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Life and a Little Liturgy: Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, PhD, has a blog!

April 15, 2011 1 comment

I’m thrilled to announce that my father, Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, Ph.D., has just started a blog: Life and a Little Liturgy. The author of three dozen books, Rabbi Hoffman — “Dad,” to me — is a preeminent Jewish liturgist (it’s a niche market, I know, but he’s got it cornered) and leading modern Jewish philosopher. Here’s part of his latest post:

I do not usually admit this right off the bat — it is definitely a conversation stopper — but here it is: I am a liturgist. “Liturgy” is a common enough word among Christians, but it does not flow trippingly off Jewish tongues, and I am not only Jewish but a rabbi to boot. The word comes from the Greek, leitourgia, “public service,” which is how Greek civilization thought of service to the gods. The Jewish equivalent is the Temple cult of antiquity — in Hebrew, avodah, which meant the same thing, the work of serving God. That eventually morphed into what people do in church and synagogue. Christians call it liturgy; Jews call it “services.”
Keep reading…

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Categories: other

On Experience and Politics

October 25, 2010 1 comment

“I’m not a trained pilot. But I’m sick and tired of turbulence when I fly. Is it okay if I fly the plane text time?”

This is what I think of when I hear candidates proclaim that their lack of political experience will make them better politicians.

Governing isn’t easy. There’s skill involved. And, as with many things, experience probably helps.

So what do you think? Is lack of experience a good thing in a political candidate?

Categories: other

Two Thoughts on Global Warming

April 27, 2010 2 comments

Two thoughts on global warming:

1. Wind Energy. Wind turbines, which convert wind into energy, are hailed as a way of generating energy without harming the environment.

But I think we need that wind. I’m afraid we’re going to discover in ten or twenty or fifty years that the wind was part of the global ecosystem.

After putting a massive wind farm in, say, one of the plain states, will we have rain systems that no longer make their way across the country and instead stay put, causing massive flooding in the middle of the country and drought in the east?



2. Energy and Heat. Two of the biggest challenges facing us seem to be (a) not enough energy, and (b) the warming of the planet.

But heat is energy.

Can’t we solve both of these problems at the same time by using the extra heat on the planet for energy?

Categories: other

And God Said Goes On Sale Today

February 2, 2010 1 comment
 

I’m thrilled to announce that my latest book, And God Said: How Translations Conceal the Bible’s Original Meaning, goes on sale today.

More information about the book is available here. I’ve also set up a blog for the book, and you can even find it on Facebook. (“Won’t you be my friend?” the book wants to know.)

It took me four months and fifteen years to write. I hope you enjoy it.

 

“A wise and important book.” -Rabbi Harold Kushner

“Hoffman’s work is the best gift for a careful reader of [the Bible].” -Dr. Walter Brueggemann

“Retrieves what the Bible really was.” -The Very Reverend Dr. James A. Kowalski

Categories: other

Haviv Rettig Gur on Israel and America

September 8, 2009 Leave a comment

Haviv Rettig Gur has an essay in the Jerusalem Post in which claims:

Here’s a theory: Israeli society has a profoundly different and deeply moving way of defining the very notion of Jewishness. [read the essay…]

The essay sets the stage for his theory and expands on it. It’s well worth reading.

Categories: other

Video of 3,700-Year-Old Jerusalem Wall

September 5, 2009 Leave a comment

CNN has a video of the wall that’s well worth watching. (You have to put up with a brief commercial.)

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Jerusalem Wall from 700 Years Before King David

September 3, 2009 Leave a comment

From the Israel Antiquities Authority:

An Enormous 3,700 Year Old Fortification was Exposed in the City of David

The fortification rises to a height of c. 8 meters [26 feet], and it seems that the Canaanites used it to defend the path that led to the spring.

The excavations are being conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority in the Walls Around Jerusalem National Park and are underwritten by the Ir David Foundation.

A huge fortification more than 3,700 years old….

Read more….

Categories: other