The Search for God: The Greatness and the Present Setback of Halachic Living
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.
Scandalous Halachic Decisions: Ethiopians and Wine
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
The Curse of Religious Coercion: Parashat Chukat
Moshe's punishment came, counter-intuitively, to prove coercion comes at a cost
Parashat Korach: The Curse of Camouflaged Jealousy, And the Blessing of Enjoying the Achievements...
What Korach doesn’t realize is that he’s been manipulated by his friends while convincing himself otherwise. He allowed himself to be used by his friends while thinking that he was using them.
Parashat Shelach: Speaking Lashon Hara about the World
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.
Parashat Behaalotecha: Theocracy, Democracy, and Halacha
Ran, this great talmudist and thinker launched a theory in which he argued that Judaism does not subscribe to the idea of a full-fledged theocracy, but in fact favors a halachic democracy
Why a Second Day Yom Tov? The Incomparable Greatness of the Land of Israel
As anyone can testify, celebrating the Jewish festivals in Israel is an act of supreme delight. The festivals are invested with a very special spirit that cannot be experienced anywhere else. No other land can compete with the Land of Israel!
To Have or to Be…that is the Question: Parshat Bechukotai
To learn the secret to a happy life, please read Rabbi Cardozo on parshat Bechukotai.
Sefirat HaOmer: The Secret to Human and Rabbinical Autonomy
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.
Seventy Years of an Unyielding 3,330-Year Marriage
Like the prophets of old, our religious leaders must generate a spiritual revolution, triggering an ethical-religious uproar that shakes the very foundations of the state. Israelis are waiting for such a move, and there is little doubt that their response will be overwhelming. Only then will the Jewish people fully re-engage with its land.
Yom HaShoa – Jewish Life or Just Israeli Life? Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai and...
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.
Collapsed Halacha and Moshe’s Mask
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.
Megillat Esther and the Nervous-Syndrome Chess Game
Amalek: A Warning to the Chief Rabbinate
“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.
Finding One’s Neshomeh: Franz Rosenzweig and the Berliner Shtiebel
We suggest all Jews and Israelis enter a small synagogue filled with dedicated and passionate worshippers, and then to release all external and artificial components from their souls; to penetrate the surroundings in which they find themselves, and then to let go. Th
The Challenge of Yitro: Would You Convert?
Yitro confronts us for the first time with a new phenomenon: to be a Jew by choice. By doing so, he presents all Jews with a major challenge: how to become a Jew by choice even when one has been born into the fold.
Parshat BeShalach: Jewish Self Delusion
Though rooted back in our servitude in Egypt, to this day, similar attitudes of Jewish self-deception often create the foundations of Jewish self-rejection and self-hate, which become the root of animosity toward anyone who does not join this self-imposed denial of the Jewish cause.
Circumcision: Why Risk Your Child’s Well-Being? A Call to All Israelis
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
Moses – The Successful Failure
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.
Jesus, A Warning to Our Rabbis
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?
Be Fearful of Religion: Parashat Veyetze
Yaakov introduces a great foundation of Halacha: To give a religious moment an ongoing effect it must be translated into the tangible, the mundane. He picks up a rock.
On Teaching and Being Controversial
While it is common practice to emphasize chumrot and to encourage a strict observance of Shabbat and kashrut, we rarely see a parallel intensity when dealing with matters of human relationships.
There is No Greater Failure than Not Trying
Rabbi Cardozo's Mission Statement on education and the pursuit of Judaism
Simchat Torah: The Unyielding Sefer Torah
Looking at and taking notice of a Sefer Torah is therefore of great value. Here is an item that has not changed an iota. Its physical nature attests to its stability. It is the only thing in the world that would not give in to innovation.
Yom Kippur: Ultimate Love and the Danger of Religious Exhaustion
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
Parashat Re’eh: Traveling to Home Base and Eternal Life
While there is no proof of life after death, everything seems to allude to it. Our existence in this world resembles a station at which we arrive when we are born and from which we leave when we die, returning to “home base.”
Judaism and the Israeli Classroom: Handicapping our Students
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.
Thoughts to Ponder: The Kotel – Have We Gone Mad?
The Wall is not a synagogue. It never was a synagogue and should never become one. It is a place where we Jews can meet, pray and share what we have in common instead of focusing on what divides us; where we can smile at each other even when we vehemently disagree.
A Modern Day Inquisition: Rabbi Joseph Dweck
Those rabbis attacking Rabbi Dweck may be great Talmudic scholars, but instead of using their exceptional knowledge to make Orthodox Judaism more and more vibrant, they drown in it and become stuck in the quicksand of intransigence, which they themselves have created.
Speaking Lashon Hara about the World
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.