Over the summer of 2018, I resuscitated this site and undertook a personal writing project to finally address in long-form1 several topics which I feel have been intentionally oversimplified, in some cases to the point of distortion. The result is what I call the “Sacred Slogan Series,” including PDF source sheets, collected below for convenience.
Introducing “Sacred Slogans”
The introduction explains what I mean by “Sacred Slogans” and why I feel they are so important to explore in greater detail. I also define my methodologies and goals.
Tzelem Elokim / Imago Dei / Image of God
The idea that all human beings are created in the image of God is a core tenet of faith for universalist approaches to Judaism, but for Biblical and Rabbinic sources it’s far more complicated.
“70 Faces of Torah” and Eilu Va’Eilu Divrei Elokim Hayyim – The Limits of Pluralism
These two idioms are often cited in defense of pluralism, but in the original Rabbinic sources, they actually define the limits of pluralism.
Ohr Lagoyim / “Light unto the Nations”
Aside from the dubious origins of “Light unto the Nations” as a slogan, this entry addresses the extent to which Torah is concerned with how Jews are perceived by gentiles.
“A Jew is a Jew” – Identity vs. Inclusion
This entry addresses a modern-day Sacred Slogan in order to differentiate between one’s immutable status of being a Jew and one’s acceptance in Jewish communal life.
“Love the Stranger” – The Ger in Jewish Society
While the Biblical commandment to “love the stranger” is often invoked in the context of immigration and refugee policy, Torah comes with its own regulations.
Tikkun Olam is the most ubiquitous of the Sacred Slogans. This entry discusses how Tikkun Olam was