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Judaism, Civilization & Progress

Tradition or Progress?
As in any duality, we must determine which side of the coin is dominant and which secondary: Does progress serve tradition, or does tradition serve progress?
When the Twitter Revolution Began
If the popular demonstrations going on in Iran right now turn into a full blown revolution—and it's getting darn close—it may well go down in history as the Twitter Revolution...
Did Human Rights Begin With Torah?
Democracy and human rights are cornerstones of our moral vision in the modern era. Where do we Jews fit--historically and ideologically--into this picture?
Korach Over Dinner
When I hear the M word, I feel hot air breathed down my back. Mental flags go up, signaling, "Someone's got an agenda here, and the agenda is to take you over."
Is Democracy Jewish?
Why didn't we think of this first?
Democracy is one of the hallmarks of our wondrous modern world, but it relies on a counterforce to sustain it.
When History Began
. . . and why we need to know
The big question of history is: why is there any history at all? Meaning, why is there a story, that which we call progress? How did history get its arrow?
Torah, Slavery and the Jews
Yes, there's tension here, and as every good dramatist and massage therapist knows, tension is a good point to play with
Does Torah Promote Genocide?
Why does the Torah command us to annihilate the seven Canaanite nations? Why would G‑d put the everlasting guilt of wiping out entire communities upon any group of people, especially those he favors? If there were populations that were so evil, why wouldn't He take care of it Himself?
Globalization & the End of Work
Technology in the Messianic Era & the Economies of the Future
A Kabbalistic perspective on the rapid growth of technology as a harbinger of the Messianic Era.
Legislating Moral Conduct
I recently attended a seminar on the Canadian Human Rights Commissions. On the whole, the event amounted to a wholesale "Let's Quash the Human Rights Commissions" extravaganza...
Incarceration As a Modality of Punishment and Rehabilitation
A Torah Perspective
Under America’s criminal justice system, we have incarcerated more than two million of our fellow citizens in federal, state and county facilities. In contrast, the concept of prison does not appear anywhere in Judaism...
Take Wall Street, Please!
Rethinking capitalism, OWS and 7B
Maybe the whole problem with capitalism is the script we're writing for it. Maybe if we rewrote that script, the same forces that are messing up the world would be fixing it instead...
Steve Jobs: Change We Learned to Believe In
iTechnology and a better world
The world has its destiny, produced and directed by the Master of all destiny. A destiny in which Steve Jobs played a principal role.
Biblical Guidelines for Warfare
How Jews Fight
Ancient Israel had to defend itself, like any other nation. But the Torah also lays down guidelines to ensure that this horrible tool is used sparingly and compassionately.
The Rebbe's Big Idea
Is Chabad relevant to world peace?
The Rebbe had a certain vision, a very radical vision, of heaven, earth and the human being. Radical, but somehow completely grounded in the same tradition in which all these crazy modern values are rooted.
The Sixth Millennium and the Age of Moshiach
If we map time, will we see where it’s leading us?
Does time, as well, have a topography?
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