God offers each new generation of the Jewish people the opportunity to renew the covenant. Religious Jews today believe in the God of Israel and the truth of God’s Torah. Are we to believe any less in the eternal spiritual capacity of Am Yisrael to accept, with integrity, freedom and conviction, partnership with the Divine?
The Torah requires us to seek mishpat tsedek, righteous judgment. This is best attained if we are aware of the factors that can impact on the clarity of our judgment—stress, tiredness, informational cascades…and more. We must strive for a justice…that is just, fair and righteous.
Devarim Rabba places Isaiah alongside Moses as the greatest of the prophets (2:4). Isaiah has a central standing among the prophets of Israel and it is noteworthy that the most common epithet for God that Isaiah uses is K’dosh Yisrael “The Holy One of Israel” (Is 1:4). According to Isaiah and most of the other classical prophets, holiness is articulated in terms of social justice and political ethics.
If we rely entirely on “listening,” we sometimes come to a dead end. If we also incorporate “seeing,” we learn to internalize blessings and curses as personal opportunities and challenges in our relationship with God. How we deal with blessings and curses is an indication of who we really are.
Earlier this summer, Rabbi David Weiss Halivni passed away. He was a foremost Talmudic scholar, a wonderful educator, and a true gentleman. Rabbi Alan Yuter, a student and colleague of Rabbi Halivni, has written an appreciation of the man and his work.
How does the importance of personal character, the ethical quality of the individual, compare as between a secular judge - say a United States federal judge or a state court judge - and a religious authority, specifically a rabbinic leader or decisor?
The first and the twentieth centuries were tumultuous times for Jews: the destruction of the Temple and the beginnings of exile on the one hand; the Holocaust and the foundation of the State of Israel on the other. The major common denominator is the rupture of a long status quo and the need to adapt to new circumstances.
Maimonides’ extensive writings are both important and relevant for the rapidly growing field of knowledge: namely, positive psychology. Why? Many people are seeking to gain a greater sense of spirituality in their lives. This article highlights Maimonides’ teachings related to this important new specialty, what its originators have called “the study of character strengths and virtues.”
The book of Eicha (Lamentations) is Jeremiah's eyewitness response to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and the accompanying tragedies that befell the Jewish People.In this article, Rabbi Hayyim Angel elucidates the meaning of this poignant biblical book.
Within the Orthodox world, reverence toward heroes and the Sages must be balanced with fidelity to the biblical text, commitment to prophetic integrity, and commitment to truth in scholarship. The Torah teaches both particularistic and universalistic values, and it is critical to adopt both in a faithful religious worldview.