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Articles on Judaism

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A bas-relief of Maimonides, sculpted by Brenda Putnam, hangs in the U.S. House of Representatives among statues of historical lawmakers. Architect of the Capitol/Wikimedia

As a rabbi, philosopher and physician, Maimonides wrestled with religion and reason – the book he wrote to reconcile them, ‘Guide to the Perplexed,’ has sparked debate ever since

Faith and reason are often treated as opposites. But some philosophers believe they can only strengthen each other, including the Jewish sage Maimonides, who wrote the famous ‘Guide to the Perplexed.’
A hundred and one years before ‘You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah’ was released, the first American Bat Mitzvah took place. (Apple TV+/Disney+/Netflix via AP)

‘You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah’ speaks to the meaningful impact of religious rituals for Jewish girls

‘You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah’ may seem worlds apart from the growth and appeal of ‘by and for women only’ films produced by Orthodox Jewish women, but all these films share a focus on the potential of Jewish ritual.
Victims’ names engraved in a metal overhang, part of the Triangle Shirtwaist Memorial, are reflected in mirroring panels along the sidewalk. AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

A memorial in Yiddish, Italian and English tells the stories of Triangle Shirtwaist fire victims − testament not only to tragedy but to immigrant women’s fight to remake labor laws

On Oct. 11, 2023, a new memorial was unveiled at the site of the 1911 fire. A cadre of young Jewish women helped push for change in the wake of the tragedy.
Members of the congregation sing during a Rosh Hashana service at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles in 2013. Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are times for soul-searching, but not on your own – community has always been at the heart of the Jewish High Holidays

Community is vital in Jewish ritual and tradition, and the High Holidays are no exception, a Judaic studies scholar writes.
From Reconstructionism to ultra-Orthodoxy, Judaism is richly diverse. MendyHechtman/iStock via Getty Images

Jewish denominations: A brief guide for the perplexed

Jewish communities have always followed some different customs in different parts of the world, but the 19th and 20th centuries brought much more dramatic divisions.
A confirmation class in 1924 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest/Wikimedia Commons

Shavuot: The Jewish holiday that became all about children

Shavuot, which was originally an ancient pilgrimage festival, has gone through many changes over the years – as has Judaism itself.

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