Jay Michaelson

Rabbi Dr. Jay Michaelson is the author of ten books, including "The Heresy of Jacob Frank," which won the 2023 National Jewish Book Award for scholarship. He is a columnist for the Forward and Rolling Stone, and a fellow at American Jewish University. Jay holds a Ph.D in Jewish Thought from Hebrew University, a J.D. from Yale, and nondenominational rabbinic ordination.

Articles by Jay Michaelson

Altering the Mind to See More Clearly

What Jewish mysticism can teach us about psychedelics.

Reconcilable Truths

It is possible to hold both the deep pain of this moment and a sense of gratitude for the blessings that surround us.

A Place for the Primal

The mythic and the magical has its place in the sanctuary of the holy.

Everything About Yom Kippur Is An Invention

While the synagogue observance of Yom Kippur may seem like a stable, solid, trans-historical whole, it is none of those things.

Remembrance of Kvetches Past

Remembering how we've suffered in the past helps us cultivate gratitude for the blessings we have right now.

The Redemptive Strangeness of Yom Kippur

For the ancient Israelites, the Yom Kippur rituals signified a world in which God brought moral order out of chaos.

What is Jewish Spirituality?

What matters in Jewish spiritual practice is less the experience itself than what we do with it.

The Benefits of Fasting on Yom Kippur

Don't believe in God? Reward and punishment? The obligations of Jewish law? Here's why you might want to fast anyway.

Parashat Vaetchanan: A Less Innocent Love

Jews read sections of the Torah each week, and these sections, known as  parshiyot, inspire endless examination year after year. ...

It’s the Purity, Stupid: Reading Leviticus in Context

Jews read sections of the Torah each week, and these sections, known as parshiyot, inspire endless examination year after year. Each ...