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The Rabbi Writes – The Right to Die

Volume 27, No. 6, January 1991 The right to die. On the surface a rather bizarre right. Especially when we remember that most human rights talk is about the right to live. Demanding freedom, dignity and security is all related to enhancing the quality of life. Suicide seems a less appetizing civil liberty. But in […]

The Jewish Family

Winter-Spring 1977 The Jewish family is famous. Everyone touts their marvelous sense of family. Even Jews praise themselves publicly for having invented such an institution. But the historical Jewish family is about as real as the temple in Jerusalem. Not the Jews are unique. Every year they have here been nation is experiencing the death […]

New Opportunities and Directions

Humanistic Judaism, Autumn 1980 The last annual meeting of the Society for Humanistic Judaism was a quantum jump in our self-awareness as a movement. We emerged with a clear sense of our uniqueness of the Fourth Alternative in Jewish life. Out of our response to the events, we discovered new opportunities and new directions. What […]

God and Human Knowledge

“God and Human Knowledge” from Judaism Beyond God, (1985) God was the central figure in the world of tradition. The universe was his creation. He could do with it whatever he wanted. As an all-powerful, demanding, intervening superfather, he dwarfed the rest of reality. God was part of a supernatural world of angels and demons who […]

The New Atheists

Humanistic Judaism, Autumn 2003/Winter 2004 This is the season for atheism. Three intellectuals have ridden the train of fame to the top of the bestseller list with three atheist books. Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett have clearly proclaimed that atheism is the only path for honest, consistent, rational thinkers. Atheists are usually more […]


Meditation Services for Humanistic Judaism (1976) We live and find it hard to live. We are consumed by anxiety and we know that nature is stingy with satisfaction. We are terrified by the limits of our wisdom and we shiver in the cold of human ignorance. Love touches us with the pleasure of fulfillment and […]

Ayfo Oree

Meditation Services for Humanistic Judaism (1976) AY-FO O-REE? O-REE BEE. AY-FO TIK-VA-TEE? TIK-VA-TEE BEE. AY-FO KO-KNEE? KO-KNEE BEE. V’-GAM BAKH. Where is my light? My light is in me. Where is my hope? My hope is in me. Where is my strength? My strength is in me. And in you.

The Fatwa Against Rushdie

The Jewish Humanist, March 1989 A brilliant and creative writer, by the name of Salman Rushdie, has been condemned to death for writing a book that his accusers have not even read. Ayatollah Khomeini has re-entered the political spotlight by ordering the execution of a secular intellectual of Muslim origin. Rushdie, an award-winning novelist of […]