It isn’t easy to pray from the heart every day. It isn’t easy to teach about it either. As for a great many things, the hardest thing is often to decide how to start. What is the very best “trigger” to use at the outset, to engage other people in meaningful study?
Dr. Richard Grazi wrote this article in 2016. Although he begins with a specific discussion of Zika, he goes on to describe the halakhic and moral issues relating to abortion. Given the current controversies on this topic, we are reprinting Dr. Grazi's article in order to provide a broader religious Jewish framework for discussing this issue.
Prayer is hard! Even for those of us who attend synagogue services regularly, there are a number of fundamental impediments to prayer.
Notwithstanding our recent history of esteemed leaders and thinkers, the weaknesses in our Orthodox world cannot be ignored if they are to be mended. A variety of factors have resulted in a collapse of any meaningful application of the word "leadership" to Modern Orthodoxy. This collapse is mostly self-induced.
Our Institute sponsors a University Network that reaches hundreds of students worldwide. We encourage students to share their research and insights. This article by Alex Harris is one of the recent submissions by University Network members.
Throughout history, the Menorah has been a source of spiritual, intellectual and emotional strength for the Jewish People. In our times, with the establishment of the State of Israel, the Menorah reminds us of the power of faith, persistence, and courage. Its light should never be taken for granted.
Our Institute encourages members of our University Network to share their research. We are posting this article by Yehuda Goldfeder, that also appears in issue 39 of our journal Conversations.
Religious life entails participating in a community, observing shared rituals, following traditional patterns. It can happen that one’s individuality may seem compromised or lost in the process. The priestly blessing reminds us of the need to be part of the community…but to retain our own distinctive individuality.
Ever since the dawn of history, material possessions and wealth have been seen as posing basic ethical and spiritual problems. All religions, therefore, have had to offer some perspective regarding the scope and legitimacy of economic activity. Judaism is no exception in this respect, though it differs radically from all other religions in the answers it provides to the relevant questions.
On Shavuoth, as we celebrate the anniversary of the Revelation at Mount Sinai, we should direct our thoughts to that special moment in the history of Israel and to the ongoing lessons it provides to us in our own lives.