Articles

A Sephardic Vision for Arab-Israeli Peace

The United Nations passed a "partition plan" on November 29, 1947 to create separate Jewish and Arab states. The Jews accepted the plan, the Arabs rejected it. Following this date, Jews living in Arab countries were subject to persecutions and expropriation of property; over 800,000 Jews in those lands were compelled to leave, many of them settling in the land of Israel. The Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel at that time was Benzion Uziel, who was a voice for peace and mutual understanding.

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The Discourse of Halakhic Inclusiveness

We must, however, ask ourselves how our halakhic system treats people who do not believe, and are not expected to believe, that this system applies to them. To this, our answer is that such people are not to be held liable or excluded as a result of their non-compliance with this system. Omer mutar accurately describes today’s reality. It is perfectly descriptive and non-judgmental, and should be a major part of our inclusive discourse.

Remembering Rabbi Dr. Sabato Morais

Rabbi Dr. Sabato Morais (April 13, 1823-November 11, 1897) was described by a New York Yiddish newspaper as “without doubt…the greatest of all Orthodox rabbis in the United States.” This encomium was written several years after the death of Morais, when a full picture of his life and accomplishments could be written with historical perspective. Today he is hardly remembered...but he should be!