In connection with International Women's Day, we are re-posting this article by Pamela Ehrenkranz on the role of women within the Orthodox Jewish community.
The Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals opened in the autumn of 2007. As we approach our 14th anniversary, we thank you for your continued loyalty and support. To mark this anniversary, we plan to include a Scroll of Honor in the autumn issue of our journal, Conversations.
The Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that the State of Israel must recognize conversions performed by Conservative and Reform rabbis in Israel, for purposes of Israeli Jewish citizenship. This decision has raised a firestorm of controversy, with much of the Orthodox religious and political leadership condemning it. Rabbis Weiss and Angel offer a positive Orthodox response. This article appeared in the March 4, 2021 Jerusalem Post.
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.
It is well known that all mitzvoth fall into two major categories: those between humans are God-bein adam laMakom, and those between humans and their fellows-bein adam leHaveiro. The question we wish to discuss here is which of these two categories is, as it were, more weighty. Formulated differently: If there were to be a clash between two different mitzvoth from these two categories, which one would prevail?
Maimonides’ extensive writings are both important and relevant for the rapidly growing field of knowledge: namely, positive psychology. Why? Many people are seeking to gain a greater sense of spirituality in their lives. This article highlights Maimonides’ teachings related to this important new specialty, what its originators have called “the study of character strengths and virtues.”
Is riding a bike on Shabbat halakhically permitted/appropriate? While a general consensus opposes bike riding on Shabbat, this article offers a more lenient view. This article is not a "pesak" but a discussion of the topic. For specific halakhic guidance, please consult your own Orthodox rabbi.
Rabbi Moshe Shamah is founder of the Sephardic Institute in Brooklyn, which he actively heads. Rabbi Shamah published a commentary on the Torah: Recalling the Covenant: A Contemporary Commentary on the Five Books of the Torah (Ktav, 2011). This is a lightly edited and abridged version of Rabbi Shamah’s two-part essay, “On Interpreting Midrash,” in his Commentary, pp. 336–358. It appears in Issue 15 of Conversations, the journal of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals.
Sharing many of our Institute's core values, the Montefiore Endowment in London recently has published a small volume which compiles many teachings of (primarily) Sephardic rabbis which promote a traditional Jewish vision characterized by love and moderation, rather than extremism and exclusivity.