Notwithstanding our recent history of esteemed leaders and thinkers, the weaknesses in our Orthodox world cannot be ignored if they are to be mended. A variety of factors have resulted in a collapse of any meaningful application of the word "leadership" to Modern Orthodoxy. This collapse is mostly self-induced.
Our Institute sponsors a University Network that reaches hundreds of students worldwide. We encourage students to share their research and insights. This article by Alex Harris is one of the recent submissions by University Network members.
Throughout history, the Menorah has been a source of spiritual, intellectual and emotional strength for the Jewish People. In our times, with the establishment of the State of Israel, the Menorah reminds us of the power of faith, persistence, and courage. Its light should never be taken for granted.
Our Institute encourages members of our University Network to share their research. We are posting this article by Yehuda Goldfeder, that also appears in issue 39 of our journal Conversations.
Religious life entails participating in a community, observing shared rituals, following traditional patterns. It can happen that one’s individuality may seem compromised or lost in the process. The priestly blessing reminds us of the need to be part of the community…but to retain our own distinctive individuality.
Ever since the dawn of history, material possessions and wealth have been seen as posing basic ethical and spiritual problems. All religions, therefore, have had to offer some perspective regarding the scope and legitimacy of economic activity. Judaism is no exception in this respect, though it differs radically from all other religions in the answers it provides to the relevant questions.
A few spoons of inspired foolery can shape the way we view the world. In terrible times, dare we waste time on humor? Dare we not?
This article, originally published several years ago, sheds light on a tragic era for Iraqi Jewry--the "farhud" of June 1941.
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.
One of the most influential writers of Jewish philosophy, theology, and fiction during the early Victorian period was Grace Aguilar. A traditional Spanish and Portuguese Jew, her vast knowledge of biblical, and even some rabbinical, texts—as well as her highly Romantic prose—brought her works to a wide audience of both Jews and Christians.