Posted inHistory

Israel and the West: How we lost nuance with Jewish state politics

Reading Time: 6 minutes On May 14, Israel will celebrate seventy-five years since its Declaration of Independence in 1948, when the British Mandate of Palestine was terminated early after a UN resolution promoting partition between Arab and Jewish sectors led to a breakdown in British regional authority and sparked a massive civil war that stretched well into 1949, and […]

Posted inLeaving Religion

Why I am no longer a Jew

Reading Time: 5 minutes For many years, I was an integral member of a Reconstructionist synagogue in Pittsburgh—Dor Hadash, now known to all the world because of a gunman’s attack in 2018. My three children celebrated Bar and Bat Mitzvahs there. I was very happy at Dor Hadash. I still send a contribution every year. But a few years into […]

Posted inIdentity

Eight reasons this atheist Jew still celebrates Hanukkah

Reading Time: 5 minutes Being a Humanistic Jew means living in a middle ground between secular friends who ask, “If you don’t believe in God, why are you still Jewish?” and theistic Jewish friends, who sometimes ask the same question! Hanukkah, the most widely celebrated holiday on the Jewish calendar, provides a great opportunity to explain how “nontheist religion” […]

Posted inReligion

The origins of circumcision: Was it a mark of slavery?

Reading Time: 6 minutes Nothing says religious belief better than disfiguring your own genitalia. Or better still, someone else’s. But, seriously, why? From a philosophical point of view, and considering OmniGod (all-powerful, -knowing, and-loving) who designed and created everything, the procedure of circumcision, the removal of the foreskin from the penis, is bizarre. Why would God, who designed human […]

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