Articles

Sephardic Halakha, History, and the Israeli-Arab Conflict

Why is there such a stark contrast between the way these Sephardic and Ashkenazic chief rabbis speak about Israeli-Arabs and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? I believe that Sephardic piskei halakha should not be viewed in a vacuum: rather, they are reflective of a Sephardic approach to halakha throughout history, and are also influenced by the treatment and role of Sephardim in Israel.

Our Journey in the Haggadah

Our Haggadah—with its core over 1,000 years old—takes us on a remarkable journey that combines narrative and observance into an intellectual and experiential event for people of all ages and backgrounds. In this manner, we travel alongside our ancestors from freedom to slavery to redemption.

Reflections on Jewish Spirituality

By opening with the story of creation, the Torah teaches that one must have a living relationship with the natural world in order to enter and maintain a living relationship with God. Jewish spirituality flowers and deepens through this relationship and is organically linked to the natural rhythms of the universe. To a great extent, Jewish religious traditions serve to bring us into a sensitive relationship with the natural world.

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik: Judaism and Modernity

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik is Orthodoxy's most eloquent response to the challenges of modernity and to the critics of Modern Orthodoxy. A Torah giant of the highest caliber, the Rav was also a world-class philosopher. In his studies in Lithuania, he attained the stature of a rabbinic luminary. At the University of Berlin, he achieved the erudition of a philosophical prodigy.

Rembrandt, the Holocaust and the Quest for Authenticity

As we are in the season of Yom Hashoa, I think of Rembrandt’s superb Large Self-Portrait. It cast a spell on me when I first saw it. But on Yom Hashoa it invites thoughts that penetrate deeper into my very being. When trying to do the impossible—imagining what happened to members of my family and to millions of other Jews who perished in the Holocaust—Rembrandt’s self portrait awakens me from my slumber.