Subjects for Skepticality often come from listeners.
This week's subject was suggested by Michael Adelson.
This week's first interview is with Michael himself.
Michael Adelson is a cover conductor for The New York Philharmonic.
Michael's mentor was the late, great Rabbi Sherwin Wine.
Rabbi Wine founded Humanistic Judaism in 1963.
Humanistic Judaism emphasizes Jewish culture and history, rather than belief in God.
Rabbi Wine died unexpectedly as a result of a car accident on July 21, 2007.
Michael Adelson thought for a time of becoming a humanistic Rabbi.
He chose to continue his music education instead.
As a result Michael incorporates his background in critical thinking into his work in music.
Many myths about well known composers involve the idea that they were divinely gifted.
Michael works to dispel these myths in his own lectures.
Michael's parents were members of Rabbi Wine's Birmingham Temple. the first Humanistic Jewish congregation, founded in 1963.
Wine served as the rabbi of the Birmingham Temple until his retirement in 2003
Rabbi Wine's was brought up a conservative Jew, the child of immigrant parents.
Many traditions of Judaism are still practiced by Humanistic Jews, with the references to God and the supernatural removed and an emphasis on education and history.
Wine lectured on a wide array of topics since 1976 under the auspices of the Center for New Thinking, which he also founded.
Many of these lectures were recorded and are available through LearnOutloud.com.
The American Humanist Association named him Humanist of the Year for 2003.
The Detroit Free Press ran an article in December 1964 with the headline "Suburban Rabbi: 'I Am an Atheist.'"
Rabbi Wine referred to himself as an ignostic.
Michael reccomends these contemporary composers:
David Rakowski, Augusta Read Thomas, Magnus Lindberg
In 1981, Rabbi Wine and others created the Voice of Reason in response to rising Right Wing political activism by Jerry Falwell and others.
In 1982, Wine founded the North American Committee for Humanism.
Humanistic Judaism advocates equal rights for all, including same sex marriage.
Today, Humanistic Judaism commands many affiliated congregations worldwide.
Under US law, humanistic rabbis can officiate legally at weddings.
Rabbi Wine's books include Humanistic Judaism (1978), Judaism Beyond God (1996) and Staying Sane in a Crazy World.
This week's eSkeptic newsletter features an essay by Daniel Loxton.
The Essay celebrates the 100th anniversary of the FDA.
The FDA was very necessary in the era of patent medicine.
The queen of patent medicine was Lydia Pinkham.
As a tribute, Daniel commissioned Canadian bluegrass band The Dirty Dishes to record
"Lily The Pink", a folk song based on The Ballad of Lydia Pinkham.
The Dirty Dishes are: Lisa Olafson. Susie McKenney, fiddler Alison Porter.
Lily the Pink was a Christmas number one in the UK in 1968.
Amazingly, Lydia Pinkham's "remedy" is still sold.
The Dishes themselves have a healthy dose of skepticism.
The Dirty Dishes will be recording their album in 2008.
You can find out more about The Dirty Dishes at their website dirty-dishes.ca.
Michael Adelson is working on establishing a website, but you can email him.
Song – Lily The Pink performed by The Dirty Dishes.