The Curse of Religious Coercion: Parashat Chukat

Moshe's punishment came, counter-intuitively, to prove coercion comes at a cost

Pesach: God’s Sporadic Presence and Overwhelming Absence in Human History

It is perhaps this fact that makes Pesach so relevant for our own times: The realization that even at the time of the greatest of miracles, many years passed without God revealing Himself openly.

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.

The Chief Rabbinate and Its Disgrace: Who Is an Exceptionally Great Sage?

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

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.

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.

Calling for Religious Unity Only Leads to Division

Nobody doubts that unity of the Jewish people is of crucial importance. Still, we have to ask ourselves if in all cases unity is really THE highest value to strive for.

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.

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.

The Purpose of Sefer Bereishit

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.”

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

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.

Kriyat Yam Suf: Jumping Into Deep Waters

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,

The Kotel: Have We Gone Mad? A Call to All Denominations and...

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.

Kohanim: The Challenge of Educational Dissent

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Simchat Torah: The Rush and the Stagnation

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

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

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.

Rabbi Soloveitchik and his Paradoxical Influence: An Answer to a Friend

Rabbi Cardozo responds to a letter concerning his article on Rav Soloveitchik (zt"l)

What is There in a Sound That Words Cannot Express — and Why Do...

What is there in the sound of the shofar that words can't express? The blowing of the shofar proves we can surpass ourselves. By our own voice we cannot produce this penetrating terrifying resonance

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