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The Educational Imperative

The current religious educational system encourages people to accept the authority of  the major Torah scholars of the generation and to obey them unquestioningly, thereby creating a culture of dependency and submission. We must return to and deepen appreciation of independent thought, personal freedom and individual empowerment. Talmudic tradition and adjudication teach us that no Rabbi, no matter how great, is sacred nor should he be revered as a Lord over us.

Jewish Business Ethics in a Secular Society


Ethics of the Agunah Problem



It can be posited that the basis of Jewish ethics is the belief that God created the world, giving humans the gifts of time and of freedom of choice, while creating humankind in the divine image. Without freedom of choice and a sense of time, humans are but slaves, subjugated to a master who is in control of their time and actions.

Breaking the Silence

On the Sunday before Rosh Hashanah in 2009, an audience of 225 individuals attended a Jewish community-wide Healing Service in Baltimore, Maryland. The Healing Service was convened as a gathering for survivors of domestic, sexual, physical, verbal, and all forms of abuse; family members and friends of survivors; mental health and physical health professionals; clergy; educators; and all who wanted to learn how to “break the silence” that surrounds and permeates abuse and trauma in a community. The Healing Service was designed and sponsored by the Shofar Coalition, a program of CHANA and the ASSOCIATED Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.

Mussar: A Jewish Psycho-Ethical Model for Our Time

Mussar: A Jewish Psycho-Ethical Model for Our Time 

By Mel Gottlieb


God sent the fiery serpents against the people and they bit the people….God said to Moses: “Make yourself a fiery serpent and place it on a pole, and it will be that anyone who was bitten will look at it and live.” Moses made a serpent of copper and placed it on the pole; so that if the serpent bit a man, he would stare at the copper serpent and live. (Bemidbar21:4–10)

Economic Growth and the Moral Society

The premise of economic growth has come under question, in many parts of the world today, from a variety of directions. We are aware, of course, that moral thinking in practically every known culture enjoins us not to place undue emphasis on our material concerns. But today there is more to it than that. With heightened sensitivity to the strains that industrialization often brings, including the possibility of permanent climate change, many people in the higher-income countries now question whether further economic expansion is worth the costs. In the developing world, where the advantages of rising incomes are more evident, some people question whether economic growth, and the policies that promote it, are just vehicles for exploitation by foreigners.

Truth or Consequences



Truth is a core ethical value in Judaism; indeed, it is God's seal. Yet, as most people know from their own experiences, the consequences of remaining loyal to the ideal of truth are not always comfortable and often involve sacrifice and suffering. One such talmudic tale illustrates this well. It is worth bringing it together from its scattered sources to understand not only the importance of truth, but the hierarchy of some of the ethical values that compete with each other.


R. Eliezer ben Hyrcanus(Pirkei d'Rabbi Eliezer1)


The "Chosen People": An Ethical Challenge


The concept of the Chosen People is fraught with difficulties. Historically, it has brought much grief upon the Jewish people. It also has led some Jews to develop chauvinistic attitudes toward non-Jews. Nonetheless, it is a central axiom in the Torah and rabbinic tradition, and we therefore have a responsibility to approach the subject forthrightly. In this essay, we will briefly consider the biblical and rabbinic evidence regarding chosenness.


The Book of Genesis


Interpersonal Mitzvoth and Mitzvoth Between Humans and God

It is well known that all mitzvoth fall into two major categories: those between humans are God-bein adam laMakom, and those between humans and their fellows-bein adam leHaveiro. The question we wish to discuss here is which of these two categories is, as it were, more weighty. Formulated differently: If there were to be a clash between two different mitzvoth from these two categories, which one would prevail?

The Battle for an Egalitarian Israel? The Immanuel Case Chronology


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