Rabbi Isaac Luria, one of the greatest of Jewish mystics, would walk in the hills of 16th century Safed and point out to his students the souls of the dead, often standing on their graves. In the same city at the same time, the great legal scholar Joseph Karo, author of the Shulchan Aruch, the great code of Jewish Law, was composing another book dictated to him by an angel.
This doesn't answer my questions. It doesn't staunch my tears. I don't sleep better. I don't justify terrible things when they happen to others, and I don't know why they don't happen to me. But I know that just as surely as there is inexplicable evil in the world, there is inexplicable good, as well. It's something to put on the other side of the scale, something to attribute to a good God.
"We wanted to use four [American] towns as examples to get to know people -- those who fought and those who stayed at home -- and to get to their experiences as it happened."
The result is Burns and co-director Lynn Novick seeing the war as it was unfolding through the eyes of soldiers from Mobile, Ala.; Sacramento; Waterbury, Conn., and Luverne, Minn., to show, in so many ways, the ongoing hellishness of even a necessary war.
Power, politics and sex. War and violence. What more could he write about, you might well ask. Now, just turned 84, he has published "The Castle in the Forest," which attempts to engage and scrutinize the nature of evil personified in the life of the young Adolf Hitler. He -- Hitler as a youth -- ostensibly is the subject of the novel.
"Evil" -- which won the nonfiction prize at the 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival in July -- presents for perhaps the first time a convicted pedophile speaking graphically about his actions on camera. O'Grady's words provide "the backbone of a deeply disturbing documentary about the Roman Catholic clergy abuse crisis," the Associated Press said.
Ben Caspit proposes the text for a speech by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that would explain to the world exactly what Israel is fighting for.
Let Gibson beg for chastisement, let him call and beg to be told he's been a bad boy, a very bad boy, who needs to be stripped in public and whipped. I'll never give in.
There’s a study that shows that lab rats don’t get as stressed from being shocked as they do from not knowing when the shocks will come. Put that rat on a regular shocking schedule, and it doesn’t freak out.
What do you do when you lose someone? Someone you really hated?
Robert Carlyle, of "The Full Monty" and "Angela's Ashes" fame, gives a striking performance in the title role of the CBS miniseries "Hitler: The Rise of Evil."
With all the discussion, confusion and controversy about the Bush administration's planned actions against Saddam Hussein, it's ironic that President Bush, a born-again Bible reader, appears to have rejected the Christian position and adopted instead the Jewish stance on self-defense and responding to evil people.
The subject of evil is something that has entered my mind often this past year. Since Sept. 11, and also from the ongoing news coverage from Israel, I have had many questions and have engaged in frequent discussions about this subject.
Danny, 10, can recite the Five Pillars of Islam: faith, prayer, charity, fasting and pilgrimage.
Jeremy, 12, understands the difference between Predator armed drones and Global Hawk surveillance drones; between 500-pound "dumb" gravity bombs and 2,000-pound "smart" precision-guided bombs.
Gabe, 14, knows that Pastun and Dari are the spoken languages of Afghanistan while Pastuns, Uzbeks and Tajiks make up the main ethnic groups.
Zack, 18, can locate most of the "stans" -- Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
Since Sept. 11, on a practical and comprehensible level, my sons have learned about the religion of Islam, the military capability of the United States, the ethnicity of Afghanistan and the geography of Central Asia.
While the pain of the Sept. 11 attacks still churns like the smoke and dust that continue to rise out of Ground Zero, eight weeks has done something to begin our healing process.
Some of the rawness of our national wound is beginning to abate, allowing us to use the clarity and insight of the still-sharp lens of grief to encounter the big questions about God and humanity that the terrorists threw into our faces.
The questions, of course, are hardly new: How can we square the lethal expression of mass evil with our notion of a compassionate God? Were the attacks the hand of God, God's withdrawal from humanity, or simply the nature of God's universe?
On a beautiful Sunday morning before Yom Kippur, my friend Diane and I took a walk down the bikeway near the beach.
If you were alive in 1918 and bumped into an undistinguished German army corporal named Adolf Hitler, wouldn't you have been duty-bound to murder him? Just more than 10 years ago, a Jewish militant stopped journalist Ron Rosenbaum short with that question.
A professor in seminary once asked us to find themost important section in all the Torah. We offered Creation, theShma, the Exodus, the revelation at Mount Sinai. No, he argued, it'ski teze l'milchama (Deuteronomy 21): "When you go out to war against yourenemies, and the Lord God delivers them into your power and you takesome of them captive, and you see among the captives a beautifulwoman, and you desire her, and would have her. You shall first bringher into your house, and she shall cut her hair and her nails, anddiscard her captive's garb. She shall spend a month's time in yourhouse, mourning her father and mother...and then you may come to her,and marry her, and she shall be your wife. And if not, you mustrelease her."