Melodies from Old Women

These are the kind of people whose melodies sound old, but are really as new as the morning sun. May our people be blessed to find their special melodies and may we never become so afraid of each other that we fail to sing and share our special songs.

On Liberty--and Halakha

God offers each new generation of the Jewish people the opportunity to renew the covenant. Religious Jews today believe in the God of Israel and the truth of God’s Torah. Are we to believe any less in the eternal spiritual capacity of Am Yisrael to accept, with integrity, freedom and conviction, partnership with the Divine?

Prophetic Holiness and Ethics

Devarim Rabba places Isaiah alongside Moses as the greatest of the prophets (2:4). Isaiah has a central standing among the prophets of Israel and it is noteworthy that the most common epithet for God that Isaiah uses is K’dosh Yisrael “The Holy One of Israel” (Is 1:4). According to Isaiah and most of the other classical prophets, holiness is articulated in terms of social justice and political ethics.

How we Judge the Judges

How does the importance of personal character, the ethical quality of the individual, compare as between a secular judge - say a United States federal judge or a state court judge - and a religious authority, specifically a rabbinic leader or decisor?

Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai and Rabbi Akiva: Two First-Century Models for Thinking about Zionism in the Twenty-First Century

The first and the twentieth centuries were tumultuous times for Jews: the destruction of the Temple and the beginnings of exile on the one hand; the Holocaust and the foundation of the State of Israel on the other. The major common denominator is the rupture of a long status quo and the need to adapt to new circumstances.

Maimonides: Pioneer of Positive Psychology

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.”