Why Does God Test Us?

The following is adapted from Maimonides’ Guide for the Perplexed. The concept that God puts people through trials is the most debated idea in the entire Bible. Most people assume (incorrectly) that God afflicts individuals not in response to their own sins but to provide them with an opportunity to earn reward. Trials are discussed […]

The Orthodox Jew Who Found Faith Through His Own Illness

Ben Taplin was born in Israel and grew up in Lakewood in a normal Yeshivish family. But when he was in high school, he started to challenge the teachers, asking why he had to think and act the way they did. He bounced around to different high schools and ended up at Waterbury Yeshiva. His […]

Seeking Out a Hidden God

Recently, as I daven (pray), there is something that continues to leap out at me. Each time I say a bracha (blessing), I think about the fact that it begins by addressing God in the second-person, Baruch ATAH (Blessed are YOU). As I utter those first two words I am speaking to God, rather than about Him, […]

She Sacrificed For Mikvah Then Something Incredible Happened

During a family trip several years ago it worked out that I needed to go to the mikvah. I checked for the closest one online, and the website explained that you had to make an appointment ahead of time. I called the day before my mikvah date and left a message but didn’t hear back. I […]

Hurricane Sandy’s Destruction: Groping For Faith in the Midst of Darkness

When we heard that Hurricane Sandy (aka Frankenstorm) was on its way, my husband and I started asking ourselves: “Should we stay or should we go?” My husband was of the “stay” philosophy. “Hunker down.” “Ride it out.” “What’s more comfortable than home?” he wanted to know. I was of the “go” philosophy. “Something bad is […]

Mayim Bialik’s Car Accident And The Illusion of a Stable World

When I logged onto Facebook yesterday at around 5pm, the first thing I saw was a status update, “Oh no, Mayim!” linked to an article entitled, “Mayim Bialik Hospitalized in Car Wreck, May Lose Finger.” I was in shock. I had just spoken to Mayim the night before. We were supposed to learn later that […]

More on Jew in the City