Articles

The Yeshiva in Jewish Tradition

The institution of yeshiva, or metivta, is a national Jewish treasure in which the soul of the nation resides, a source of living waters for the preservation of the Jewish nation in the form and character unique to it alone. It behooves us therefore to delve into the inner essence of the yeshiva (or metivta[1]) in order to understand its nature and composition, thus enabling us to promote its further development and perpetuation in that unique form that has no analogue among any other nation…..

When Jews Undermine the Jewish State and the Jewish People

Some years ago, I read about a German Jew who established a "Jewish Nazi Society" during the 1930s. While Jews throughout Germany (and Europe in general) were facing horrible anti-Jewish persecutions, this Jewish man internalized the vicious anti-Semitic propaganda to such an extent that he also became a Jew-hater. Perhaps he thought that by identifying as a Nazi, he would be spared personally from the anti-Jewish persecutions. He wanted to be considered as "a good Jew" in the eyes of the Nazis, rather than be accounted among the "bad" Jews whom the Nazis were tormenting.

Lessons from a Goses

There is a way to respect the sanctity of life of a goses, while withholding or removing impediments to a peaceful death. But this requires physicians with wisdom, expert clinical judgment, skills of communication, and sensitivity to the value of life and the concerns of families. It also requires sensitive guidance from spiritual leaders, who sometimes view death as an enemy, rather than inevitable.

Learning Reverence from Little House on the Prairie and My Christian Colleagues

I would challenge us to ask ourselves: Is a synagogue a social club or a spiritual home? Is Jewish education for teaching content and behavior—now bend here, now say this—or for imbuing children with the sense that we go in the presence of the Almighty, that He has gifted us the rule book to best play this game of life and tasked us with a life's mission?

Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Vulnerability

 In his magnum opus, Ha’amek Davar, Rabbi
Naftali Tzvi Berlin, (also called 
Netziv, 1817-93), the last leader of the illustrious  yeshiva of Volozhin, Russia, asks why the
first book of the Torah, Bereshith  is
also called: Sefer Hayashar, “the book of those who are upright”. In his own
unusual way, Netziv responds that this is due to the fact that the three
patriarchs, Avraham, Yitzhak and Yaacov, the main figures in this book, were
men of uncompromising straightforwardness, justice and mercy.