Some unexpected questions about the Hebrew language came up for me today. While researching Hebrew letter symbolism I came across a reference on Wikipedia which suggested that “In the traditional form, vowels are indicated [in the Hebrew language] by the weak consonants Aleph (א), He (ה), Vav (ו), or Yodh (י) serving as vowel lettersContinue reading “Is the name of God, YHWH, without vowels?”
This calligraphic work by Baruch ben Shemaryah, 1794, contains the entire biblical Song of Songs in tiny Hebrew script. It is housed at Yale University Library. I found it while researching Jewish art.
How is the Christian church different from the Jewish synagogue, or the Muslim ummah, or the Buddhist Sangha, or the Wiccan coven? They are all words which refer to community after all. Is there any difference in your experience? Should there be any difference?
You’ve seen many paintings of the last supper before, but probably not like this. Which is a pity. Because it is true that Jews at the time of Jesus actually reclined at tables. Consider these verses from the gospel according to Luke: When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, heContinue reading “Jewish Jesus Art”
I consider it healthy for Christians to recognise that Jesus was a Jew. Given the origins of Christianity, I can only view the anti-Semitism of the past as a kind of religious schizophrenia. Nevertheless, I think the pendulum has swung too far when I hear people denying Christ was Christian in any significant sense atContinue reading “How non-Christian was Christ?”
The other day I was reminded of a conversation I had with Rabbi Zalman Kastel at the last Anabaptist peace conference. It started with a question about the Old Testament. He asked me, if I recall correctly, if I regarded the Jewish law as “superceded” or “redundant”. After thinking this over I replied, “not exactly”. For,Continue reading “Is the Torah redundant?”
Last week I was thinking, I need to teach my sons about irony. This week I found the perfect example. “As a rising star in Hungary’s far-right Jobbik Party, Csanad Szegedi was notorious for his incendiary comments about Jews. He accused them of ‘buying up’ the country, railed about the ‘Jewishness’ of the political eliteContinue reading “Anti-Semitic leader discovers he’s Jewish”
JewPS: track Jews with your iPhone. At first glance I wondered if neonazi skinheads or the Islamic Jihad was behind this one, but noooo. According to Keren Hayesod and the Jewish iPhone community it’s a kosher GPS app that is coming soon for iPhones. I’m still not sure what to think. If it’s genuine IContinue reading “JewPS – track Jews with your iPhone”
For something different I was searching for Jewish art this evening, particularly for scenes from the Old Testament. To your left is an image of the burning bush from Chana Cromer at Synagogue Art.
Rachael Kohn is the host of The Spirit of Things on ABC Radio National and author of The New Believers, a popular book on contemporary trends in western spirituality. I recently had the opportunity to interview her on the launch of her latest book, CURIOUS OBSESSIONS in the history of Science and Spirituality. Matt Stone:Continue reading “An Interview with Rachael Kohn”