Faith means that we worship and praise God before we affirm His existence; we respond before we question
The purpose of genuine religious life is to protest against this optical illusion and to teach us to reframe our spiritual spectacles. It is not that religion shows us something new. It shows us what we have seen all our lives but have never noticed.
Despite a clear ruling by famous Chief Rabbi of Israel Ovadia Yosef z"l that these Ethiopians are surely Jewish (Yabia Omer 8, Even HaEzer 11)— the rabbinical council of the Eida HaHareidit decided that there is doubt about their Jewishness
In biblical days, the prophets were astir while the world was sleeping. Today, the world is astir while the synagogues are sleeping. Blessed are the young people who are waking up.
My suggestion: Restore the Kotel to its former state, a place where all are welcome and used solely for individual prayer and meditation, just as our ancestors treated it throughout our long history.
Judaism is about new ideas. It is dependent on fresh concepts deeply rooted in its tradition. We must be aware that if we do not apply new remedies we should expect new evils,
Repentance is, by far, the greatest miracle. In the dimension of time there is no such thing as going back. But in the world of repentance, time is created backward. It allows the re-creation of the past, to make the past better than it used to be
Children need a strong environment, conducive to their development as Jews, while at the same time their Jewish education must provide them with so much pride that later in life they will be able to deal with the outside world as well and still be fully committed Jews.
The possibility of chidushm - looking into the same text with new eyes - is crucial. The call for new interpretations, not just repeating what has been said, is fundamental to genuine Torah learning
Are today’s rulings transformative, or do they promote stagnation? Shall we have prophetic halacha, or collapsed halacha? We have to re-create halacha so that it once again becomes the manifestation of holy deeds that generate marvel and amazement in every part of our lives.
Spinoza, who left all Jewishness correctly observed, circumcision is the secret to the miracle of Jewish survival. What those Jews who oppose circumcision should never forget is that the attempt to outlaw this rite may not just make Jewish life impossible, but would probably end all Jewish existence
The astonishing fact that Jesus, one Jewish child considered the Messiah in the eyes of billions but utterly rejected as an apostate by his own people makes us wonder even more. What went wrong?
No Israeli parent has the right to give birth to a child in Israel and NOT teach them why they live in Israel, why they are Jewish, why we came back to this land after 2000 years and why we need to defend it.
What Rabbi Yochanan taught us is that Jews will survive without Israel, as long as there is Torah, the portable homeland; but Jews will not survive solely because of the existence of Israel—however powerful it may be—if Israel does not incorporate a large percentage of Jewish traditional resources.
The book of Bereishit keeps Halacha under control. It restricts and regulates it, and ensures that it will not wreak havoc.
I believe that the Torah is often morally, deeply, and deliberately flawed, and that furthermore, God Himself intentionally made it flawed. It is the latter issue that I will discuss in this essay.
“Blot out the memory of Amalek” may quite well mean that we are obligated to uproot from within ourselves the ways in which our ancestors dealt with the ancestors of Amalek.
The foremost point of departure in any halachic decision must be that all people are created in the image of God and that ALL human life is holy.
What was Moshe's secret that enabled him to continue to fight for his goals, in spite of everything, and succeed where so many others would have failed? The answer is simple: he knew how to lose.
Yitro's suggested solution to Moshe's workload is basically a simple one and does not require any extensive judicial knowledge. So why did Moshe, who possessed great wisdom, not think of this himself?
The purpose of genuine religious life is to protest against delusion and to teach us to reframe our spiritual spectacles. It is not that religion shows us something new. It shows us what we have seen all our lives but have never noticed.
The duty of halachic authorities is to solve difficult problems and make Jewish life as easy as possible by advocating lenient rulings. But never at the expense of making life boring. It is their duty to make life enjoyable and uplifting. But that can only come about by making people to live in amazement and wonder.
The Talmud teaches only when making a sincere effort to reduce the pain of fellow human beings can one be called a great person! Those who do follow this approach are unsuited to be religious leaders
Nothing is more dangerous for a person than to remain spiritually stale, and for this reason we are required to count the 49 days of the Omer. To prepare ourselves for the upcoming celebration of Shavuot and the giving of the Torah, we are asked to climb a ladder of 49 spiritual steps, each day adding another dimension to our souls.