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Rabbi Jacob Staub


Interpreting Jewish History Through Zionism This article examines Zionist readings of Jewish history and discusses how they affect the interpretation of the Jewish past and present. This article appeared in the "Israel at 50" issue of The Reconstructionist (Spring 1998).
Passover: The Holiday

Rabbis Jacob Staub, RRC '77, and Shawn Zevit, RRC '98, discuss the holiday of Passover: its origins, its status as the most celebrated Jewish festival, and its major themes (which are so rich for Reconstructionist interpretation. This is an episode of the radio program Heart, Mind and Spirit...

How Can Reconstructionists Pray? If you don't believe in a "traditional" God, why attend services? Why publish a new prayerbook?
A Reconstructionist View on Patrlineal Descent

"A Reconstructionist view on patrilineal descent." This is an article from the journal Judaism, Volume 34 No.1, Winter 1985, pp 97-106, by Rabbi Jacob Staub.

Miraculous Lights Rabbi Jacob Staub reflects on his coming out experiences in this essay on Hanukkah.
Jewish at Christmas Rabbi Jacob Staub recounts a personal transformation in his views on interfaith families.
Waiting for the Messiah Rabbi Jacob Staub discusses Jewish beliefs about the messiah and redemption.
Resting in the Breath Rabbi Jacob Staub explores the practice of mindfulness meditation.
Broken and Whole Following the death of his daughter, Rabbi Jacob Staub felt broken. In this essay, he discusses inviting God to be with him, nurturing him, when he is feeling broken and when he is feeling whole.
Holding Ourselves Accountable

Rabbi Jacob Staub explores the idea of virtuous behavior.

Coming Out

Rabbi Jacob Staub reflects on the process of coming out.

The Power of Ritual

Rabbi Jacob Staub reflects on the pre-Passover ritual of Bedikat Hametz, the search for leaven (fermented flour).

The Hebrew Word for Patience

Rabbi Jacob Staub discusses the idea of patience, and how to handle trying situations.

The Value of a Different Path

Raqbbi Jacob Staub considers Mother's Day and Father's Day through the lens of people who don't have children.

Do Facebook Birthday Wishes Really Matter?

Rabbi Jacob Staub asks the question—what does it really mean when someone wishes you a happy birthday on Facebook?

When Is It God? When Is It Me?

Rabbi Jacob Staub asks the question, "How do we know when we are acting of our own volition, versus acting with God's divine spirit guiding us?"

Is God To Blame When Bad Things Happen?

Rabbi Jacob Staub explores God's role in our individual lives. Is God the cause of everything that happens? Is God the righteous judge?

Questioning All Norms

Rabbi Jacob Staub invokes the idea of a Jubilee year as described in the Book of Leviticus as a lens through which we should view modern societal norms.

Wholehearted Devotion

Wholehearted Devotion by Rabbi Jacob Staub. A reflection on teshuvah and observing all 613 commandments.

Where is God in This?

Rabbi Jacob Staub reframes the question of how to bring God into one's life, and instead posits that God is already present; we just may not realize it.

Gossip and Truth

Rabbi Jacob Staub reflects on an interaction he had with a plumber, through the lens of the Jewish ethical practice of not talking about other people (...

If God Is Good, Why Do Pain and Suffering Exist?

In this essay, Rabbi Jacob Staub explores the question that's on everyone's mind: why does God allow pain and suffering to exist in the world?

Unspeakable Circumstances

In this thoughtful piece, Rabbi Jacob Staub probes the messages in the play Bent, and ponders how the experience of Nazi genocide shared by the Jewish and LGBTIQ communities forged a lasting bond between those two groups.

We Have to Keep Trying

In this powerful reflection on the Jewish New Year, Rabbi Jacob Staub acknowledges that sometimes, it's difficult to accept the underlying goodness of Creation.

After Death

What happens to us and our loved ones when we die? Can the living continue to connect with the dead, and vice versa? In this touching piece, Rabbi Jacob Staub takes readers on his personal journey through these questions.

Daughters of Judah
Seeing the Other

Rabbi Jacob Staub discusses the importance of seeing and attempting to understand people who are not like us. Even in today's world of progressive Judaism, we still encounter instances where people are marginalized by language that is used or assumptions that are made. He uses the example of...

Understanding Limitations

A beautifully written observation about recognizing one's own limits. Certain things are within our control and other things are not; there's a peace that comes in recognizing the difference.

What a Symbol Carries

Seasonal symbols tend to creep up out of nowhere as Christmas approaches. Rabbi Jacob Staub explains his reaction to all the red and green.

Acknowledging the Hidden Light
What Israel Means

Rabbi Jacob Staub writes about Israel's centrality to his Jewish identity. 

Shavuot Theology

When we celebrate Shavuot, writes Rabbi Jacob Staub, we need not limit the celebration to an event that occurred (or did not occur) in the 13th century BCE. If the giving of the Torah is ongoing, then new...

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