What is this app/site about?
It's a bit hard to describe, but I might say that I'm trying to create the Jewish-Interfaith website that is similiar to the awesomeness of Textweek.com (a website full of links and resources on the Christian lectionary and calendar). But I also want to provide other original materials as well, in time discussing the Jewish holidays and ritual life from my own experiences.
Who is behind this site?
I am a student of Judaism from a interfaith/universalist perspective. In my regular life, I work a mix of several jobs, including serving as the Legal Director for the Center for Conscience in Action.
Theologically I describe myself as "universalist," since I think God is to big to fit into any one religion. But the two faiths that speak the clearest to me are Judaism (particularly its ritual and prayer practices) and the Mennonite/Anabaptist tradition (with its emphasis on Jesus' radical ethical teachings).
What is the meaning of the name of this website?
Yacob is my first name (James) in Hebrew. Matityahu is my middle name (Matthew) in Hebrew. So I chose this name when I was adopted/converted into Judaism through the conversion program of the Society for Humanistic Judaism.
What kind of material do you link to on this site? Do you agree with all of the ideas expressed on this site?
On this website I link to a variety of materials from many different sources. I pick the materials because they may have useful content in one specific subject area, but as an interfaith/universalist student of Judaism, I might have major disagreements with the ideas expressed in other content on the side.
Three examples are worth noting, mostly because they might cause the most potential misunderstanding.
First I provide quite a few links to Chabad.org. Chabad has some incredible resources on Jewish ritual practice and torah study, but they also preach a very exclusivistic kind of message that is opposed to interfaith explorations. I obviously don't agree with this but I also don't want to not link to their very helpful information in other areas of concern.
A second example is that I link to some Messianic Christian websites because some of these websites provide helpful Hebrew language resources. I do not agree with the fundamental message of Messianic Christianity (which is in most cases a strain of conservative evangelical Christianity) but I also do not want to ignore some of their very useful material.
Finally, many of the websites I am linking to on this site are nationalistic and promote messages that are aggressively pro-Israeli state or pro-USA. I don't believe in nationalism and I pray for a day that Jews, Muslims, Christians, and others can live peacefully in the Holy Land. Unfortunately not linking to sites that promote these messages would prevent me from linking to some of the best resources on some of the areas I am most interested in exploring.
So... unless the content you are looking on this site is actually written by me, I may or may not agree with it. I think it is good to explore different points of view but please don't take my links as an endorsement.