Although I haven't had time to work on anything long and interesting enough to post, I would like to make a note about the sort of things I would like to write about in the future. (Though I love you all, blogreaders, I must admit that I would prefer to have my thoughts published in traditional print media.)

1. The mechanisms of prayer. What's really going on when a person prays? God can't reasonably be expected to change the natural order, or give presents, as tokens of his gratitude or in exchange for the act of prayer. Neither is prayer by itself a miraculous act sufficient to cause such non-transcendent actions by a Deity. Perhaps we can understand it psychologically, i.e. as a sort of disciplined, regular talking-to-oneself. For that we'd need to understand why talking to oneself might be valuable, and (if God enters sensibly into prayer) how God would enter into or respond to prayer as talking-to-oneself.

2. The mechanism of psak. What happens when a rabbi judges a question of Jewish law? According to the Orthodox conception, a rabbi has a connection to the Divine will through his adjudication in a way that another Jew does not. I don't find this reasonable, for various reasons I won't go into here. I think it's more likely that a rabbi's adjudications are acceptable because of his or her expertise in the field. How does this expertise differ from that of someone in another field, say a physician?

If anyone has any ideas on this score, shout them out. My thought processes operate pretty slowly.

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