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.

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.

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 Holiness of Words

The more man did not see himself as created in the image of God, the more he devaluated himself and the more his use of language deteriorated as well. Thus, over many years, language has declined, one stage after another, suffering the loss of its grandeur

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.

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,

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

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.

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

Parashat Yitro: Racism and the Wisdom of a Gentile

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?

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

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

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 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

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

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.

Change of Faith?

Originally, Judaism was highly unorthodox. While it always believed in God and Torah, it never offered any specifics of what God meant or what Torah consisted of.

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)

Chanukah and Divine Emanations

The Maccabees knew logically there was no chance of their revolt succeeding, but God created a notion of revolt in the minds of the Maccabees and correctly they followed this heavenly directive.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

The Art of Imagination

Yeshivoth are producing students with a prodigious amount of Jewish knowledge, but are they serving the students and are the Yeshivoth producing real Torah scholars or just walking encyclopedias?

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.

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.

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.”

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