Porcelain Gods

Why did some people worship their gods by defecating on them?

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Women and Tefillah

[NOTE: The word “tefilah” here connotes the silent meditative prayer, also called “Shemoneh Esreh” or “Amidah,” that forms the core of all Jewish prayer services.] Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law), Orach Chayim 106:1: “Women… even though they are exempt from reciting the Sh’ma, are obligated in tefillah, because it is a positive commandment that […]

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Scratch That, Reverse it

In an earlier post, I quoted from Tana d’Vey Eliyahu Rabah a story about Eliyahu haNavi (Elijah the Prophet) visiting a widow and instructing her to separate a portion of bread for him first as a sign that he (Eliyahu) would first come to the exile, followed by the redeemer. (Please read that story to […]

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Eliyahu according to… ME?

Please see the introduction to this series for context. So we were talking about whether Pinchas and Eliyahu are the same. Popular belief has it that they are, while the sources we’ve examined so far indicate that they aren’t. Now, that said, the view that Pinchas is Eliyahu is not without basis — there¬†are sources […]

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Lilith and the Exodus

See this earlier post for a primer on Lilith. More on Lilith: After the murder of Adam’s son Hevel (Abel) by Adam’s older son Kayin (Cain), Adam and Chavah (Eve) do not have any more children until they are 130 years old, at which time they procreate once again “in their image,” having a son […]

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