A Judaism of Laws or of People

An Orthodox colleague recently created a controversy after writing a blog post explaining why he no longer recites the blessing shelo asani isha - thanking God for not creating him as a woman. Several Orthodox rabbis criticized this position for various reasons with one even questioning the author's right to call himself "Orthodox," ostensibly for deviating from the traditional liturgy through his omission. In the grand scheme of Orthodox Jewish history this rabbi's personal choice is relatively trivial.

Is "Sephardic" a Name Brand?

We're addicted to branding. By we, I mean Americans, but it's probably true of most people, and for good reason. Seeking out name brands may be a simple and effective survival tactic. Pick a good brand (olive oil, car, university) and you feel confident you will live and be well, otherwise, who knows? Conversely, we don't just buy brand names, but sell them. For success in business, or in the arts, college graduates were told at a recent convocation, you must brand yourself, figure out and highlight the one key brandable thing you have to offer, and name it in a way that sparks recognition and interest.

"Recalling the Covenant"--an Important New Torah Commentary

Would you like to study Torah with a Rabbi who has mastery over the text, depth of understanding, and breadth of knowledge? Do you want a teacher who not only is steeped in classic rabbinic interpretation, but who is aware of and sensitive to the literary features of the text, the relationships of Torah narratives with ancient stories of the Near East, insights of modern biblical scholarship?

All of us should want such a Rabbi and Teacher of Torah.

We have such a Rabbi and Teacher of Torah: Rabbi Moshe Shamah.