Allen: Another year’s gone for good. A year of camaraderie; of utility bills; of spirited debates en route to the 125th Street subway; a year in which I hope I’ve grown just a bit more compassionate and thoughtful on account of your company. This too shall pass, though, and so I’ve reluctantly decided to take a step… Read More Chesbon Ha-Blog
Allen: It’s the season for stale High Holiday sermons, and so I offer up these rough notes for a speech I delivered at the close of Columbia’s Conservative services back in 2014. My college prose reads a bit rough around the edges, but hopefully the sentiment still rings true. Far be it from me to… Read More From the Archives: Thoughts on Neilah
Aron: Let’s talk about the elephant in the Temple: the Kotel. After years of activism on the part of Women of the Wall and protests from the Jewish Agency and a range of non-Orthodox American Jewish organizations, the Israeli government agreed in 2016 to a proposal that would have guaranteed an egalitarian prayer space at the Western… Read More Just Another Brick in the Wall
Allen: We started this blog to encourage an honest conversation about Jewish belief and ideas, but Neil Gillman beat us to the punch fifty years ago. As an assimilated frat boy at McGill in the 1950’s, Gillman never would have guessed he’d write one of the few influential books of Conservative theology this century. By his… Read More Book Review: Sacred Fragments
Aron: Had our great-great-great-grandfathers been asked by their children, “What’s God?”, they would likely have responded, “God created the heavens and the earth.” If they had been asked why we pray, they’d probably have responded, “To ask, praise, or thank our Creator.” If they’d been asked why they kept kosher, I assume they’d have said,… Read More What About the Children?
Allen: When we first moved in together, Aron, you placed in the kitchen a large wooden sign from your childhood: “Kosher Only.” This was obviously an ironic statement; even so, I took it down whenever I hosted non-observant guests. I didn’t want to seem intolerant. But one could make the case that the whole edifice of… Read More Not Kosher, Not Welcome
Allen: Aron, at this point we’ve both had the chance to stake out and criticize each other’s stances on God (see here and here). My question for this post is the following: How does your theology translate to tefillah? At the outset, let’s concede that this conversation is bound to be a theoretical one. We’re communicating through a… Read More I Pray to God…