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When Judaism Meets Science

 

“a rare masterpiece”
– Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman, HUC

“careful research, passionate analysis, and good sense”
– Rabbi David Teutsch, RRC

“clear, engaging”
– Rabbi Geoffrey Mitelman, Sinai and Synapses

“a tremendous tome”
– Rabbi Wayne Dosick, SpiritTalk Live!

“an absolutely fascinating book”
– Rabbi Richard Address, Jewish Sacred Aging

“scholarly, judicious, and fair–minded . . . and very ‘readable’”
– Ronald W. Pies, MD

“a fresh way to explore Jewish topics . . . useful in teaching adults”
– Rabbi Gail Shuster–Bouskila

“A must read! . . . careful thought and such literary excellence”
– Rabbi Jack Riemer

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Posts Tagged ‘genetics’

Rabbi Arnold Rachlis Explores “When Judaism Meets Science”

Sunday, September 6, 2020 @ 05:09 PM
posted by Roger Price
Rabbi Arnold Rachlis

Early in August, 2020, Rabbi Arnold Rachlis interviewed Roger Price regarding his book “When Judaism Meets Science.” Initially, the interview followed an Erev Shabbat service at Rabbi Rachlis’s congregation, University Synagogue, Irvine, California. Over the course of twenty–four minutes, Rabbi Rachlis’s questions and Price’s answers covered a number of issues discussed in Price’s book, including the challenges of contemporary science to Judaism, the rejection of science and facts, vaccinations, artificial intelligence and a Jewdroid, genetics and diseases, Jewish genetic markers, and neuroscience and freewill.

Rabbi Arnold Rachlis has served as the rabbi of University Synagogue since 1987, guiding it from a small havurah to a center that serves more than 600 families. Previously, he served as rabbi of the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, Evanston, Illinois. Rabbi Rachlis was ordained at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1975, having previously earned a B.A. degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds an M.A. degree from Temple University and a Doctor of Divinity degree from RRC.

Now the entire interview, by itself, can be seen and heard here: https://vimeo.com/445649383/7bcc001c52

Enjoy!

For nine years, Rabbi Rachlis hosted Of Cabbages and Kings on ABC-TV, as well as a syndicated cable television show on contemporary Jewish issues, Hayom. He has appeared as a guest on NPR, CBS, CNN, and PBS. He was profiled in the award-winning documentary film, The Legacy, and has served as a Judaica consultant for Compton’s Encyclopedia. He has also published scholarly articles, opinion pieces, and poetry in a variety of publications, including Judaism, Reconstructionist, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, Jewish Journal, and A Psychology – Judaism Reader.

Rabbi Rachlis has served in Washington, D.C. as a White House Fellow, an honor annually accorded to only a dozen national leaders, and as a Senior Foreign Affairs advisor in the State Department. Chosen by the White House to give the invocation for President Obama’s Town Hall meeting, he was selected as one of the 25 most influential leaders in Orange County. Rabbi Rachlis has also served as Chair of Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger, a coalition of over 1000 synagogues and Jewish organizations across the country.

When Judaism Meets Science can be purchased from various etailers, including Amazon, and also from the publisher, Wipf and Stock.

Ginger Jews

Tuesday, April 7, 2015 @ 02:04 PM
posted by Roger Price

Last year, about two hundred red haired Israeli Jews gathered for a conference at Kibbutz Gezer in Israel. While that is a nice size group, there were, apparently, many hundreds who were interested in attending, but unable to do so. Those who attended the conference shared stories, sang a popular children’s song called “I am a Redhead,” and reportedly had a good time. Gezer, by the way, is Hebrew for carrot.

And then there is Stav Shaffir, the not even thirty year old Member of the Knesset whose hair is vibrant red. Stav, by the way, is Hebrew for Autumn.

There is even Hebrew slang for redheads: gingi (Jeenji) for a male and gingit (Jeenjit) for a female, both Hebraicized corruptions of the English ginger.

What’s with Jews and red hair? read more

Jews, Genes and Genetics: A Look at Family, Haplotypes and Peoplehood

Monday, May 28, 2012 @ 10:05 PM
posted by Roger Price

In the United States today, the freest and richest nation on the planet, a country characterized by opportunity and mobility, the reality is that most Jews are Jews, if at all, by choice. For some, that choice is relatively easy, a coincidence of birth, culture and acceptance. For others, the situation is more complicated, involving perhaps disaffection with the faith or circumstances into which one was born and raised or, conversely, an attraction to a set of beliefs or patterns of behavior newly encountered.

Regardless of one’s position, in the open and fluid society that is America, most adults are not forced to be Jewish, i.e., to engage in conduct commonly understood to be specifically Jewish, such as attending shul, keeping kosher, studying sacred texts or simply identifying as a Jew. Nor are they forced to believe in a particular collection of ideas or ideals, including whether God exists, or, if they think that God does, what attributes or aspects that God may or may not have. Certainly strong social pressures can operate on an individual to motivate him or her to behave or believe one way or another, but most individuals still retain the ability to choose whether to be Jewish.

There is, however, one matter that is not open to choice, much less dispute or revision, and that is one’s genetic structure. And here, as elsewhere, advances in science in the relatively recent past have allowed us to investigate, to probe, to attempt to provide science based perspectives, if not answers, to the most basic questions: “Who am I?” and “Where did I come from?”.    read more