Discover more from Rationalist Judaism
For my MA, I wrote a number of papers, and now I am debating what to do with them. Here is the complete list (the reason why it is so long is that I had to do additional work because I didn't have a BA):
1. The Sun's Path at Night
2. The Theological Significance of Geocentrism for Jews in the Medieval Period
3. Jewish Responses to Copernicus and Heliocentrism
4. Shiluach haKein: The Transformation of a Mitzvah
5. The Evolution of the Olive
6. “The Torah Speaks Like the Language of Men”: Talmudic Parameters
7. Arguing with God: When May Students Dispute Teachers?
8. Maimonides’ Naturalization of Miracles
9. Rashi and Corporealism
10. Maharal’s Multiple Revolutions in Aggadic Scholarship
11. The Sages’ Legendary Powers of Life and Death
12. Wrestling with Demons
13. Sod Hashem Liyreyav: The Expansion of an Explanatory Tool
14. North African Rabbis and Electricity
15. The Personalities of Non-Humans in Scripture
16. The Beasts From The Whirlwind: Animal Life in the Book of Iyov
17. The Extinction of Species in Jewish Thought
18. Rav Soloveitchik's Approach to Evolution
19. The Economics of Torah Study in the Medieval Period
20. The Question of the Kidneys' Counsel
Eventually, I plan to publish 1-3 in a book entitled Shaking The Heavens: Rabbinic Responses to Astronomical Revolutions, and some of the others will appear in Rationalist Judaism: Its Nature, Decline and Rebirth. But it would be a pity if they don't see the light of day until then, and besides, what do I do with the others? There are several options, each with different advantages and disadvantages.
For my career, it's best to submit them to academic journals. But then they won't be read by the people who would most benefit from them. Hakirah is another option, but there is a limit to how many articles from one person they can print. I also have to figure out how to make parnasah as a writer (I much prefer writing to teaching). With the kezayis essay, I tried making it available online and asking people to make an appropriate donation, but even though hundreds of people downloaded it, only about ten people made a donation.
I'd be interested to hear people's ideas. The essay on Shiloach HaKein is especially important to the rationalist enterprise, and would be timely for parashas Ki Setze; I would very much like to release it on this website, if people are willing to make an appropriate donation.
Meanwhile, in other news, I am pleased to announce that this Sunday I am giving a lecture at Shomrei Emunah in Baltimore at 6.45pm on the topic of Rationalist Judaism. The entrance donation is $10, and books will be available for purchase. If you have any friends in Baltimore, please let them know! I also have a few spots left next Sunday for the Torah Tour of the Bronx Zoo.