Truth, "Narratives," Propaganda, Falsehood

It seems to have become "politically correct" to speak of narratives, rather than to focus on historical truth. This tendency is blatantly evident in some discussions about Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. We are told that each group has its own narrative, implying that each group clings to its own version of truth and should be respected for its views. This approach--seemingly objective and non-judgmental--actually leads to the distortion of facts and undermining of historic truth. 

Coming Home: A Sephardic Way Forward

I hope in this essay I have been able to transmit a vision about the transformative role of community, a community in time, where we find meaning through entering into relationship grounded in history as a way to come home. May we remember before Whom we stand, before the Holy One, before each other in generations past, present and future, and before the unique vision of a community in time that is Sephardic Judaism.

Many Nations Under God: Judaism and Other Religions

Does Judaism have a theology of other religions? Emphatically, yes. Judaism has a wide range of texts that offer thoughts on other religions. In my book, Many Nations under God: Judaism and other Religions, I present the broad range of traditional sources bearing on this question of the theological relationship between Judaism and other religions. How does one theologically account for the differences between religions? How do we balance our multifaith world with the Jewish texts? These questions are important for both self-definition and social action.


What is the Mitzvah?

Judaism is much about do-ing. But it is about much more than do-ing. It is do-ing plus. It is do-ing with care, it is do-ing with kindness, it is do-ing in a transcending manner; in a word - do-ing with heart and soul.



Conversion to Judaism: Halakha, Hashkafa, and Historic Challenge

The current policies of the Orthodox rabbinic/beth din establishment are causing anguish to thousands of would-be converts and their families; are turning would-be converts away from Orthodoxy; are de-legitimizing Orthodox rabbis and converts who do not subscribe to the "establishment" positions; are causing thousands of halakhic converts to fear that their and their children's halakhic status will be undermined.

When Teaching Right Behavior Is Not Enough: A Mussar-Approach to Creating Mensches

It is the persistence of this gap between ideals and actual behavior that has fueled religio-moral research into human behavior for millennia. How can it be that an otherwise observant person and pillar of his/her Orthodox community has been embezzling funds, breaking federal lobbying laws, or committing sexual improprieties, to name a few of the real-life examples of the gap we’ve seen over the past several decades?