I would like to maintain that truth matters; that Torah as I understand it teaches truth; that traditionally observant Judaism is the only form of Judaism that has a chance of long-term survival. But I also want to maintain that other forms of Judaism are Jewishly genuine and must be treated with respect, not just tolerated.
Rabbanit Shira Marili Mirvis made history as the first-ever Israeli woman appointed to be the sole rabbinic leader of an Orthodox synagogue, the Shirat Hatamar congregation in Efrat. Rabbi Daniel Bouskila interviewed her about her fascinating journey to this groundbreaking milestone.
Megillat Ruth is characterized by deliberate ambiguity. Not only are multiple readings possible; these ambiguities are precisely the vehicles through which the short narrative captures so many subtleties in so short a space.
The current policies of the Orthodox rabbinic/beth din establishment are causing anguish to thousands of would-be converts and their families; are turning would-be converts away from Orthodoxy; are de-legitimizing Orthodox rabbis and converts who do not subscribe to the "establishment" positions; are causing thousands of halakhic converts to fear that their and their children's halakhic status will be undermined.
The Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals opened in the autumn of 2007. As we approach our 14th anniversary, we thank you for your continued loyalty and support. To mark this anniversary, we plan to include a Scroll of Honor in the autumn issue of our journal, Conversations.
1. Women: Tradition, and Thoughts for the Future
2. Intermarriage and Conversion
3. Universalism vs. Particularism: Sephardism and/or Sephardic Ethnicity
Rabbi Alan Yuter describes the halakhic approach of his late teacher, Hakham Yosef Faur. Hakham Faur was a controversial figure who was both highly traditional and highly independent as a religious thinker.
The religious establishment is obligated to address cases of intermarriage, children of intermarriages, and people of Jewish ancestry. The key to Jewish unity is for Batei Din to recognize the rulings of others who follow different halakhic opinions, even when they vigorously disagree with their positions.
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.
R. Reines did not see Zionism as devoid of religious value. To the contrary, it was a movement of teshuvah, of return. R. Reines the realist knew that Mizrachi must remain a political arm of the Zionist movement. Nonetheless, he still believed that at its core, Zionism was a spiritual awakening.