At 3 a.m., the train to Washington D.C. stopped in Stamford. I boarded with many congregants. I marched in the front row with Martin Luther King, Jr., and then watched him as he delivered his “I have a Dream” speech. It was an important moment not only in Black and U.S. history, but also in Jewish history. The next year, when Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Jews were beneficiaries of newfound rights, along with African Americans.
Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch is a classic example of the knowledge-lishmah school of thought. Not only does he extol the spiritual value of secular studies, he explicitly derides those who see knowledge as a tool to advance one's career.
This coming Sunday, February 10, please join us for a fabulous symposium on how to promote greater ethical behavior through Torah education. At Lincoln Square Synagogue in Manhattan (68th and Amsterdam Avenue), from 10:00am-12:30pm. For details click here
Our fall semester highlighted a communal symposium on October 21 on Conversion to Judaism, and you can watch the presentations at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GG17aaahdPQ. As of this writing, we have had nearly 1000 views! Please watch the video and send the link to your friends so that we can reach an ever-growing audience. Please join us at our upcoming classes and programs.
If we wish to understand the development of middot and derekh eretz, we must understand that there is no one method, factor, or place (such as school, home, synagogue and so forth) that, can by itself, assure the development of middot and derekh eretz in our children. The job is bigger than that. We must become aware of all relevant factors and how they interact—and keep them in mind when we educate our children.
Shemot 6:26. That is Aaron and Moses, to whom the Lord said, "Take the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt with their legions."
Shemot 6:27. They are the ones who spoke to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, to let the children of Israel out of Egypt; they are Moses and Aaron.
In Parashat Va’eira, Hashem refers to Moshe and Aharon in two consecutive verses. In verse 26, He puts Aharon's name first and in verse 27, Moshe’s . Why is that?
How is wonder supposed to help us overcome the decisive religious and theological questions that we often grapple with? For Rabbi A. J. Heschel, the sense of wonder is so overwhelming that it conquers our doubts and questions about evil and meaning in a world that often seems absurd. Significantly, he is not on a quest to ultimate solutions, but rather “to find ourselves as part of a context of meaning.”
How can an Orthodox Jew in today's world maintain faith in Torah in the face of the apparent challenges of natural science to that faith? Dr. Menachem Kellner examines Maimonides' approach to the issue and then proposes his own approach, one which relies upon reverting to what he understands as classic Jewish definitions of faith.
With regard to central values and religious orientations found in the writings of Sephardic rabbis of recent centuries: their import extends beyond Sephardim by birth, to all Jews attempting to chart a course for a personal and communal life in which authentic Judaism and humanity go hand in hand.
Rabbi Halevi was fairly conservative within classical sources, and deferential to his predecessors. At the same time, he emphasized the inherent flexibility in halakhah, since there are many options within the boundaries of halakhic discourse. If one shuts down legitimate options, one harms the Jewish people and observance.