When we think of our religious outlook as capturing truth, we gesture toward something very large, something toward which we can only gesture: toward how deep the religious vision goes, how it underscores, alerts us, sensitizes us, to features of reality that are as significant as they are elusive; how it can play a key role in constructing a life characterized by genuineness, yashrut.
The Deferred Action to Childhood Arrivals program gave about 800,000 young people — individuals who had arrived in the U.S. ten or more years ago at age 16 or younger — a chance to legally study or work here. The President and Congress are in the midst of discussions to legislatively address the status of Daca recipients. Many of these "dreamers" have lived most of their lives in the US and are constructive members of our society.
In her landmark book, The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan asserted that “American women no longer know who they are. They are sorely in need of a new image to help them find their identity.” Originally published in 1963, her book became a rallying cry for the feminist movement. Friedan lamented the fact that women were expected (and expected themselves) to model themselves after the stereotypical image of mother and home-maker; that their self-image was vastly influenced by images of women in glossy magazines and the movies.
It is incumbent upon the Modern Orthodox community to consider whether or how it can become a postmodern Orthodox community. Failure to do so will result in divergence from both current mada (academic thinking) and amkha (the expressed needs of so many individuals).
In his search for pshat and the most reasonable explanation the author presents Tanakh unvarnished, and in so doing challenges the reader to think deeply, appreciate nuance, and continue to seek the “keys to encountering God in his Palace”.
Rabbi Emanual Rackman was a self-defined Orthodox Jew whose traditional Judaism was informed by and was synthesized with his chosen secular discipline, Political Science. He took God’s will and human dignity seriously, even when the two seem to conflict.
We continue to reach thousands of people annually through our National Scholar program, combining classes, teacher trainings, and publications to promote the core values of our Institute.
There are several upcoming classes and programs in January and February:
Rabbi Dr. Israel Drazin reviews Dr. Chaim Waxman's new book, "Social Change and Halakhic Evolution in American Orthodoxy."
Victor Hugo observed that “narrow horizons beget stunted ideas.” Classic Judaism has included an idealistic universalistic world-view. Judaism’s horizons have been great; and it has begotten great ideas. The challenge to modern Jews is to remain faithful to their distinctive mitzvot while maintaining a universalistic ethical idealism.
The time has come to stop looking over our shoulders seeking authenticity from the right. We ought to recognize that there are many, many who are proudly Orthodox, but open—open to honest discussion, honest debate, honest struggle with issues of heightened ethical and moral sensibilities. We should not be looking toward others for approval, but toward ourselves and, of course, toward God, Torah, and halakha itself.