Five Questions, Five Minutes
This month's topic: Revelation
(Sivan 5763/June 2003)
Compiled by Audrey Shore
1. What's your name?
2. Where do you go to school?
3. What do you think happened at Sinai?
4. Are you opposed to the idea of Biblical criticism?
(In other words, how do you feel about claims that the Bible is or isn't history?)
5. Do you think the Jews are "the chosen people"? What
does that mean to you?
1. Danielle Brodsky
2. University of Florida
3. I really don't know
4. I believe that the Bible is a tool to understanding
who we are as people and how we should act. Regardless of its veracity, the
Bible has an obvious message just like any written work and whether or not
we choose to follow it is up to the individual.
5. I find this to be a difficult question...generally
I don't consider myself any better or worse than the next person of a different
faith. For me faith is more important than religion.
1. Sara Niedz
2. University of Florida
3. I believe that what happened at Sinai is that God gave
someone, maybe Moses, the ten commandments. Sinai is also the name of the
temple my family belongs to, so another answer to what happened there would
be: my bat-mitzvah and endless hours of Hebrew school.
4. I think that everyone has their own interpretation
of the Bible and all its literature. I myself do not take the Bible as an
exact account of our history because I believe there may have been some exaggeration.
5. I’m not sure what it means to be the “chosen ones”
but maybe that we’re to follow certain commandments from God.
1. Michael Knopf
2. Columbia University/JTS
3. I dunno...a massage, a little aromatherapy... In reality,
I'm not convinced of the historicity of the Sinai account. I take it to be
more of a metaphor for how Israel attained its national identity and consciousness
of God through the revelations and development of their national religious
and cultural tradition, the Torah.
4. Criticize the Bible all you want, as long as you don't
miss the point: The Bible is not a history book, it is a lesson book. It is
a guidebook. It is a book that teaches us as Jews what the best and right
life is, and how living that life ties us back to our past, which is essential
for human existence. But Biblical critics often ignore that key point in a
reckless attempt to disprove and discredit the Bible. They are unfortunately
missing the point and their irreverence towards the Bible--which should command
our utmost respect--is astonishing at times.
5. I think we are the "chosen people" but chosen often
gets misconstrued. It doesn't mean best...it means responsible. Jews are responsible
for enabling God's message and questions for humanity to endure throughout
1. Seth Ringold Haas
2. Kent State University
3. I feel as though God gave us our Torah, and our rules
to live by.
4. I believe that it is history, and it should be accepted
5. I feel as though God has created all people, therefore;
everyone is chosen....we are the select few.
1. Rebecca Sneider
2. Simmons College
3. I think that God spoke to Moses and gave down the Torah.
4. I disagree with the idea of Biblical criticism. I think
that the entire Torah was written by God because how does it have the meaning
that I feel that it does if people wrote it.
5. I think that we were chosen, but not in a way that
makes us better than anyone else. I think in a way that makes us worthy to
carry out God’s commandments and I think that other people are just as "chosen"
but in different ways and to do different things.