I’m Too Shy To Be Jewish (and 5 Ways To GET OVER IT)

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Once a month, I get an email whom someone saying they want to convert to Judaism, or are already Jewish and want to get more involved in Jewish life, but there’s just one problem: they’re shy. These are the folks who sit in the parking lot, watching everyone else go in the building, trying not […]

There’s No Such Thing As Judaism (or, Why Religion Is Just Like A Love Letter): Parshah Acharei

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Two ideas today: Azazel and love letters. Azazel This week’s Torah portion goes into details about the Yom Kippur service, which frankly was a lot bloodier than the hunger-and-white-clothing event we have today. Acharei also talks about the casting of lots onto goats for sacrifice to G-d and to Azazel. You know, Azazel. I’m sure […]

Is Judaism Programming Itself To Death? Parshah Vayikra by Rabbi Patrick

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This dvar Torah has three parts: I come from a generation that was overwhelmed by programming Something, something, something, dead animals It’s the people Let’s get started… ### I come from a generation that was overwhelmed by programming. It started when we were kids. Ballet, soccer practice, religious obligations, family-fun-time, foreign language classes, homework, play […]

A Personal Note From PunkTorah Director Patrick Aleph (Parshah Tetzaveh)

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Hi, my name is Patrick, and since February 24th, 2009, I have been in some way or another running PunkTorah. It all started with one YouTube video: a hastily thrown together dvar Torah about Parsha Tetzaveh made in the kitchen of musician Justin Curfman from the post-punk band Feeding Fingers (and where I desperately tried […]

The Bible Is Dumb (or How To Deal With Life’s Uncertainty or How To Finger Paint Like A Biblical Prophet)

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One Shabbat, I was sitting around talking about how the Bible often tells conflicting stories about the same event, or just doesn’t give us any clues about anything at all. For example: Which version of the Creation narrative is correct: version one (Genesis 1) or the story in Genesis 2? What was the Urim and […]