Afterthoughts on Yom Ha’atzmaut: The Unchallenged Holiness of the Jew

If the Jewish inhabitants of Israel do not behave properly or hide behind the claim they are observant or moral while in fact they disobey the ethical dictates of God, the Book of Amos makes it clear that the State of Israel will not endure.

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

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?

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.

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.

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

There is No Greater Failure than Not Trying

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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 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.

The Abuse of Halacha: Keeping Halacha Under Control

The book of Bereishit keeps Halacha under control. It restricts and regulates it, and ensures that it will not wreak havoc.

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.

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

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

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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