JBC Talk: Ep 3: Making Prayer Real Part 1 – An Interview With Rabbi Mike Comins

Episode Synopsis In this episode of The JBC Talk Podcast, we bring you Part One of our fascinating (and we should add, very long) interview with Rabbi Mike Comins, author of Making Prayer Real – Leading Jewish Spiritual Voices On Why Prayer Is Difficult and What To Do About It , published by Jewish Lights. If you aren’t already familiar with Making Prayer Real, you may want to check out Yair’s recent review of the book, which can be found here. Also, if you would like to have a peek at … [Read more…]

Turning Aside: Rambam’s Test

Is My Theology Truly Jewish (Or Jewish Enough)? Liberal Jewish denominations officially reject the Orthodox contention that, in order to be a good Jew, one must embrace a traditional cosmology and accept the whole of halacha.  Nevertheless, I think it incumbent upon liberal gerim to take both theology and halacha seriously; we should know what it is that we selectively accept or reject (and why).  In this “Turning Aside” post, I address my relationship to a traditional Jewish … [Read more…]

Doing Jewish: More Than Faith

D’var Torah for Parashat Mishpatim 24th of Sh’vat, 5771 Although this parashah is called “Mishpatim”, “laws” in Hebrew, and lists lots of mitzvot, I want to focus not on the laws, but on two verses found toward the end of the parashah which are very similar and which reminded me of a personal experience. Note that it is always considered significant when an idea is repeated in the Torah. The first is the second part of (Exodus) Chapter 24, verse 3: …וַיַּעַן … [Read more…]

Rabbi Chaya: My journey to Judaism

My journey to Judaism began when I was 16 years old. At that time, I was a practicing Methodist and I was very involved in my church. I was a member of the youth group and the choir, attended Sunday school and worship services every week, and volunteered to work every fundraiser. One of the songs I used to sing in the choir was an old time gospel entitled, “Yes I Know.”     Come, ye sinners, lost and hopeless, Jesus’ blood can make you free; For He saved the worst among … [Read more…]

JBC News of Interest – 12/13/10

Here’s your news and interesting article round-up for this week. The podcast over on the Tablet Magazine site has an interesting offering on one Luzer Twersky, a young Satmar Chassid who has become a secular Jew over the last year. The podcast explores the challenges Mr. Twersky experienced – and still is – as he transitions from an insular, shtetl-like lifestyle to a modern Jewish life in the secular world. It is an interesting story on many levels. Tablet also has an interesting print … [Read more…]