As parents, we worry about the well-being of our kids; about their future, and about our role in shaping it. How do we keep them safe, while encouraging their independence? When should we motivate them by incentive, and when by establishing firm consequences? And how do we build their self-esteem to prepare them mentally and emotionally for the long road ahead?
In The Art of Parenting, we scale the challenges that face us as parents and explore timeless insights from Jewish wisdom to instill values, foster independence, and ensure the long-term success and emotional well-being of our children.
Just as science follows the scientific method, Jewish tradition has its own system to ensure its authenticity remains intact.
Judaism Decoded sheds light on the mysteries surrounding biblical interpretation. How do we know our interpretation is true? If it is true, why is it subject to differences of opinion? And with so many interpretations to choose from, how do we know which one reflects its original intent?
Discover the sheer elegance of the “source code” on which Torah law is built; enjoy the razor-sharp reasoning, intelligent debate, and compelling arguments of the Talmudic dialectic; and get a fascinating, behind-the-scenes glimpse of the most intellectually sophisticated religion in existence.
1. THE DYNAMIC DUO
If we have a written law, why do we need tradition? And if we have a tradition, what’s the point of a written law? Discover the brilliance of this binary system, and how it has kept Jewish tradition intact for millennia.
2. A FORMULA FOR ETERNITY
Circumstances change, and, in most cases, so do the rules—unless, that is, the rules were created as principles with a unique formula to make them apply to any situation that may arise. Explore the systematic formula through which Jewish law is applied to solve new, modern-day dilemmas.
3. RABBIS MAKING RULES
Is my rabbi allowed to change the law when he deems it necessary? When do rabbis have the power to legislate new laws? And what prevents a rabbi from unilaterally changing the face of Judaism?
4. DEBATING THE DIVINE
The Talmud is filled with all kinds of debates. If the law is Divine, should there be any room for discussion? When there are differences of opinion, how do we determine the law? And why does the Talmud record opinions that were ultimately overruled?
5. LAWS THAT EXPIRE
While most Jewish practices are as relevant today as ever, some laws have reasons that no longer pply.
When does a law expire? How is it revoked? And why might we choose to continue a practice even once its rationale is no longer relevant?
6. EVIDENCE FOR SINAI
Judaism encourages us to question. How do we know the Torah is true? Why was Maimonides so convinced about the historic truth of the revelation at Sinai? Is there any empirical evidence to support his claim?