Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks was the Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth.This excerpt is from his book, To Heal the World, and is reprinted by permission of Schocken Books, a division of Random House. This excerpt appeared in issue 2 of Conversations, the journal of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals. Rabbi Sacks passed away in November 2020.
Religion produces the very best type of people: saintly, humble, compassionate, and genuinely pious. But we cannot help but notice that religion also produces—or at least harbors—the very worst type of people: terrorists, bigoted zealots, and self-righteous egotists. So religion has two faces: one that is righteous and compassionate; and one that is self-righteous and hate-filled.
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo writes of his spiritual journey. A child of a mixed marriage, raised with a fine general education, he found himself in a spiritual quest to connect with Judaism and its teachings. In the process, he became one of the most articulate voices in our community...a scholar, author, teacher and friend.
On August 29-30, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah will be holding its 19th annual Study Days in Bible and Jewish Thought over Zoom. Our National Scholar, Rabbi Hayyim Angel, will present a class on Sunday evening August 29, from 8:00-9:00pm. The event is co-sponsored by The Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals.
For registration and the full schedule, please see this link:
The Bible has a singular vision for Jews and humanity. Beginning with the unprecedented declaration in the first chapter of Genesis that all people are created in God’s Image (Genesis 1:26–27), the Torah and prophets present a program for Israel and humanity that can bring about a redeemed, harmonious, religious-ethical world.
It is through the sense of Jewish identity, forged by an observant lifestyle, that one is more likely to feel that distinct sense of peoplehood and that non-severable bond to the destiny of the Jewish people and to the state of Israel. It is only then that one can find the courage to speak the words that must be spoken, the truth about our people's proud history and Israel's proud struggle to survive.
With the growing success and utilization of Assisted Reproductive Technologies, it is not at all surprising that halakhic discussions abound concerning their appropriateness, how and when they should be carried out and under what circumstances couples should avail themselves of ART.
This essay examines the halakhic import of praying in the synagogue. As many synagogues are now able to return to the normal activity and hustle and bustle of our synagogue life, it is important to re-confirm the significance of synagogues for our religious lives.
Dr. Elliot Turiel writes of his experiences as a child in the Island of Rhodes during World War II. When the Jews of Rhodes were deported to Auschwitz in July 1944, the Turiel family was saved by the Turkish Consul in Rhodes, since Elliot's mother held a Turkish passport.
Judaism is much about do-ing. But it is about much more than do-ing. It is do-ing plus. It is do-ing with care, it is do-ing with kindness, it is do-ing in a transcending manner; in a word - do-ing with heart and soul.