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.
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.
Our Institute fosters an intellectually vibrant, compassionate and inclusive Orthodox Judaism. Your generous support of our "End of Year Campaign" is sincerely appreciated. Each contribution--large or small--is a vote for the ideas and ideals of our Institute. Thank you for your partnership in the Institute's work.
Rabbi Morais understood that the bedrock of social justice is the brotherhood of mankind, and that this recognition carries with it the positive duty to make room actively for our fellow human beings. It is a message that has lost none of its freshness, and it speaks as much to our generation as to his.
We are off to an extremely productive year of learning and programming at the Institute.
My path to Orthodoxy was unorthodox, and that has made all the difference, I think, in what I hope for and expect as part of Orthodox Jewry...Reflections from Naomi Ragen
Should Jewish law lose its ethical moorings, it will devolve into just another set of laws holding no more attraction than any other legal system. Only when halakhah manifests a deep passion for justice and human sensitivity will it secure the allegiance of Jews today. Moral integrity is, therefore, an existential imperative for contemporary halakhah.
Our Campus Fellows continue to do terrific work on their college campuses. Each runs two programs per semester sponsored by our Institute, with the goal of promoting our core values on campus and recruiting new members to our University Network. Please read about our latest campus programs!
The religious establishment is obligated to address cases of intermarriage, children of intermarriages, and people of Jewish ancestry. The key to Jewish unity is for Batei Din to recognize the rulings of others who follow different halakhic opinions, even when they vigorously disagree with their positions.
As a young boy growing up in Queens, NY, I always knew that my family’s traditions were slightly different from those of my classmates. Halakhot and practices taught in school, generally speaking, reflected what I experienced at home, but very often my customs were different. You see, my father was born in Afghanistan and my mother in Morocco, and as such, I was raised following Sephardic/Middle Eastern customs.