Articles

Pinchas's Peace Prize: Thoughts for Parashat Pinchas

Pinchas's Peace Prize

Devar Torah by Max Nussbaum

In the 3rd verse of this week's Parasha, Parashat Pinchas, Hashem grants Pinchas with the peace prize. We know from the end of Parashat Balak that Pinchas killed Zimri and Kozbi thus ending the plague on the Israelite People. The result of Pinchas’s action is great; but why should he deserve a peace prize for killing two people? Furthermore, why did this end the plague?

Surprised by Anti-Semitism? Yes and No.

Although current manifestations of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are ugly and painful, we must take the long view of things. This isn’t the first period of Jewish history where Jews faced viciousness and violence. But long experience has taught us to stay strong, stay confident, stay positive. The challenge to our generation is to stand tall as Jews, to stand strong on behalf of Israel.

The Yeshiva and the Academy

This article by Rabbi Hayyim Angel explores the approaches of the yeshiva and the academy to Tanakh study. We will define the yeshiva broadly to include any traditional religious Jewish setting, be it the synagogue, study hall, adult education class, seminary, or personal study. In contrast, the academy is any ostensibly neutral scholarly setting, primarily universities and colleges, which officially is not committed to a particular set of religious beliefs.

Rabbi Hayyim Hirschensohn - The Forgotten Sage Who Was Rediscovered

Rabbi Hayyim Hirschensohn (1856-1935), who lived and worked in Jerusalem and in the United States at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, was born in Tzfat. His thought has intrigued many Jews who strive to combine Judaism and modernity, religion and life, thereby seeking to resolve the conflict between their firm commitment to Halakha and their growing openness to the modern world.

Thoughts on the Teachings of Martin Buber

People are greatly in need of a liberating religious message. We yearn for relationship with our fellow human beings; we reach out for a spiritual direction to the Eternal Thou. It is not easy to be a strong, whole and self-confident I; it is not easy to relate to others as genuine Thous; it is a challenge to reach out to the Eternal Thou. Yet, without these proper relationships, neither we nor our society can flourish properly.

Religious Belief, American Democracy, and our Inescapable Culture: Some Preliminary Observations

How ought religion, including Modern Jewish Orthodoxy, interact with America’s political democracy? And can it survive our current culture? Not surprisingly, these simple questions simultaneously point in many directions. Although answers are complex, I do think that a few meaningful generalizations are possible.