A Resource Guide To The "Intactivist" (No Circumcision) Movement

I have received so many e-mails in response to my recent post about circumcision.  This is obviously a big issue for many people.  One of the greatest barriers to changing the mindset about it is that rabbis (and others) make people feel quite guilty and isolated as a result of their desire to avoid harming their newborn child.

Well, there’s not much we can do about guilt except to point out that there’s absolutely no reason for otherwise modern, liberal Jews to observe this dubious “mitzvah.”  Most of us have no problem dropping superstitious Jewish rituals that have no meaning in our time.  Avoiding this one should give them no cause for additional concern.
As for the isolation, here’s a helping hand.  It’s a complete resource, sent to me for publication on this blog.  I am pleased to oblige: Continue reading

Warning! This Religion Will Require A God Upgrade!

Here’s a book review I’ve been working on.  The post is a little longer than usual….

Rabbi Jamie S. Korngold has written a book called “The God Upgrade: Finding Your 21st-Century Spirituality in Judaism’s 5,000-Year-Old Tradition.”  Korngold, who is also known as  “The Adventure Rabbi,” puts forth a theology of a non-interventionist God who is basically just an experience, and certainly not a being of any kind.  In this she is typical of many of the liberal rabbis whom I know.  They do not believe in a theistic deity, but they still claim a relationship with God.  Ask them what they mean and they give non-sensical answers such as this one in the book: Continue reading

Reply To Aish Rabbi’s "Open Letter To The Atheist Community"

Between busy-ness at work, some ill health and time with family, I have not been able to post recently.  During that time I’ve occasionally worked on this rather long post.

Rabbi Adam Jacobs, director of the Aish Center in Manhattan, has written “An Open Letter to the Atheist Community.”  I am going to reply in full and send it to him.  Let’s see what happens! Continue reading

Good Pointers For Advancing The Non-Theistic Message

I’m not the type to give tips to my fellow non-theists and secular humanists.  We all share about 99% of our intellectual DNA even if our styles are different.  So while I wouldn’t have written something like it, I really want to recommend Phil Zuckerman’s post in (GASP!) the Huffington Post about the mistakes that atheists make.

The wise professor enumerates them, adding some good suggestions; they are pointers that I will definitely keep in mind (and they fit my approach): Continue reading

So Now I’m A Taurus?

I went to bed a Gemini and I woke up a Taurus.  My life is a lie.

All kidding aside, I’ve always had an interest in the history of astrology and its uses in art and culture.  It goes back to the first time I visited the Beit Alfa synagogue in the Jezreel Valley.  Its mosaic floor zodiac is a masterpiece of cultural syncretism and even features the sun god, Helios, in its center.

As for the “science” of astrology, I’ll let Carl Sagan, of blessed memory, deal with that.  Since this was filmed, not much has changed.