Blogs

EXODUS: GOD’S GUIDE ON DEVELOPING RESILIENCE

By Esta Miran, Ed.D.

(Esta Miran, Ed.D. works for Dr. Michael D. Miran, Ph.D., Psychologist PC. She has published extensively in the area of Creativity.)

The story of the Exodus has always boggled my mind. On the one hand, God is promising the Jewish people freedom from slavery. Then God actively manages the journey to freedom by obstructing the effort. God sends Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh asking “Let my people go.” Then God hardens Pharaoh’s heart and Pharaoh refuses to release the Israelites from slavery. This happens again and again. How can we make sense out of Exodus? God explains that he wants to show Pharaoh, the Israelites, and all Peoples His “miraculous signs and wonders.” God wants to “display His Powers.”

What About Me?

“The slave lives in silence, if such a meaningless existence may be called life. He has no message to deliver. In contrast with the slave, the free man bears a message, has a good deal to tell, and is eager to convey his life story to anyone who cares to listen.” (Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, “Redemption, Prayer, Talmud Torah”)

For the past few decades, we have all examined, explored, debated, and tried to adjust the women’s role in Torah observant Judaism to work more productively with contemporary sensibilities and realities. I appreciate the need, the effort, and some of the results. However, as a man I often say to myself, as did the simple attendant to the demanding Shakespearean stage actor in the 1983 film The Dresser, “What about me?”

President Obama framed his endorsement of same-sex “marriage” as an advancement of civil rights and “marriage equality.” After all, why shouldn’t two people who love each other be allowed to marry?

Fyodor Dostoevski once wrote: “If there is no God, then everything is permissible.” Stated another way, if morality is entirely determined by human beings, then human beings can decide what they think is moral or immoral. God is not part of the equation. Thus, if humans decide that same sex “marriage” is moral, then that is their right. God has no say in the matter.

(Jack Goldstein is an active member of the Jewish community in Bogota, Colombia. He manages Lancaster House, Hotel and Conventions, in Bogota.)

Upon arriving to the gates of heaven, Moishe Pippick is received by God, who offers him a succulent meat dish to welcome him. Moishe, neither short nor lazy, and already accustomed to dodge these situations, asks: “Respected God, and who supervised the shechita?” Quite surprised, the Lord says “But if I, your God, am offering it to you! Perhaps you doubt me?” Moishe with little humility replies: “You know what? Better give me a salad.”

(Rabbi Finkelman is a member of the International Rabbinic Fellowship. He earned his rabbinic ordination at Yeshiva University, and has a PhD in Comparative Literature from the City University of New York. He teaches literature at Lawrence Technological University, as well as adult education classes in his local Federation.)

The Jerusalem Post and other media reported that a leader of "Women of the Wall" was arrested at the Kotel in Jerusalem for raising her voice in song and prayer. She, together with a group of hundreds of women, have been attempting to gain the right for women to pray at the Kotel, each according to her preferred style of prayer--with prayer shawls, chanting aloud, reading from the Torah etc.

The arrested woman was kept in prison overnight, and complained that she was treated as though she were a notorious and dangerous criminal.

This article appears in Haaretz, February 8, 2013: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/converts-to-judaism-are-victims-of-israel-s-insulting-and-cruel-rabbinate.premium-1.502333

Reflections on the Conversion Crisis and the Rabbanut.
By Rabbi Marc D. Angel

(Rabbi Angel is Founder and Director of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals (jewishideas.org); and Rabbi Emeritus of the historic Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue of New York City, founded 1654. Author and editor of 31 books, he is Past President of the Rabbinical Council of America (Orthodox), and a co-founder of the International Rabbinic Fellowship, an association of modern Orthodox rabbis.)

The Jewish world has lost one of its most colorful, exciting and challenging rabbis and teachers. Rabbi Dr. Maurice Wohlgelernter, known popularly among his students as "The Reb," passed away on Saturday night June 22, 2013.

I first met The Reb in September 1963, as a freshman in his English 101 class at Yeshiva College. He was an astonishing teacher. He demanded clarity in our writing, marking each of our papers with an overly active red pen. He crushed our egos with his harsh grades--but he taught us, and taught us very well. To get an A from The Reb made it all worth while!

(Ronald Stekel was an active member of the British Jewish community before having made Aliyah.)

There are groups of Jews whose Rabbinic leaders have banned aspects of modern technology. One can see them with posters that cry out that they have no internet or computers, and they are proud of this. They believe it to be an ideal to be emulated by other Jews. I believe that it is dreadful.

When Noah left the ark he planted a vineyard and the Torah describes how he subsequently got drunk, and the demeaning events that followed. It would have been understandable if the Torah had banned alcohol but instead the Torah sets out a totally different approach.

(Rabbi Leonard Oberstein is the only native of Montgomery, Alabama to have ever attended a yeshiva. He was a member of the YU Debating team in 1964-65 when Rabbi Marc Angel was captain. Since then, he attended yeshivot in Israel and Baltimore . He served as a pulpit rabbi in Baltimore for 25 years and is active in a variety of roles in that community.)

EXODUS: GOD’S GUIDE ON DEVELOPING RESILIENCE

By Esta Miran, Ed.D.

(Esta Miran, Ed.D. works for Dr. Michael D. Miran, Ph.D., Psychologist PC. She has published extensively in the area of Creativity.)

The story of the Exodus has always boggled my mind. On the one hand, God is promising the Jewish people freedom from slavery. Then God actively manages the journey to freedom by obstructing the effort. God sends Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh asking “Let my people go.” Then God hardens Pharaoh’s heart and Pharaoh refuses to release the Israelites from slavery. This happens again and again. How can we make sense out of Exodus? God explains that he wants to show Pharaoh, the Israelites, and all Peoples His “miraculous signs and wonders.” God wants to “display His Powers.”

What About Me?

“The slave lives in silence, if such a meaningless existence may be called life. He has no message to deliver. In contrast with the slave, the free man bears a message, has a good deal to tell, and is eager to convey his life story to anyone who cares to listen.” (Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, “Redemption, Prayer, Talmud Torah”)

For the past few decades, we have all examined, explored, debated, and tried to adjust the women’s role in Torah observant Judaism to work more productively with contemporary sensibilities and realities. I appreciate the need, the effort, and some of the results. However, as a man I often say to myself, as did the simple attendant to the demanding Shakespearean stage actor in the 1983 film The Dresser, “What about me?”

President Obama framed his endorsement of same-sex “marriage” as an advancement of civil rights and “marriage equality.” After all, why shouldn’t two people who love each other be allowed to marry?

Fyodor Dostoevski once wrote: “If there is no God, then everything is permissible.” Stated another way, if morality is entirely determined by human beings, then human beings can decide what they think is moral or immoral. God is not part of the equation. Thus, if humans decide that same sex “marriage” is moral, then that is their right. God has no say in the matter.

(Jack Goldstein is an active member of the Jewish community in Bogota, Colombia. He manages Lancaster House, Hotel and Conventions, in Bogota.)

Upon arriving to the gates of heaven, Moishe Pippick is received by God, who offers him a succulent meat dish to welcome him. Moishe, neither short nor lazy, and already accustomed to dodge these situations, asks: “Respected God, and who supervised the shechita?” Quite surprised, the Lord says “But if I, your God, am offering it to you! Perhaps you doubt me?” Moishe with little humility replies: “You know what? Better give me a salad.”

(Rabbi Finkelman is a member of the International Rabbinic Fellowship. He earned his rabbinic ordination at Yeshiva University, and has a PhD in Comparative Literature from the City University of New York. He teaches literature at Lawrence Technological University, as well as adult education classes in his local Federation.)

The Jerusalem Post and other media reported that a leader of "Women of the Wall" was arrested at the Kotel in Jerusalem for raising her voice in song and prayer. She, together with a group of hundreds of women, have been attempting to gain the right for women to pray at the Kotel, each according to her preferred style of prayer--with prayer shawls, chanting aloud, reading from the Torah etc.

The arrested woman was kept in prison overnight, and complained that she was treated as though she were a notorious and dangerous criminal.

This article appears in Haaretz, February 8, 2013: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/converts-to-judaism-are-victims-of-israel-s-insulting-and-cruel-rabbinate.premium-1.502333

Reflections on the Conversion Crisis and the Rabbanut.
By Rabbi Marc D. Angel

(Rabbi Angel is Founder and Director of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals (jewishideas.org); and Rabbi Emeritus of the historic Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue of New York City, founded 1654. Author and editor of 31 books, he is Past President of the Rabbinical Council of America (Orthodox), and a co-founder of the International Rabbinic Fellowship, an association of modern Orthodox rabbis.)

The Jewish world has lost one of its most colorful, exciting and challenging rabbis and teachers. Rabbi Dr. Maurice Wohlgelernter, known popularly among his students as "The Reb," passed away on Saturday night June 22, 2013.

I first met The Reb in September 1963, as a freshman in his English 101 class at Yeshiva College. He was an astonishing teacher. He demanded clarity in our writing, marking each of our papers with an overly active red pen. He crushed our egos with his harsh grades--but he taught us, and taught us very well. To get an A from The Reb made it all worth while!

(Ronald Stekel was an active member of the British Jewish community before having made Aliyah.)

There are groups of Jews whose Rabbinic leaders have banned aspects of modern technology. One can see them with posters that cry out that they have no internet or computers, and they are proud of this. They believe it to be an ideal to be emulated by other Jews. I believe that it is dreadful.

When Noah left the ark he planted a vineyard and the Torah describes how he subsequently got drunk, and the demeaning events that followed. It would have been understandable if the Torah had banned alcohol but instead the Torah sets out a totally different approach.

(Rabbi Leonard Oberstein is the only native of Montgomery, Alabama to have ever attended a yeshiva. He was a member of the YU Debating team in 1964-65 when Rabbi Marc Angel was captain. Since then, he attended yeshivot in Israel and Baltimore . He served as a pulpit rabbi in Baltimore for 25 years and is active in a variety of roles in that community.)