Tag: Religious Pluralism

70 Faces of Torah and Eilu Va’Eilu Divrei Elokim Hayyim – The Limits of Pluralism

See the Introduction to Sacred Slogans for methodology and goals
Click here for a downloadable PDF source sheet

Sacred Slogans

This post addresses two Sacred Slogans frequently employed in the name of pluralism. The first is that there are “70 faces of Torah,” referring to the multiplicity of possible interpretations, seen as the inspiration for religious blog names on Patheos and HuffPost. The second is “eilu va’eilu divrei elokim hayyim” – “these and those are the words of the living God.” Both of these Sacred Slogans are typically invoked to praise the institution of debate and to affirm that multiple – and sometimes contradictory – viewpoints can be equally valid.

When we examine the sources of these idioms we will find some affirmation of debates, but more significantly, we find their limitations.

Episode 8 – Encountering Avoda Zara

The first Tuesday of every month I lead a Beit Midrash session at the Stanton St. Shul. These topics vary from month to month, often coinciding with the Jewish or secular calendar. This month, I chose to deal with some issues of Avoda Zara due to some questions which kept coming up lately in shul.

This class is by no means comprehensive; covering this topic properly would probably take at least a year. Still the point is to raise certain issues and hopefully lead people to ask better halakhic questions.

Episode 8 – Encountering Avoda Zara