Humanistic Judaism

We should say what we mean and mean what we say. This dictum of Rabbi Sherwin Wine, the founder of The Society for Humanistic Judaism, reflects a strongly negative attitude in traditional Jewish sources toward those who say one thing with their lips and hold another opinion in the hearts. Rabbi Wine founded the Society … More Humanistic Judaism

Story of Hebrews’ liberation cries out to be universal

Perhaps no story from the Hebrew Bible (the Christian Old Testament) is better known than the story of the Exodus –Moses leading the Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt. The confrontations between Moses and Pharaoh, the ten plagues, the splitting of the Red Sea have all been depicted in books and films. Movies like The … More Story of Hebrews’ liberation cries out to be universal

Yom Kippur and the importance of taking responsibility

Yom Kippur and the importance of taking responsibility This year, on September 18/19, observant Jews celebrated Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish religious calendar. Yom Kippur means “Day of Atonement,” and it is day of praying, fasting, confessing sins, acknowledging faults, and asking forgiveness. Like all Jewish holidays, Yom Kippur begins at sundown … More Yom Kippur and the importance of taking responsibility

Search for meaning can come through religious storytelling Religion can be seen as a search for meaning through storytelling. A few weeks ago, Jews celebrated Passover, a holiday built around telling the story of liberation from slavery in Egypt. It is, of course, the story told in the Book of Exodus. But at Passover, Jews read the story in a text called … More Search for meaning can come through religious storytelling

Warning: Irrationality WARNING: IRRATIONALITY BUT RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISTS AREN’T THE ONLY PROBLEM By Alan Rutkowski   AN UNAPPRECIATED but dangerous consequence of the Trump era is widespread liberal/secular oversimplification of the emerging danger. In their attacks on religion, for example, the so-called New Atheists — Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens (RIP), and Sam Harris — have fostered the … More Warning: Irrationality

Miracle on Blanshard St.  MIRACLE ON BLANSHARD STREET By Alan Rutkowski on December 13, 2017. by Alan Rutkowski   VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA in Canada, has a small Jewish community of around 3,000 and is home to Canada’s oldest continuously existing congregation, Congregation Emanu-El. The building that houses Congregation Emanu-El, which was built in 1863, is also the oldest synagogue building on the west … More Miracle on Blanshard St.

Humourless Trump

The most striking thing about Donald Trump isn’t his propensity to lie or his Sarah-Palin-like ignorance of the issues and lack of curiosity about them, his boorish name-calling, or even his orange-tinted skin and ridiculous hairdo. The most striking thing about Trump is his complete lack of humour. He has never uttered a witticism or … More Humourless Trump WHY SINGLE ISRAEL OUT?   By Alan Rutkowski on August 10, 2017. WHY SINGLE ISRAEL OUT? This is a question often posed to those of us, Jews and non-Jews, who oppose Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and advocate for Palestinian rights. After all, Israel is, as they say, the “only democracy in the region.” Of course, calling … More