Sunday 28 January 2024

458) Why is Judaism no longer sufficient - again?


I always wonder why some religious people, besides their wonderful virtues, often fall for vices. In a previous article, we looked at the question of smoking and Halacha [see Kotzk Blog: 069) Cigarettes and Halacha Don't Mix:]. I concluded that article by suggesting that we also need to address the incidence of drinking alcohol which is quite endemic in many communities. Alcohol is ubiquitously accepted as the norm, sometimes to the extent that it is abused. Some battle to get home after shul on Shabbat mornings. 

Sunday 14 January 2024

457) “Religion – the greatest cause of wars” (Gersonides)


Torat haMelech published in 2009


This article based extensively on the research by Professor Menachem Kellner[1] dating back to 2014 examines some extremist contemporary approaches to modern Jewish messianism. Kellner argues, instead, for a more rationalist approach to messianism, along the lines of Maimonides’ natural Messiah and his unusual vision of a non-supernatural messianic era and eschatology. 

If Gersonides[2] is correct in his assertion that religion is the greatest cause of wars, then various forms of messianism and eschatology must surely be a significant component thereof.