This week’s parsha raises a question that goes to the heart of Judaism, but which was not asked for many centuries until raised by a great Spanish scholar of the fifteenth century, Rabbi Isaac Arama. Moses is almost at the end of his life. The people are about to cross the Jordan and enter the Promised Land. Moses knows he must do one thing more before he dies. He must renew the covenant between the people and God.
…Judaism is not ascetic. It does not worship pleasure. Judaism is not hedonist. Instead it sanctifies pleasure. It brings the Divine presence into the most physical acts: eating, drinking, intimacy. We find God not just in the synagogue but in the home, the house of study and acts of kindness, in community, hospitality and wherever we mend some of the fractures of our human world:


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4 Responses to WHY JUDAISM?

  1. No person is immune to the forces of “justice” in this dark world. Our challenge is not to be overcome by the severer moments of life, and recognize the compassion even in the darker moments. Knowing that compassion is imbued into the very fabric of existence (or else the world could not have endured) becomes an eternal source of hope, giving us the strength to overcome any challenge:


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