Articles

The Idealist and the Pragmatist: Rav Benzion Uziel and Rav Ovadia Yosef

Rav Benzion Meir Hai Uziel and Rav Ovadia Yosef were two towering figures of the twentieth-century Sephardic rabbinical world. They seem to share much in common. Yet a closer look at their worldviews marks a sharp distinction in two important areas: 1) the definition of a posek (rabbinic decisor of Jewish law), and 2) the Sephardi-Ashkenazi divide.

WOMEN’S VOICES IN CONTEMPORARY ORTHODOX TANAKH SCHOLARSHIP

Our generation has witnessed a flowering of Orthodox women publishing on diverse facets of religious Tanakh learning, ranging from associative, insight-based derashot, to rigorous analytical peshat scholarship, to parshanut scholarship that emphasizes the contributions of individual commentators. In this essay, Rabbi Hayyim Angel briefly surveys the work of several outstanding scholars.

From Periphery to Core

In this article, originally appearing in issue 10 of our journal Conversations, Dr. Zvi Zohar discusses the rise in extremist positions relating to conversion to Judaism. We are re-posting the article in light of ongoing tragic situations where halakhically valid conversions are being rejected or annulled.

The Greek Jewish Tradition: A Fulbright Scholar's Report

Jews have had a continuous presence in Greece for over 2,300 years, dating back to the time of Alexander the Great. This ancient community, known as Romaniote Jews, has the distinction of the longest, continuous Jewish presence in the European Diaspora. Romaniotes possess a unique set of practices, poetry, songs, and traditions unlike any other Jewish community in the world. Yet this historic and incredibly rich tradition is under threat.

Controversies over the Historicity of Biblical Passages in Traditional Commentary

Tanakh is not a systematic theology, science, or history. We treat nearly all of Tanakh as historical, but God did not reveal prophecies to the prophets in order to teach science or history. God is speaking to us, and it is our religious obligation to hear, understand, and listen to that voice. We take all of the texts seriously, even if some of them may be understood as non-literal.