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Progress and Punishment

Modern spokesmen for traditional Judaism have consistently expressed reservations about capital punishment. While the biblical texts seem to provide many opportunities for the death penalty, the normative Talmudic interpretations in effect make these punishments inapplicable. For example, the bar of . . . . Continue Reading »

I’ll Have Consequences

Not too many years ago, I knew a little boy who was prone to temper tantrums that included yelling, kicking, and hitting. He wasn’t entirely to blame for this, having had a rough start in life. Nevertheless, that sort of behavior couldn’t just be excused, and, of course, if uncorrected it would . . . . Continue Reading »

Historical Ignorance, Moral Arrogance

My generation tends to think of itself as the first generation to be moral, tolerant, decent, and good. We abhor racism, sexism, nationalism, and homophobia, crimes we set at the center of past societies—all of them. We have avoided the bloody vices of slavery, torture, pillaging, religious . . . . Continue Reading »

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