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.

There is No Greater Failure than Not Trying

Rabbi Cardozo's Mission Statement on education and the pursuit of Judaism

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.

Parshat Vayikra: The Trouble with Sacrifices

Perhaps the institution of sacrifice is grounded in deep symbolism, the meaning and urgency of which escapes our modern mentality.

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,

Faith is the Joy of Religious Doubt and Uncertainty-Part II

Faith means that we worship and praise God before we affirm His existence; we respond before we question

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)

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

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.

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.

Boredom and the Immature Elderly

In the old days, it was a privilege to be mature. It was something people strived for. It meant maturity, well-considered opinions, and experience and knowledge of how to deal with the problems of life. This is no longer the case

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.

The Curse of Religious Coercion: Parashat Chukat

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

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.

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?

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.

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

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.

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.

The Remarkable Paradox of Sukkot

The Sukkah represents our life span on earth. For what is a Sukkah but a frail structure which we need to dwell in for 7 days and these 7 days represent man’s average life span of about seventy years

The Curse of Religious Boredom

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.

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

Purim and the Challenge of the Holocaust

Jews have been an ever-dying people that never died, experiencing a continuous resurrection, like the dry bones Yechezkel saw in the valley. Purim, like the Jewish nation, will never cease.

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.

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 Deliberately Flawed Divine Torah: The Theology of the Halachic Loophole

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.

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.

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

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