the mikwe (a pool for … Continue reading

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