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JUDAISM AND MODERNITY
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How the New Israel Litmus Test Turns Jews Into Christian Zionists
18.10.2017, by Shaul Magid
read more>
 
 
From the Zohar: When We Repent, We Return to our Supreme Mother, the Sephira
03.10.2017, by Ruth Kara-Ivanov Kaniel
According to the Zohar, the place we return to when we repent is our supreme mother, the Sephira, and we receive understanding from the Tree of the Ten Sephirot. Returning to our mother means to be gathered to the mother`s womb, a sort of death in order to be reborn, a self-nullification for gaining a new life read more>
 
 
For Yom Kippur: A Jealous or Compassionate God?
01.10.2017, by Shraga Bar-On
By changing His mind and forgiving, God proves that He puts compassion over anger read more>
 
 
The Settler Nakba and the Rise of Post-Modern Post-Zionist Religious Ideology on the West Bank
24.09.2017, by Shaul Magid
To better understand the settler movement today, look to new thinkers like Rav Shagar, not the foundational minds of Ravs Kook, Amital, and Lichtenstein read more>
 
 
My Week as a Miami ‘Refugee’
19.09.2017, by Lauren Berkun
I know that my privileges obligate me to take responsibility for those who are not as fortunate read more>
 
 
A Day School Educator’s Confession
19.09.2017, by Joshua Ladon
For me, the moment that epitomizes true learning, is when a student is able to read a text and then says what it means read more>
 
 
On the Threshold of a New Year
07.09.2017, by Tamar Elad-Appelbaum
Shalom Hartman Institute Holiday Webinar from Jerusalem with Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum: On the Threshold of a New Year. Aug. 29, 2017. Rabbinic Holiday Webinar Series 5778 read more>
 
 
None of Us Should Feel We Sit Alone
28.08.2017, by Sarah Mulhern
I especially hope you will see me as a resource as you implement our wonderful new iEngage curriculum focusing on the meaning of the milestone events in Israel`s modern history which we mark this year read more>
 
 
The Rise of Virtue Signaling: The New Put-down Hijacking Public Discourse
21.08.2017, by Rachel Jacoby Rosenfield
Keep signaling your outrage. And others should not accuse you of mounting your high horse read more>
 
 
The Rise and Fall of Zionism as a Religion
25.06.2017, by Tomer Persico
The religious Zionist movement saw Israeli settlements as redemption for Jews and the world read more>
 
 
Why Religious Zionism Is Growing Darker
22.05.2017, by Tomer Persico
Under the plan, the Palestinians will be given three choices – to leave the country; to live in Israel with the status of “resident alien,” because, as Smotrich made sure to note, “according to Jewish law there must always be some inferiority,” or to resist, “and then the Israel Defense Forces will know what to do.” When the deputy Knesset speaker was asked if he intended to wipe out whole families, including women and children, Smotrich replied, “In war, as in war.” read more>
 
 
The Israeli Identity Challenge: The Public Sphere in a Jewish Democratic State
25.04.2017, by Dr. Ruth Calderon
Dr. Ruth Calderon, former Israeli Knesset Member, conducted a live webinar on April 25, 2017, in honor of Israeli Independence Day read more>
 
 
What We Can Learn from Holy Sepulchre Renovations
20.04.2017, by Marcie Lenk
The Edicule is an 18th century shrine inside of Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The Edicule encloses the empty tomb where Jesus is believed to have been buried and resurrected. After years of decay, renovations were completed in March 2017. Dr. Marcie Lenk, Director of Christian Leadership Programs at the Shalom Hartman Institute, and Bishop Peter Eaton of the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida, and a Fellow of the Hartman Institute`s Christian Leadership Initiative, discuss the meaning and significance of the Edicule’s restoration for Christians, Jews and Israel read more>
 
 
Why Conversion Lite Won’t Fix the Intermarriage Problem
18.04.2017, by Shaul Magid
If someone deeply wants to convert to Judaism, if someone feels that Judaism is their path as an act of conviction I am in favor of lowering the standards to make it as easy as possible. Like the late Rabbi Harold Shulweiss I believe Judaism has a lot to offer and should be presented as an option in America’s spiritual marketplace. But not only for non-Jews who are planning to marry Jews. There is no conviction in that. read more>
 
 
The Answer Does Not Appease the Question
12.04.2017, by Joshua Ladon
I am uncomfortable navigating the subject of poverty, because I am not ready to seriously tackle my own privilege or change the behaviors that allow me to ignore this ever-present and growing problem read more>
 
 
The Rebbe of the Warsaw Ghetto
09.04.2017, by Shaul Magid
How Kalonymous Kalman Shapira`s ‘Holy Fire’ spread out of the Holocaust and into the non-Hasidic world read more>
 
 
Passover: The Irony of Celebrating Liberty While the Israeli Occupation Persists
06.04.2017, by Tomer Persico
Jewish history will be forever stained by the occupation, and it will retroactively color the Jewish tradition. Passover, our celebration of liberty, will acquire an ironic, rancorous twist read more>
 
 
The Tribes of Israel
03.04.2017, by Elana Stein Hain
Elana Stein Hain discusses the different "tribes" in Israel at Temple Beth Am as part of the Los Angeles Synagogue Collaborative Series read more>
 
 
On the Relationship between the American and Israeli Tribes
03.04.2017, by Micah Goodman
Micah Goodman discusses the makeup and relationship between American and Israeli Jews as part of the San Diego community iEngage lecture series. read more>
 
 
Passover Through Contemporary Israeli Poems
02.04.2017, by Rachel Korazim
Rachel Korazim presents six Israeli poems that speak to different aspects of Passover read more>
 
 
Pesach: Adults Contending with Contradictions
30.03.2017, by Noam Zion
The significance of the Four Questions should not be confined to being a concrete educational tool for the purpose of teaching historical information to children having a limited sense of abstraction and who bore easily. The questions are a characteristic of the adult intellectual culture during the time of the Rabbis read more>
 
 
Anti-Semitism Can’t Define American Jews’ Identity
29.03.2017, by Leon Morris
We are diminished Jews if we perpetuate a tribal identity primarily fueled by anti-Semitism rather than a Jewishness rich in content and creativity. read more>
 
 
Jewish Identity, Belonging, and Community
12.03.2017, by Yedidah Koren
Yedidah Koren: Jewish Identity, Belonging, and Community. Third lecture in lLecture and study series on intermarriage created by Shalom Hartman Institute of North America and B`nai Jeshurun Congregation. B`nai Jeshurun Congregation, New York City, 2016-2017 read more>
 
 
27 Years Ago, My Synagogue Was Vandalized By Skinheads - Here’s what I’ve Learned Since Then
07.03.2017, by Philip Graubart
The telephone woke me at 5:00 a.m. It was the police - never a good omen. But this wasn’t about family or property, it was my synagogue read more>
 
 
Visions for a Shared Society
02.03.2017, by Micah Goodman
Micah Goodman: Visions for a Shared Society: The Tribes of Israel, Valley Beth Shalom, Encino, California, Sunday, January 22, 2017, part of the 2016-2017 Los Angeles Synagogue Collaborative Lecture Series read more>
 
 
Arguing for the Sake of Heaven?
23.02.2017, by Elana Stein Hain
Elana Stein Hain: Arguing for the Sake of Heaven: A Vision for Modern Orthodoxy? Webinar lecture, February 21, 2017, New York read more>
 
 
How Trump Pleased Bibi Netanyahu and David Duke Alike
19.02.2017, by Shaul Magid
The fact that Trump refused to answer a reasonable question squares nicely with the White House’s removal of the word “Jews” from the U.S. State Department’s draft of the Holocaust Remembrance Day document. Anti-Semites have long wanted to “universalize” the Holocaust, which is what the White House statement actually did read more>
 
 
Is Activism Always the Answer?
14.02.2017, by Philip Graubart
Crisis times also call for study and contemplation. Nothing in Trump’s America negates those healing realms that exist in spaces beyond partisan politics - music, friendship, prayer read more>
 
 
The Little-known Christian, Nebraskan roots of Tu B’Shvat
09.02.2017, by Hizky Shoham
Tu B’Shvat owes its rapid canonization in the Yishuv era, and thereafter in the entire Jewish world, to the strong desire that many Jewish urbanites - regardless of their affiliations - felt for village and rural life, and for their hope that the new Jewish agriculture would give rise to a more authentic Jewish culture read more>
 
 
(((As Dreamers)))
23.01.2017, by Leon Wiener Dow
With Donald J. Trump as President of the United States, Leon Wiener Dow says, American Jews ‘find themselves in a moment of profound, and I would assert, unprecedented significance’ read more>
 
 
It is Time to Reclaim Religion
15.01.2017, by Sharon Brous
From a TedWomen video talk: ‘Social change only happens when we are awake enough to see that the house is on fire’ read more>
 
 
Philosophies of Three Israeli Tribes
04.01.2017, by Micah Goodman
Video Lecture: Three Philosophies of Three Israeli Tribes: Secular Israel, Religious Zionist Israel, and Ultra-Orthodox Israel, Temple De Hirsch Sinai, Seattle, Dec. 6, 2016 read more>
 
 
A Group of Priests Walked into an Israeli Yeshiva, and You’ll Be Amazed by What Happened
19.12.2016, by Marcie Lenk
Before this day my Catholic students would have spoken of Jews in positive terms, because they are decent people of faith who have respect for others. I suspect, however, many believed that Jews suffer at a disadvantage, because we don’t have faith in Jesus as the Messiah. This attitude was changed by one day in a yeshiva, due to the generosity of spirit shown by rabbis and yeshiva students read more>
 
 
Hanukkah in Public and Private Space
15.12.2016, by Dani Segal
Rabbi Dani Segal: ‘In the Window Between Two Worlds: Hanukkah in Public and Private Space.’ Rabbinic Holiday Webinar for Hanukkah 5777 (Dec. 14, 2016) from Jerusalem read more>
 
 
Some of My Best Friends Are Racist
28.11.2016, by Elana Stein Hain
would hope and imagine that many who end up turning a blind eye to racism or even end up perpetuating it are actually no friends to racism in the abstract. However, it is precisely in the move from the abstract to the concrete that making the right choice does not always come easily read more>
 
 
What’s Next for Pluralism in Israel?
14.11.2016, by Chaya Gilboa
A discussion about the Orthodox Rabbinate and the future of religious pluralism in Israel. ALso featuring Ruth Halperin Kaddari (Bar-Ilan Univ.) and Haviv Rettig Gur (Times of Israel) from 2016 JFNA GA in Washington, DC. read more>
 
 
Maybe It’s Time to Exile Yourself
11.11.2016, by Philip Graubart
I know without doubt that large political groups will often make disastrously destructive decisions but that just frees me up to opt out, at least for now, and be the very best person I can be to my family, my friends, my co-workers read more>
 
 
Half-baked Apologies, Half-baked Zionism: The Case of Ari Shavit
01.11.2016, by Leon Wiener Dow
I should not, at any level, be surprised to hear stories of men who cannot control their sexual urges – nor should I be surprised by the lengths to which they will go in order to satisfy these urges read more>
 
 
Rogel Alpher is Also a Ritual
01.11.2016, by Tomer Persico
Alpher simply wants to say that he’s been forced into an encounter with a tradition he doesn’t respect read more>
 
 
David’s Feminine Side Immerses Us in a River of Forgiveness
20.10.2016, by Ruth Kara-Ivanov Kaniel
Precisely these factors - his feminine side, his majestic quality and his skill to turn a confession into praise - enable David to ascend to mother Understanding and immerse us in the river of forgiveness read more>
 
 
The Female Component to High Holidays Repentance for All
20.10.2016, by Ruth Kara-Ivanov Kaniel
At Rosh Hashana and Yom ha-Kippurim, we pray facing Shechina and Understanding, and their light envelops and shields us after the cloud is cleaved read more>
 
 
Leonard Cohen’s Hineni
06.10.2016, by Philip Graubart
Just in time for the Days of Awe 5777 (2016), two important, popular North American Jewish artists grapple with that high holiday phrase hineni - an ambiguous, multivalenced concept usually translated as, “Here I am.” read more>
 
 
Yom Kippur: ‘Like Clay in the Hand of the Potter’
11.09.2016, by Shraga Bar-On
The theological concept which attributes to God the formation of the human personality might lead to different religious conclusions read more>
 
 
Creating or Surrendering to the Creator (Rosh Hashana Video)
08.09.2016, by Micah Goodman
September 8, 2016, 5777 Rabbinic Holiday Webinar Series from Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. Micah Goodman discussed the complications and contradictions in the first four chapters of Mishnah Rosh Hashana. read more>
 
 
‘Images of Israel’ is an Internal Christian Dialogue
05.09.2016, by Peter Pettit
The language of religious values will then be the bridge that spans the gap between their perspectives, and the two words that are spoken by Jew and Christian will at least, and at last, be in the same language read more>
 
 
A New Normal for Orthodox Leadership
01.09.2016, by Elana Stein Hain
What does a Jewish religious leader look like? read more>
 
 
Baffled by the High Holidays? That’s Life
29.08.2016, by Elana Stein Hain
People complain about not being able to relate to High Holiday services. But this “problem” does not need to be solved. It is the whole point of the season read more>
 
 
Hasidic Tales in Palestine
28.08.2016, by Yakir Englander
In my work for peace, it is my duty to experience the love that is in me in a manner not limited in quantity or quality, and in a way that does not dictate that more love for Palestinians means less “Love of Israel.” read more>
 
 
Doubling Down on Black Lives and America’s Teetering Soul
23.08.2016, by Sharon Brous
Standing angrily on the sidelines, repeating condemnations, nursing our wounds and waiting for an apology will not change this script read more>
 
 
Bending the Arc of History Toward Justice
07.08.2016, by Leon Wiener Dow
Many American Jews and their progressive allies have despaired about the viability of a liberal Israel. But the specter of a Trump presidency should give us all pause for thought about what it means to give up, and when read more>
 
 
Ritual Self and Sincere Self (Video)
13.07.2016, by Elana Stein Hain
Lecture to Rabbinic Torah Study Seminar (RTS), #HartmanSummer, July 13, 2016, Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem, Israel read more>
 
 
Transforming Muslim-Jewish Relations
10.07.2016, by Yossi Klein Halevi and Imam Abdullah Antepli
Author Yossi Klein Halevi and Imam Abdullah Antepli, both with the Shalom Hartman Institute, discuss their personal journeys of transformation in “Across The Abyss.” Jewish Week Forum on Muslim-Jewish relations with Park Avenue Synagogue, New York, June 6, 2016 read more>
 
 
Core Feature of Jewish Identity: A Philosophy of Jewish Time (Video)
10.07.2016, by Micah Goodman
Micah Goodman: Core Feature of Jewish Identity: A Philosophy of Jewish Time, Lecture to Rabbinic Torah Study Seminar (RTS), What is a Jew: Dilemmas of Identity in the 21st Century, July 10, 2016, Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem, Israel read more>
 
 
The Stories We Tell About Ourselves (Video)
07.07.2016, by Melila Hellner-Eshed
Melila Hellner Eshed: The Stories We Tell About Ourselves, Lecture to Rabbinic Torah Study Seminar (RTS), What is a Jew: Dilemmas of Identity in the 21st Century, July 7, 2016, Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem, Israel read more>
 
 
Forms of Jewish Identity: Biology, Covenant and Memory (Video)
06.07.2016, by Christine Hayes
Christine Hayes: Forms of Jewish Identity: Biology, Covenant and Memory, Lecture to Rabbinic Torah Study Seminar (RTS), What is a Jew: Dilemmas of Identity in the 21st Century, July 6, 2016, Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem, Israel read more>
 
 
Jewishness: Closing Panel for CLP 2016
05.07.2016, by Shalom Hartman Institute
Donniel Hartman, Yehuda Kurtzer, Elana Stein Hain: Jewishness. Panel for Community Leadership Program Summer Retreat (CLP) during HartmanSummer 2016: What is a Jew: Dilemmas of Identity in the 21st Century, July 5, 2016, Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem, Israel read more>
 
 
Video: Core Features of Being Jewish
05.07.2016, by Micah Goodman
Micah Goodman: Core Features of Being Jewish Lecture to Community Leadership Program Summer Retreat at Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem. July 5, 2016 read more>
 
 
Challenges Facing American Jewish Identity
05.07.2016, by Sharon Brous
Rabbi Sharon Brous: Challenges Facing American Jewish Identity (2016 HART Talk), July 5, 2016, During the 2016 Hartman Summer programs for community leaders and rabbis, we held four sets of evening programs, two each for the two groups. Each group saw several Hartman and affiliated scholars and speakers discuss Challenges of American Jewish Identity, and then Challenges of Israeli Identity. (2016 HART Talk) read more>
 
 
Challenges Facing American Jewish Identity (2016 HART Talk)
05.07.2016, by Mijal Bitton
During the 2016 Hartman Summer programs for community leaders and rabbis, we held four sets of evening programs, two each for the two groups. Each group saw several Hartman and affiliated scholars and speakers discuss Challenges of American Jewish Identity, and then Challenges of Israeli Identity. (2016 HART Talk) read more>
 
 
Video: Israeli Jewish Identity
04.07.2016, by Rachel Korazim
Rachel Korazim: “Israeli Jewish Identity” Lecture, HartmanSummer 2016. July 4, 2016, Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem, Israel, Community Leadership Program Summer Retreat read more>
 
 
Video: What is a Religious Jew?
04.07.2016, by Elana Stein Hain
Elana Stein Hain: “What is a Religious Jew? Exploring the Ritual Self” Lecture, HartmanSummer 2016. July 4, 2016, Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem, Israel, Community Leadership Program Summer Retreat read more>
 
 
Video: Forms of Jewish Identity - Biology, Covenant, and Memory
30.06.2016, by Christine Hayes
Christine Hayes: Forms of Jewish Identity - Biology, Covenant, and Memory. Lecture from HartmanSummer 2016. June 30, 2016, Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem, Israel, Community Leadership Program Summer Retreat read more>
 
 
We Cannot Allow a Minority to Control Sacred Spaces
30.06.2016, by Leon Morris
Many Israelis yearn for a Judaism that is expansive and adaptive, open and inclusive, a Judaism that places human dignity at the center of religious life read more>
 
 
Changing American Zionism
28.06.2016, by Shaul Magid
During the 2016 Hartman Summer programs for community leaders and rabbis, we held four sets of evening programs, two each for the two groups. Each group saw several Hartman and affiliated scholars and speakers discuss Challenges of American Jewish Identity, and then Challenges of Israeli Identity.(2016 HART Talk) read more>
 
 
Summer Will Bring Bittersweet Transition for Rabbinic Leadership Initiative
21.06.2016, by Lauren Berkun
RLI leadership rabbis read more>
 
 
Moses at Sinai: God’s Partner or Adversary?
14.06.2016, by Christine Hayes
Final lecture in the Shalom Hartman Institute 5776 Rabbinic Webinar Series - Yale and SHI-North America scholar Christine Hayes: Moses at Sinai - God’s Partner or Adversary? (Shavuot 5776). June 1, 2016. read more>
 
 
The Forever-Falling-Apart People
13.06.2016, by Tal Becker
If we are to be a people that embodies the multiplicity of Jewish values and their contradictions, then we need Jews that champion self-protection and particularism, as well as Jews that are motivated by the universalist call in our tradition. We need extremists for both causes and all the stripes in between read more>
 
 
Reject the Violent Jewish Triumphalism of Jerusalem Day
06.06.2016, by Yakir Englander
The silence of the Jewish society of Israel in the face of this Jeruaslem Day harassment of Palestinians teaches us, that rather than internalizing the moral obligations revealed to us in the Sages’ tales about Gentiles persecuting Jews, we have merely exchanged roles read more>
 
 
How Shavuot Became the Festival of the Giving of the Torah
05.06.2016, by Shraga Bar-On
What is the Festival of Shavuot, then? Shavuot is the Festival of revelation read more>
 
 
On the Casting of Lots at Purim
02.06.2016, by Shraga Bar-On
Lots have been commonly used in Jewish culture as well. In the Bible, the casting of lots is used for the Yom Kippur sacrificial goats read more>
 
 
The Half-life of The Shoah
05.05.2016, by Leon Wiener Dow
Despite it all, Israel, and so many of the Jews who reside here, have managed resiliently to reestablish trust in the world that we have good reason to spurn read more>
 
 
Read a New Yom Hashoah Yizkor for Righteous Gentiles
02.05.2016, by Rani Jaeger
I feel personally indebted to those people who stood there and at great personal risk, saved my mother, her family, and the entire Bulgarian Jewry. Simply put, I feel that but for them, I would not be here today read more>
 
 
Yom Hashoah: The Problem of Evil
01.05.2016, by Noam Zion
The problem of evil is partially a result of a discrepancy of expectations and experience, of ideals and reality, of what we believe about a providential world created and guided by God and how we interpret what we encounter read more>
 
 
Hans Jonas: Technology, Kabbalah and the Holocaust
01.05.2016, by Ron Margolin
Jonas was a student of Martin Heidegger who fled to Israel when the Nazis came to power. He fought in the Jewish Brigade and in the War of Independence and became one of the leading thinkers behind the growth of the European Green movement. Jonas combined thoughts on technology and biology with the Holocaust and the Ari’s Kabbalah. Unfortunately, a position could not be found for Hans Jonas at a university in Israel read more>
 
 
Moving Israel Education Beyond ‘Complexity’ to ‘Responsibility’
24.04.2016, by Joshua Ladon
An educational model based on responsibility pushes students to take seriously what it means to be a sovereign people in their own land read more>
 
 
Don’t Airbrush Out Dome of Rock
21.04.2016, by Leon Morris
This Passover, let’s dream of a different sort of rebuilt Jerusalem read more>
 
 
Donald Trump as a Postmodern God
17.03.2016, by Tomer Persico
The phenomenon of Donald Trump, his meteoric rise in the Republican halls of fame, has many reasons. Rage against the establishment, White Man’s fears, lower class economic distress and more. But I believe we cannot fully understand the massive support for the man if we fail to notice one major dimension thereof, which constitutes the source of his unique charisma read more>
 
 
Purim as a Manifesto of Jewish Peoplehood
10.03.2016, by Shraga Bar-On
Shraga Bar-On: Purim as a Manifesto of Jewish Peoplehood - third of four rabbinic webinars in the 5776 Shalom Hartman Institute rabbinic webinar series. March 9, 2016. Audience comprised Hevruta Gap-Year / Pre-Army program students read more>
 
 
Haman the Amalekite and the Ethics of War and Vengeance
28.02.2016, by Daniel Statman
By “destroying and slaying” their enemies, Mordechai and the Jews of Persia, become, as it were, those who for the first time implemented the Mosaic commandment on a large scale. read more>
 
 
The Difference Between Netanyahu and Trump
25.02.2016, by Leon Wiener Dow
A missive to my progressive friends in the United States who dislike Israel’s elected leadership read more>
 
 
Proud Zionism: Navigating Commitment and Complexity
18.02.2016, by Elana Stein Hain
Elana Stein Hain speaks at the Manhattan Collaborative Lecture Series on ‘Jewish Values and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: An iEngage Series,’ January 12, 2016 For more information about the lecture series: hartman.org.il/nycollaborative read more>
 
 
The Wall of Disputes
15.02.2016, by Ariel Picard
Forget the textbook on citizenship; bring students to the Western Wall. There they will realize what kind of world they are living in, and ask them this one question: After all of this, is it still possible to pray in this place? read more>
 
 
When Will The Left Start Talking About Israeli Trauma?
09.02.2016, by Yakir Englander
Without recognizing how deep-seated the trauma of ordinary Israelis really is, the Israeli peace camp will continue to be seen as elitist and disconnected read more>
 
 
What’s Driving Israel’s Radical Settler Youth To Rebel?
31.01.2016, by Tomer Persico
Hilltop youth are taking the values they’ve been taught – settling across the West Bank, strict religious observance, an imperious attitude toward the Palestinians – to the extreme. In doing so, they are taking a page from European romanticism read more>
 
 
Conversion and Jewish Identity
23.12.2015, by Avi Sagi
read more>
 
 
Three Narratives of the Arab-Israeli Conflict
01.12.2015, by Micah Goodman
This talk by Micah Goodman explores the complex relationship between the political positions and Jewish worldviews of many Israelis. November 16, 2015, Herzl Ner-Tamid, Mercer Island, Washington State read more>
 
 
Reform Judaism and the Challenge of our Time
10.11.2015, by Leon Morris
Standing with and standing apart: Liberal Judaism must be able to say ‘this is the ideal we are striving for:’ We can`t always look to justify and sanctify exactly what most Jews currently do read more>
 
 
On Edge
28.10.2015, by Leon Wiener Dow
For those of us who have lived in Israel for a while, it is unnerving to discover just how unnerved the latest spate of violence has made us read more>
 
 
Arab Caregivers in our Children’s Schools - an Israeli-Jewish Reflection
26.10.2015, by Avital Hochstein
Some parents have called for the firing of Arab caretakers from our children’s schools. I understand the fear. Yet, I refuse to be quiet read more>
 
 
Keeping God on the Temple Mount
25.10.2015, by Avi Sagi
As the framers of Jewish law knew, a physical assault on the sacred mount would mean forfeiture of its religious significance; its transformation into another territorial space subject to the control of mankind read more>
 
 
The Quest for Peace in Israel and Palestine — Reclaiming the Role of Religion
11.10.2015, by Yakir Englander
Our togetherness deepens in times of crisis between our beloved communities. We understand that only then can it be proudly said in heaven: “God saw all that he had made, and behold it was very good” read more>
 
 
Tzedek and Tzedakah: A Heroic Tax Reform Initiative
30.09.2015, by Noam Zion
A medieval rabbi builds "a city of justice and tzedakah" by rescuing the poor read more>
 
 
For Sukkot: A Theology of Rain
30.09.2015, by Lauren Berkun
In Florida, I have reflected often on the ways in which Judaism invests rain with religious meaning. Prayers for rain mark the culmination of the High Holiday season read more>
 
 
On Yom Kippur: Prostrating and Bowing before the Hidden Name of God
21.09.2015, by Shraga Bar-On
The Origin and Spiritual Significance of a Liturgical Gesture read more>
 
 
Three Metaphors for Yom Kippur
20.09.2015, by Dr. Ruth Calderon
First of 4 5776 Hartman Rabbinic Webinars read more>
 
 
Where’s the Jewish Morality in Decision to Shun Syrian Refugees?
17.09.2015, by Tomer Persico
It’s easy to tell ourselves we’re a chosen people, and therefore that we’re allowed to discriminate against others read more>
 
 
Embodied Optimism
01.09.2015, by Rachel Jacoby Rosenfield
The realm of possibility opens up when we transform a series of small movements into unexpected and extraordinary outcomes read more>
 
 
Three Gifts for Yom Kippur
31.08.2015, by Noam Zion
To our Hartman rabbis - from the tales of the Talmudic rabbis, compiled and edited by Noam Zion read more>
 
 
Afflict Your Soul, but Don’t You Dare Endanger Your Life
12.08.2015, by Noam Zion
The mitzvah of afflicting one’s soul does not undermine the principle that Shabbat and Yom Kippur and all of Jewish law, for that matter, are not intended by God to cause physical or emotional damage read more>
 
 
Dealing with the Violent Aspects of Our Jewish Tradition
11.08.2015, by Yakir Englander
After 2,000 years, today, Jews have power. It is our responsibility to decide how to use it. Will we use our power to act in the world, bringing balm to soothe the pain, or will we create suffering? read more>
 
 
Accept the Other? Actually, What Israel Needs Is Humane Behavior
09.08.2015, by Avi Sagi
Under the mechanism of rejecting and including, ‘others’ are judged, marked, restricted and arranged in a hierarchical order in relation to the ‘I’ read more>
 
 
On Tu B’Av: Remedying Biblical Trauma
03.08.2015, by Shraga Bar-On
A Roman foundation myth is highly reminiscent of the abduction of the dancing girls in the book of Judges: A closer look at the Talmud’s description of Tu B’Av reveals a revolutionary, therapeutic recasting of the traumatic biblical story read more>
 
 
Tisha B’Av: Jerusalem was Destroyed Because of Mere Foolishness
23.07.2015, by Shraga Bar-On
A society that intensifies arguments and turns small or big differences between its parts into fundamental issues tears itself apart read more>
 
 
Why is Religion Awakening in Secular Israel, India and Algeria?
13.07.2015, by Tomer Persico
In a new book, political theorist Michael Walzer suggests that the reason lies in these countries` founding fathers’ derision of ancient tradition. But there’s another possibility, too read more>
 
 
Pay Attention to your Souls
29.06.2015, by Shraga Bar-On
Bonna Devora Haberman worked day and night to improve our world read more>
 
 
The Israeli Electorate has Moved to the Center
25.05.2015, by Alexander Yakobson
read more>
 
 
Pope Francis’ Visit Was Not Primarily About Us
24.05.2015, by Marcie Lenk
The Catholic Church has come a long way in 110 years, including Nostra Aetate (1965), the revolutionary reworking of theology regarding other religions generally, and Judaism in particular read more>
 
 
Shavuot. Pentecost. Harvest. First Fruits. Revelation at Sinai. Holy Spirit. Torah.
21.05.2015, by Marcie Lenk
Jews and Christians who celebrate Shavuot and Pentecost are celebrating the idea that revelation means God’s words are within each of us, giving us the ability and the responsibility to translate those words to those around us read more>
 
 
Rejoicing in the Death of One’s Enemy
13.05.2015, by Daniel Statman
Each human being has irreplaceable value, has dignity, the loss of which should always be a matter of concern read more>
 
 
Shavuot: Megillat Ruth and ‘Matan Torah’ to the World
11.05.2015, by Micah Goodman
There is nothing in Exodus about a universal mission of spreading Torah to the other nations read more>
 
 
Silence is Not OK When Torah is Painful
05.05.2015, by Steve Greenberg
It’s not OK to be silent when people are hurting read more>
 
 
Crossing Over: Jewish Survival and the Paradox of Boundaries
27.04.2015, by Lauren Berkun
Rabbi Lauren Berkun, Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, Director of Rabbinic and Synagogue Programs, April 19, 2015. Her lecture, titled, Crossing Over: Jewish Survival and the Paradox of Boundaries, at Temple Beth Am, Los Angeles, was the sixth and final lecture in the series, Inside, Outside, In Between: Jewish Peoplehood Today: The Los Angeles Westside Synagogue Collaborative Lecture Series read more>
 
 
Israel at 67: Glorious and Frightening, Inspiring and Exasperating
21.04.2015, by Leon Morris
We need the faith to believe that this could be the best place and the best time in Jewish history to be a Jew read more>
 
 
The Ethics of Memory: Religious Amnesia and Social Justice
20.04.2015, by Prof. Menachem Fisch
Shavuot is not the holiday of matan Torah – this historical linkage entered our tradition later on – but rather a national festival read more>
 
 
How Does One Celebrate Freedom?
02.04.2015, by Shraga Bar-On
Passover is the holiday of freedom. A person or a society are free when they are on their own, not subject to any other authority. But the meaning of freedom can be grasped in different and even contradictory ways read more>
 
 
Zionism, Minorities, and Loyalties
10.03.2015, by Elana Stein Hain Matti Friedman
Video panel discussion featuring Elana Stein Hain and Matti Friedman from Fifth Hartman Conference for a Jewish Democratic Israel, March 9, 2015 read more>
 
 
Big Data: Law, Randomness and Choice in Esther
24.02.2015, by Mishael Zion
The Scroll of Esther is the Biblical book which comes closest to describing our current reality read more>
 
 
Zionism as the New Form of Peoplehood
11.02.2015, by Micah Goodman
The fourth lecture in the Los Angeles Westside Synagogue Collective Lecture Series, "Inside, Outside, In Between: Jewish Peoplehood Today" read more>
 
 
Between Dignity and Deceit: Ancient Principles and Modern Challenges
06.02.2015, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
Even if one could get away with something unethical, with deceiving another person, it is incorrect, improper, barbaric and desecrates God’s name read more>
 
 
Looking Beyond Michelle Obama and Angela Merkel
01.02.2015, by Mijal Bitton
Instead of fixating over photos and appearances, how can we ensure that we judge leaders by their skills and activities, rather than what they look like? read more>
 
 
God After the Holocaust: A Faith of Question Marks
27.01.2015, by Shraga Bar-On
Maybe the post-Holocaust believer has 10 tons of pain, but four cubits of halakha, as was said after the destruction of the Second Temple read more>
 
 
Peoplehood and Controversy: How Should Jews Disagree?
20.01.2015, by Elana Stein Hain
The third lecture in the Los Angeles Westside Synagogue Collective Lecture Series, "Inside, Outside, In Between: Jewish Peoplehood Today" read more>
 
 
Reconciling with the Past for the Sake of the Future
29.12.2014, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
From Abraham to Joseph, the “first families” of Genesis – like all families – certainly know their share of suffering, envy, deceit and love read more>
 
 
Israel: Commitment and Criticism
19.12.2014, by Rani Jaeger
Addressing how Jews in Israel and North America balance between their commitment to Israel and their right to criticize its actions and policies This is not a theoretical question but a debate that many of us have on a personal level as well as in our communities and as citizens of the countries that we live in. We will attempt to find a relevant way to address this question through a deep look into generations of Jewish and Zionist thought. read more>
 
 
The Memory of Miracles
09.12.2014, by Micah Goodman
Hanukkah is a celebration of miracles, events that by their nature stretch the limits of reason. How do rational people give meaning to the memory of irrational events? read more>
 
 
Conversion, Rabbinic Authority, and Power Imbalance in Orthodoxy
05.12.2014, by Elana Stein Hain
Panel discussion from the JOFA Unconference featuring Elana Stein Hain, Asher Lopatin (RLI I), and Mark Dratch, moderated by Laura Shaw-Frank read more>
 
 
Four Strategies for a Giving Society
17.11.2014, by Noam Zion
A look at biblical, rabbinic, Christian, Greek, and Maimonidean approaches to fundraising read more>
 
 
See Jerusalem’s Challenges and Rabin’s Murder in Context
13.11.2014, by Gil Troy
I am again experiencing the Great Israel Disconnect: do I believe what I read in the newspapers or what I witness daily? read more>
 
 
Adapt Conversion to Today’s Judaism
02.11.2014, by Shraga Bar-On
One must enable different Israeli communities to build meaningful conversion processes of their own that will reflect today’s Israeli Jewish community. read more>
 
 
Hamas, Gaza, and the Terrorist’s Code of Ethics
12.10.2014, by Alexander Yakobson and Yitzhak Benbaji
It’s difficult to keep military targets away from the civilian population in a densely populated strip of land like Gaza. But any fair discussion of Israel’s combat methods must also take into account Hamas’ contempt for human life read more>
 
 
What Are They Doing Here?
12.10.2014, by Marcie Lenk
There are Christian groups and individuals here in the hope of learning about Judaism and supporting Israel, and those are the ones who make Israelis scratch their heads read more>
 
 
Why I’m Grateful to Feel at Exile in Israel this Rosh Hashana
21.09.2014, by Leon Morris
Making aliyah is proving to also be an opportunity to experience life as an outsider, evoking greater empathy and compassion. Being an immigrant to Israel is a reminder of how most of us are simultaneously insiders and outsiders everywhere we go, finally coming home but feeling in exile read more>
 
 
Sukkot: A Guide for Understanding and Celebrating
14.09.2014, by Noam Zion
This special, in-depth collection of articles and activities about Sukkot is designed for uploading and reading on a Kindle or Kindle app on devices such as an iPad or smartphone read more>
 
 
More than Praying for the Peace of Jerusalem, Be My Messenger
02.09.2014, by Noam Zion
read more>
 
 
Rosh Hashana Table Talk: Trying a New Path
01.09.2014, by Noam Zion
Halacha or Jewish law means literally “a way of walking” and Rosh Hashana is about checking your bearings and taking new paths where necessary read more>
 
 
Seder Rosh Hashana
28.08.2014, by Noam Zion
The content in this special collection is designed to be easily readable on Kindle e-readers. To upload this content to your Kindle, simply click on the small, orange letter k to the right of the printer icon on the top right-hand side of this page read more>
 
 
War and Our Jewish Souls
22.08.2014, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
Too many families are in mourning for those they have lost, and too many innocent people have lost their lives read more>
 
 
Israel in Trying Times: Unity Not Uniformity
03.08.2014, by Sharon Brous
All the talk about sympathy and empathy and self-reflection, even during war time, is not only spiritually essential, but also strategically critical read more>
 
 
L’cha Dodi and the Kabbalist Background to Kabbalat Shabbat
30.07.2014, by Noam Zion
This special presentation of articles and essays about Shabbat is designed to be uploaded and read on a Kindle e-reader read more>
 
 
The Cost of Fighting, The Cost of Not Fighting
28.07.2014, by Alexander Yakobson
Given their indifference to civilian casualties, Hamas’ conduct is not irrational - merely vile. God help us if we can`t persuade them that it is irrational read more>
 
 
Against the Racism of Fear
15.07.2014, by Shlomit Harrosh
It is the more mundane forms of racism that must be combated if we are to prevent the next sadistic murder read more>
 
 
Revenge and Violence or Peace and Ethics?
10.07.2014, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
Vengeful killings only continue a state of continuous cycle and spirit of enmity and violence read more>
 
 
A Time for War, A Time for Peace
16.06.2014, by Shalom Hartman Institute
Background readings for Summer 2014. Optimized for the Kindle read more>
 
 
Great Leaders Take Great Risks
13.06.2014, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
When the Jewish people have great leadership, times of great uncertainty have become times of opportunity and transformation read more>
 
 
Video: The Inevitability of Dissent: A Rabbinic Case Study
12.06.2014, by Elana Stein Hain
The Torah recognizes the existence of the conscientious objector, the zaqen mamre, and the Rabbis note the significance of lo titgodedu, an injunction not to become fractious read more>
 
 
Video: Guns and Jews - The Challenge of Consensus Politics
12.06.2014, by Steve Greenberg
Exploring what is at stake in this debate and how communities and organizations are navigating the challenging waters read more>
 
 
Shavuot is Relevant Even for the Non-Believer
08.06.2014, by Tal Becker
We do not enter the earth free and clear to invent ourselves from naught. Like it or not, we are born into a legacy, a tradition, and a set of values that should draw us into a dialogue and shape our identity and sense of meaning. That dialogue may be one of reverence, or of rebellion, or of something in between. But at its heart, it prizes the idea that for the Jewish people to stake a claim to a truer and healthier future requires that we also be honest, learned, and engaged in the claim our heritage has upon us read more>
 
 
National Law and Israel’s ‘Jewishness’
08.06.2014, by Shraga Bar-On
read more>
 
 
Pew, Continuity, and Conversion
02.06.2014, by Zvi Zohar
The October 2013 Pew Report underscored the fragility of the Jewish future in North America, and has led to anguished discussions regarding how to decrease the number of Jews relinquishing Judaism and Jewish identification in favor of other options. Given the nature of the American religious scene, it is impossible to assure Jewish continuity by such a strategy alone. Rather, only if a complimentary strategy of easing conversion is joined with the first, do we stand a chance of achieving continuity read more>
 
 
How to Move Mountains: Questions for North American Jewry
02.06.2014, by Elana Stein Hain
Rabbi Akiva offers a model for challenging assumed norms useful to both sides of the conversation read more>
 
 
The Meaning of Time and Living a Life of Meaning
16.05.2014, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
Every culture measures time in particular ways, but Judaism teaches us to constantly reframe it read more>
 
 
Who Needs a Jewish-State Bill?
11.05.2014, by Daniel Statman
One cannot support the right of Jews for self-determination without supporting a similar right for Palestinians read more>
 
 
Can We Tell a Tale of Two Zions?
06.05.2014, by Mishael Zion
Celebrating the path of self-sovereign Jewish life in our ancestral homeland doesn’t require Israel to be the only tale of Jewish life in the modern world read more>
 
 
Zionism: The Question of Sovereignty 2
01.05.2014, by Micah Goodman
Audio recording of lecture on Jewish peoplehood read more>
 
 
The Value of Peoplehood
29.04.2014, by Micah Goodman
Audio recording of lecture on Jewish peoplehood read more>
 
 
A Jewish State: Semantics Vs. The Real Thing
23.04.2014, by Alexander Yakobson
The real question is not whether the Palestinians are willing to accept some semantic formula having to do with the Jewish state, but whether they are ready to accept the Jewish state itself read more>
 
 
How the Past Can Redeem the Future
18.04.2014, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
How we remember our history ultimately determines our moral identity read more>
 
 
The Song of the Sea, the Song of Miriam
09.04.2014, by Shraga Bar-On
We do not need to choose between God and human rights or between God and women’s rights read more>
 
 
A Human Being in Beit Safafa
07.04.2014, by Shlomit Harrosh
Most of us never imagine having to wake up one morning to find our property vandalized and racist writing covering our walls. And yet to some extent this is the reality of many Israeli Palestinians read more>
 
 
Rebuild the Temple? Not in Our Time
03.04.2014, by Marcie Lenk
Discussions about Jewish access to and control of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount are drawing heated responses in both Israel’s and Jordan’s parliaments, even as the idea of building a Third Temple and restoring sacrificial worship there is preposterous in the minds of the vast majority of Jews and Israelis. Yet the question of what Jews think about building a new Temple comes up with virtually every Christian group that I teach read more>
 
 
Why Might Theology Matter?
25.03.2014, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
Judaism is only one source of meaning in this world- theology guides us read more>
 
 
The Book of Esther of Purim is a Manifesto for Jewish Peoplehood
16.03.2014, by Shraga Bar-On
It is interesting that precisely in times of crisis we ‘lose’ our survival instinct and decide to fight back, to choose a mission read more>
 
 
What the Debate with the Haredim is Really About
12.03.2014, by Daniel Statman
Tikkun olam is not achieved by the study of disagreements between medieval commentators on Baba Kamma, but by engaging in the real world and attempting to make it a better place for Jews and non-Jews alike read more>
 
 
Leaving the Ultra-Orthodox World - With No Other Choice
11.03.2014, by Yakir Englander
A young ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman once contacted me with a serious question: ”Should I leave the ultra-Orthodox community?” My reply to her was, “Since you have asked, ‘Should I?’ — then the answer is, ‘No!’” read more>
 
 
The Dark Side of Purim
10.03.2014, by Shaul Magid
I have taken Purim very seriously my entire adult life. And I have paid for it the next day in spades. But Baruch Goldstein ruined that for me. It was a loss of innocence read more>
 
 
Sorry for The Inconvenience
26.02.2014, by Tal Becker
There should be no inherent contradiction between being results-oriented and being well-mannered read more>
 
 
From Crisis to Covenant: Rethinking a Narrative for Israel
19.02.2014, by Shalom Hartman Institute
This is a video of lecture that was part of the 2013 annual Osher Department International Theology Conference which took place Feb. 17-21, 2013. It attracted theologians from dozens of countries. The four-day program comprised lectures, roundtable discussions and small-group study sessions. The theme for the conference was, "Forgiveness." read more>
 
 
Getting Rid of the Echo
16.02.2014, by Marcie Lenk
Getting out of our echo chambers and beginning to listen to those whose words make us uncomfortable may be difficult and even painful, but it is a necessary first step, because if we do not listen at all, then we cannot begin working out our differences read more>
 
 
Let’s Bet on Peace
16.02.2014, by Sharon Brous
Let’s help John Kerry succeed — let’s help Israelis and Palestinians succeed — by amplifying the voices of hope and possibility read more>
 
 
Excluding Judaism from Israeli Discourse not Just an Academic Question
09.02.2014, by Daniel Statman
By not bringing a more humanistic interpretation to the public, academics will make the tradition a captive of nationalists and extremists read more>
 
 
The Naked Law and The Hope of Israel
31.01.2014, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
The possibility of self-correction was what Rabbi Prof. David Hartman z"l thought was so religiously exciting about Israel read more>
 
 
Please Misunderstand Me
26.01.2014, by Tal Becker
We do no disservice to our positions by recognizing the doubts and costs that may be associated with them read more>
 
 
Looking Past the Walls
19.01.2014, by Marcie Lenk
These walls prevent us from seeing the many services provided by “others” read more>
 
 
‘And Thou Shalt Love the Stranger’
12.01.2014, by Daniel Statman
Why are Israelis so inhospitable to Africans residing among us? read more>
 
 
The Fairness of Extending Military Service for Women
29.12.2013, by Shlomit Harrosh
Just as men and women have an equal right to equality of opportunities in the military, they also have an equal duty as equal beneficiaries of the good of security to serve their country read more>
 
 
Getting God’s Attention and Giving God Ours
27.12.2013, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
Faith, in the biblical sense, seems to be as much about getting and giving God our full attention as it is about anything else read more>
 
 
How to Deflate the Settlements as an Issue
15.12.2013, by Alexander Yakobson
Settlers shouldn’t get to decide the future of the country and the fate of its two peoples read more>
 
 
Fertility and Jewish Law: Feminist Perspectives on Orthodox Response Literature
11.12.2013, by Ronit Irshai
Research Fellow Ronit Irshai spoke about fertility and Jewish law at Harvard Divinity School, December 11, 2013 read more>
 
 
Menorah in the Israeli Public Space
08.12.2013, by Daniel Statman
Sometimes not lighting a hanukkia in Israel is the right thing to do read more>
 
 
Who Can Retell? The Problem of the ‘Other’ in Israel
01.12.2013, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
Whether it is the religious other, stranger, immigrant, differently colored or sexually oriented from whatever “norm,” these struggles ultimately define its morality read more>
 
 
Judaism Cannot be Held Hostage by the Chief Rabbinate
24.11.2013, by Shraga Bar-On
From the heart of the U.S. religious establishment comes a plea directed at rabbis in Israel and abroad: End the Chief Rabbinate’s monopoly on Jewish religion, before the Israeli Rabbinate destroys it altogether read more>
 
 
Israelis Must Learn to Listen to our American Cousins
18.11.2013, by Marcie Lenk
American Jews have always been leaders in organizations demanding fair treatment of others – an important lesson for Israelis to learn read more>
 
 
Video: David Hartman’s Hanukkah
17.11.2013, by Noam Zion
Video: Webinar program from Nov. 13, 2013 read more>
 
 
Remembering Why
17.11.2013, by Tal Becker
Articulating responses to the question of Israel`s significance, which can inspire Jews and non-Jews of diverse backgrounds, should be one of our great national preoccupations read more>
 
 
Aleinu and the Religious Vision of God’s Universal Kingdom
14.11.2013, by Noam Zion
The author of Aleinu and Maimonides held that the belief in God was necessary to a just world order read more>
 
 
The Torah’s ‘You Shall Not Destroy’ and the Modern World’s ‘Sustainability’
12.11.2013, by Noam Zion
Roots for Tikkun Olam in the Biblical prohibition ‘do not destroy’ read more>
 
 
Holding up Services in Order to be Heard
12.11.2013, by Noam Zion
The pros and cons of the synagogue as a site of political and judicial protest read more>
 
 
B’al Tashkhit – “You Shall Not Destroy” and Sustainability
12.11.2013, by Noam Zion
Roots for Tikkun Olam in the Biblical prohibition ‘do not destroy’ read more>
 
 
Modern Jewish Thought on the Vocation of Tikkun Olam
12.11.2013, by Noam Zion
The ideology of Tikkun Olam found in modern Jewish thought. read more>
 
 
Ethics and the Essence of Judaism
11.11.2013, by Daniel Statman
It is time for us Israelis to reintroduce the view held by the Diaspora that to be Jewish is to be committed to ethical ideals read more>
 
 
Fast Days and for Social Reform: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Maimonides
07.11.2013, by Noam Zion
Tikkun Olam historically, politically, and religiously read more>
 
 
An Ever-Thriving People
07.11.2013, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
Courageous leadership for our time in the face of an ever-worrying people read more>
 
 
A Thanksgivukkah Manifesto
05.11.2013, by Mishael Zion
A once in a century holiday is upon us; Let us not underestimate this moment for the American Jewish community read more>
 
 
Brothers and Brotherhood
04.11.2013, by Shraga Bar-On
Commemorating the 18th anniversary of Yizhak Rabin’s assassination read more>
 
 
Hanukkah Ritual Offers Insights into Jewish Diversity
03.11.2013, by Jonathan Garb
Much as we may sympathize with this loyalty to the past, we must today also consider alternatives that accommodate the spiritual and practical reality of millions of Jews who do not live by any strict code of Jewish law read more>
 
 
Rav Ovadia Yosef and Caring for Israel’s Body and Soul
14.10.2013, by Tal Becker
Sensitivity to the values embraced by a Jewish sovereign society need not constitute some kind of admission that the body of Israel is less important than its soul. It can come from a deep understanding that the resilience of a society, its capacity to rally its people to sacrifice for it, and to rally the world to support it, turns a great deal on its moral standing and inherent legitimacy read more>
 
 
Freedom, Liberty, and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef
08.10.2013, by Ariel Picard
read more>
 
 
How to Win a Jewish Argument
02.10.2013, by Tal Becker
We should want a Jewish debate that reflects the pluralism, complexity and contradictions of our tradition and experience read more>
 
 
Beyond Brokenness: Negotiating Power from a Tradition of Victimhood (Video)
29.09.2013
The 2013 Wallenberg Tribute lecture at Muhlenberg College`s Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding read more>
 
 
The Meaningful Quiet of Yom Kippur in Israel
13.09.2013, by Marcie Lenk
Even on the Day of Atonement, no single sense of ‘Torah’ can safeguard the distinctive needs and wishes of such a pluralistic society read more>
 
 
Jewish Giving: Then and Now
12.09.2013, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
Talmud can give insights into why one resists giving, as well as mechanisms to overcome those resistances read more>
 
 
High Holy Days: Living With Purpose
10.09.2013, by Lauren Berkun
Being created in God’s image teaches the lofty responsibility of serving as God’s representatives in the world read more>
 
 
The Two Elephants in the Negotiating Room
10.09.2013, by Alexander Yakobson
read more>
 
 
The Loyalty of Abraham and the Ideal Alaska Husky Lead Dog
08.09.2013, by Noam Zion
In the Akedah, Abraham knew that the point of God’s orders was to advance a cause, to make progress on the path of justice, to get to the end of the race, and not to destroy himself and God’s sled on the way, in the name of blind obedience read more>
 
 
Criticize Me as a Friend, Not as Roger Waters
25.08.2013, by Marcie Lenk
If I trust that a critic truly wants to help me change, I will be able to hear and accept the criticism read more>
 
 
Video: The Biblical Story as a Story of Teshuva
18.08.2013, by Micah Goodman
Video of webinar delivered from Jerusalem on Aug. 15, 2013 read more>
 
 
Israel and the Constancy of Change
11.08.2013, by Tal Becker
Judaism tells us that change is coming; the only question is whether we will be a part of it. read more>
 
 
The Pain and Joy of Elul
08.08.2013, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
The Hebrew month of Elul presents us with the enormous possibilities of teshuva, or repentance read more>
 
 
Two Peoples and the Jungle
31.07.2013, by Alexander Yakobson
Whoever believes in equality between people and nations, and does not believe in the law of the jungle, must support the idea of two independent peoples read more>
 
 
The Chief Rabbi and the Car Mechanic
14.07.2013, by Tal Becker
The Chief Rabbi could nurture a Jewish public space that transcends what divides us, but only if he has the stature to stir our desire to engage with the beauty, depth and range of our heritage read more>
 
 
The Ethics of Jewish Education
11.07.2013, by Ariel Picard
Traditional Jewish education is frozen because of a fear of its strict atmosphere and lack of creativity read more>
 
 
Longing for Zion, Now That We Are Here
22.06.2013, by Tal Becker
There is always a place for Jewish longing, because we are a people defined more by our aspirations than by our achievements read more>
 
 
Ritual and the Dangers of a Spiritual Life
14.06.2013, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
Ritual can give us new spiritual life and cleanse us in the most profound ways read more>
 
 
‘Price-tag’ Attacks are How We Pay for Ignorance
10.06.2013, by Marcie Lenk
The complacency of Israeli Jews may derive from their appalling lack of education about other religions read more>
 
 
Learning Torah in the Modern World
06.06.2013, by Mishael Zion
Mishael Zion recreates the Hartman beit midrash in New York City read more>
 
 
How to be an Optimist in the Middle East
02.06.2013, by Tal Becker
""
The life-affirming power inherent in the belief where we are going is still in our hands
read more>
 
 
A Narrative of Theological Change: Honoring the Thought of David Hartman
24.05.2013, by Noam Zohar
How can we retain a deep relationship with a personal God without subscribing to superstitions and crass assertions? read more>
 
 
Finding a Voice
23.05.2013, by Amy Joy Small
Women of the Wall has elevated the struggle for Jewish religious freedom in Israel, and I am exhilarated to be a part of it read more>
 
 
Jewish Leadership, Values, and the Challenge to Inspire Hope
23.05.2013, by Bernie Steinberg
If the present gridlock is to be broken, it will depend on the energy and courage of the next generation read more>
 
 
Irreverent Prayer and God’s Answer
17.05.2013, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
""
What kind of prayer does God want to hear?
read more>
 
 
The Middle East Exchange Rate
12.05.2013, by Tal Becker
""
We need not weigh ourselves against the records of our enemies or friends but only against our noblest aspirations
read more>
 
 
Can We Talk? Building a Spirit of “Sacred Disagreement” on Israel
09.05.2013, by Melissa Weintraub
We must make commitment to “sacred disagreement” as widespread as we have made our commitment to social justice read more>
 
 
How Do We Measure Our Days?
24.04.2013, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
Counting of the days could become a new ritual connecting our past to dreams of the future read more>
 
 
In Praise of Uni-Tasking
21.04.2013, by Tal Becker
We need a society that cherishes not just how quickly we know something but how deeply we think about the future read more>
 
 
On Zionism, racism and fear
18.04.2013, by Shlomit Harrosh
Jewish political independence should not come at the expense of human rights of non-Jewish citizens read more>
 
 
Women of the Wall and the Urgent Questions of our Time
11.04.2013, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
By preventing women from praying there and confiscating their prayer shawls, the Israeli government is risking the alienation of thousands of otherwise very committed Jews to the State of Israel read more>
 
 
Obama and the Jews: An inside perspective
11.04.2013, by Samuel Gordon
President Obama has just named Rabbi Samuel Gordon to the US Holocaust Memorial Council. This 2008 article by Gordon offers insight into Obama and details of his ‘Jewish history’ read more>
 
 
Between Personal and National: How Do We Create Meaning Through Memorial Ceremonies?
03.04.2013, by Shalom Hartman Institute
What is the “correct” way to create a collective memory? read more>
 
 
The Hope of Seduction
27.03.2013, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
Even before we knew freedom, we learned what only slavery can confirm: desire and hope are inextinguishable forces read more>
 
 
What We Need Now: Jewish Leadership Driven by Ethical Imperatives
19.03.2013, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
We need more leaders attuned both to the sacred call and the real needs of our time read more>
 
 
Reimagining the Jewish in “Jewish” State
28.02.2013, by Tal Becker
The deepening of our conception of Jewish in the Jewish State offers new opportunities read more>
 
 
Purim: Living in an Unredeemed World
24.02.2013, by Sharon Cohen Anisfeld
What does Purim obligate us to do? In a chaotic and unredeemed world, it asks us to befriend one another read more>
 
 
Tova Hartman’s Eulogy for Her Father
19.02.2013, by Tova Hartman
read more>
 
 
He Loved His Students Like Few Teachers Do
17.02.2013, by Steven Moskowitz
He welcomed our questions. He invited disagreement. He encouraged debate. It was as if he believed he could only learn more if we asked more read more>
 
 
Five Hartman-esque Ideas
17.02.2013, by Noam Zion
David Hartman was more Socrates than Plato. He challenged young and old alike on their sacred presuppositions read more>
 
 
Reflections on David Hartman
14.02.2013, by Yakir Englander
He taught us to think for ourselves, and not to be afraid of anyone, but to honor our own existential truth read more>
 
 
David Hartman’s Fierce Embrace
13.02.2013, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
Reflection piece on David Hartman read more>
 
 
A Tribute to David Hartman
11.02.2013, by Shalom Hartman Institute
Arnold Eisen, Chancellor of Jewish Theological Seminary: May his family and all who mourn him find comfort among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem, on both of which he has left a substantial mark. May all of us who care about the life of the Jewish People, and the vitality of Torah, strive to do our best for those causes, and so not let David down. read more>
 
 
Covenant and Moral Sensibility: An Interview with David Hartman
10.02.2013, by Shalom Hartman Institute
In this interview, David Hartman considered the past and the future in the unique spirit of inquiry that always animated his work read more>
 
 
Us and Them - Intersections in Israeli Society
06.02.2013
With Dr. Tal Becker, Dr. Einat Wilf, Former Member, Israeli Knesset, Tomer Persico, Tel Aviv U, Feb. 6, 2013, from third annual Hartman Conference for a Jewish-Democratic Israel read more>
 
 
The Hope and Disappointment of the Israeli Voter
03.02.2013, by Tal Becker
Softer, less strident voices may be more deserving of our attention than ones that tell us what we want to hear read more>
 
 
How Bad is Israeli Politics?
14.01.2013, by Tal Becker
The encounter between our ideals and our politics can be an opportunity to make our ideals real read more>
 
 
For the Sake of Heaven?
29.12.2012, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
Debate about Women of the Wall is of collective future of the Jewish democratic state and the Jewish people read more>
 
 
Jewish Education: Mission, Legacy, and the Question of Jewish Identity
24.12.2012, by Bernie Steinberg
The mission of Jewish education is to invite young Jews to explore, empower and inspire read more>
 
 
On Master Chef, Feminism, and the History of the Middle Ages
12.12.2012, by Dr. Channa Pinchasi
"Food preparing women" versus "eating men" read more>
 
 
Reinventing Hanukkah: In America, a Holiday of Religious Freedom
04.12.2012, by Noam Zion
Part 1 of a series exploring how different groups reinterpreted Hanukkah in the 20th century read more>
 
 
Reinventing Hanukkah: The Battle Over the Maccabees in the Streets of Jerusalem, 1881-1908
04.12.2012, by Noam Zion
Ben Yehuda believed that the Rabbis downplayed the proto-Zionist military heroism of the Maccabees read more>
 
 
Reinventing Hanukkah: The Israeli Politics of the Maccabean Holiday
04.12.2012, by Noam Zion
Secular and Religious Zionists versus Ultra-Orthodox anti-Zionist on Israel and the Maccabeas read more>
 
 
Reinventing Hanukkah: Lubavitch Looks for the Inner and Outer Light
04.12.2012, by Noam Zion
Part 2: Chabad sees the holiday as an assertion of visceral Jewish pride that disregards the desire for conformism and assimilation read more>
 
 
How Diverse Jews Find Their Particular Identity Symbolized in the Light of the Menorah
02.12.2012, by Noam Zion
Introductory essay to series ‘Reinventing Hanukkah’ by author of A Different Light: The Big Book of Hanukkah read more>
 
 
A Decisive Hour for Jewish, Christian Hope
02.12.2012, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
Redemption will only come when we can trust each other enough to invite each other in and return to our shared texts read more>
 
 
On War, Love, and Preserving an Ethical Core
28.11.2012, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
How should moral foundations and love of life guide a sovereign Jewish state in times of war? read more>
 
 
The Biblical Pillar of Cloud and Today’s
26.11.2012, by Avital Hochstein
Pillar is not an appropriate metaphor for last week’s events. Our duty is to understand our own power and the responsibility that flows from it read more>
 
 
Democracy, Disillusionment and Salvation
05.11.2012, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
Rethinking Jewish Life: While the Jewish People certainly did not invent democracy, we should have read more>
 
 
Thoughts and Prayers Ahead of Hurricane ‘Sandy’
29.10.2012, by Noam Zion
""
Learning from a hurricane, a flood, a missile attack and Job
read more>
 
 
Liberal American Jews and Iran: Responding to Readers’ Comments
13.10.2012, by Shalom Hartman Institute
read more>
 
 
Radical Innovation and the Future of Jews
11.10.2012, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
Reading, interpreting, arguing about and celebrating Torah may be our time’s saving innovation read more>
 
 
Rethinking the Image of the King of Kings at Yom Kippur
20.09.2012, by Noam Zion
""
Finding a new model in an Ethiopian mud hut and a stone on the neck
read more>
 
 
Enchanted Castles
11.09.2012, by Stuart Schoffman
A political scientist examines the ways the Zionist project looked at language and time. Is there something inherent in Hebrew that made it unsuitable for building a state? read more>
 
 
The Limits of the Law: Toward Religious Voluntarism
02.09.2012, by Shraga Bar-On
A story about what repentance on Yom Kippur eve should look like read more>
 
 
Describing Zionism as ‘Racist’ is Inaccurate and Inflammatory
22.08.2012, by Gil Troy
A response to a critical article by Yousef Munayyer of the Palestine Center in Washington read more>
 
 
Rx Elul: Returning, Repenting and Reimagining
22.08.2012, by Gil Troy
Building toward the Days of Awe, Jews impose a period of rupture, repentance, recovery, rebirth read more>
 
 
Why We Write
09.08.2012, by Stuart Schoffman
People are scared, and scarred by history. The writer is scared, the reader is scared, the prime minister is scared read more>
 
 
The Formulation of Contemporary Tradition
30.07.2012, by Naama Azulai
Jewish Renewal in Israel’s secular sector can give positive meaning to what it means for them to be Jewish read more>
 
 
Israel: Happiness Built on Ruins
17.07.2012, by Steven Moskowitz
There may very be ruins below our feet. But there is no ruin in the air. Jerusalem is happiness built on ruins read more>
 
 
The Sages, Tisha B’Av, Self-Correction and Salvation
16.07.2012, by Dr. Channa Pinchasi
Our sages were able to point out their deficiencies, thus showing us the way to self-correction and salvation read more>
 
 
Divided Loyalties: The Problem of ‘Dual Sovereignty’ and Constitutional Faith
26.06.2012, by Suzanne Last Stone
2012 Robert P. Kogod Annual Lecture: Divided Loyalties: The Problem of Dual Sovereignty and Constitutional Faith read more>
 
 
Running a Synagogue V. Running a State
05.06.2012, by Tal Becker
Unlike the multiple synagogues we can choose from, when it comes to a Jewish state, we only have one read more>
 
 
Yoska Ahituv: Words to Remember Him By
05.06.2012, by Avi Sagi
We are not departing from the warm character who will continue to be with us until our final days read more>
 
 
At ‘Home’ at the White House
04.06.2012, by Lauren Berkun
""
How can we celebrate our obligations to the Jewish people and simultaneously be at home in the White House?
read more>
 
 
Separation Anxiety
31.05.2012, by Stuart Schoffman
Issues of religion and state in Israel are not as divisive as they seem read more>
 
 
Does Israeli Politics Have a Center?
02.05.2012, by Tal Becker
As Israel heads toward elections, politicians must find whether the center will hold read more>
 
 
Israel at 64: What I Am Celebrating This Year
22.04.2012, by Shalom Hartman Institute
""
iEngage Project Fellows celebrate Israel’s Independence Day
read more>
 
 
Is the Peace Process Over?
19.04.2012, by Tal Becker
An approach to peace limited to explaining why it cannot be reached is unworthy of us read more>
 
 
Obamacare and the Jewish Question
10.04.2012, by Suzanne Last Stone
Differing reactions to compulsory health care in the US and in Israel is to be found in assessments of which value is more important: dignity or liberty? read more>
 
 
The Curse of the Straw Man: Reflections on How We Argue About Iran
20.03.2012, by Tal Becker
Discussion of the Iranian issue calls for a measure of those quintessentially Jewish values of humility and self-doubt read more>
 
 
Assimilation, Segregation, Accommodation: Haredim in the Jewish State
07.03.2012, by Suzanne Last Stone
The debate on Haredi exemption from military service in Israel is less about religion and more about the political vision of the State read more>
 
 
A Jewish Response to the Arab ‘Spring’
01.03.2012, by Tal Becker
The Jewish moral responsibility is to support positive developments in the Arab world, even if democracy has not yet emerged read more>
 
 
The Ethics of Economics: The Haredi Challenge (1 of 4)
29.02.2012, by Noam Zion
Part 1: The Threat From Wasted Potential read more>
 
 
The Ethics of Economics: The Haredi Challenge (2 of 4)
29.02.2012, by Noam Zion
Part 2: The Haredi Challenge read more>
 
 
The Ethics of Economics: The Israeli Arab Challenge (3 of 4)
29.02.2012, by Noam Zion
Israeli Haredim and Israeli Arabs: The Duty to Work and the Duty to Provide Work read more>
 
 
The Ethics of Economics: Toward The Future: Seeds Of Economic Integration (4 of 4)
29.02.2012, by Noam Zion
Israeli Haredim and Israeli Arabs: The Duty to Work and the Duty to Provide Work read more>
 
 
Delegitimization: Nuisance or Threat?
22.02.2012, by Tal Becker
We need a range of tools to deal with irreconcilable opponents of Israel, one of which may be disinterest read more>
 
 
Taking God (a Little More) Seriously
07.02.2012, by Tal Becker
A peace agreement must be placed in a theological context, not just a security or policy one read more>
 
 
Who is Afraid of the Big Bad Haredi Wolf?
01.02.2012, by Gil Troy
Change is coming to a community defined by its rejection of change read more>
 
 
Inscribed in Stone
01.02.2012, by Stuart Schoffman
Fearing the worst, anxious Jews risk bringing it on. This irony is known as self-fulfilling prophecy read more>
 
 
Time for Kinder Capitalism
01.02.2012, by Amotz Asa-El
Israel’s social protests require conservatives to make an ideological retreat read more>
 
 
Incredibly Loud and Extremely Close
25.01.2012, by Suzanne Last Stone
Jews in the diaspora must view fractious debate in Israel as the cacophony of the beit midrash, not embarrassment read more>
 
 
A “PR” Problem or an Identity Crisis?
24.01.2012, by Tal Becker
If Israel does not resolve key questions, it will continue to broadcast contradictory messages read more>
 
 
Zero-Sum Logic and its Perils
05.01.2012, by Tal Becker
The drive for total victory may not be a winning strategy read more>
 
 
David Hartman on Hanukkah: The Rabbinic Ideal of the Peacemaker
01.01.2012, by Noam Zion
Hanukkah not only commemorates past events, it celebrates the human virtues that shaped those events as well. Download of special Hebrew course curriciulum, as well read more>
 
 
The Audacity of Nope
20.12.2011, by Tal Becker
We cannot secure our future if we do not believe in it ourselves read more>
 
 
Israeli Society as a Jewish Issue
28.11.2011, by Tal Becker
All Jews who care about the future of our people should show interest in the sovereign society Israel can create read more>
 
 
Rabin’s Legacy and the Trouble with “Peace”
09.11.2011, by Tal Becker
Rabin’s legacy suggests we must believe in the promise of peace, but also must make that promise believable read more>
 
 
Where Have All the Women Gone?
06.11.2011, by Dr. Channa Pinchasi
""
New Jerusalem ad campaign seems to ignore major sector of population - women, one of many signs of religious polarization in capital read more>
 
 
Raw Deal
28.10.2011, by Stuart Schoffman
To understand widespread Israeli alienation from the beauty of Jewish tradition, look to Ben-Gurion’s political bargain with the Orthodox (from Tablet) read more>
 
 
Judaism Minus Religion?
24.10.2011, by Avi Sagi
A liberal country must not force any religion upon citizens but also must not use its judicial system to define identity read more>
 
 
Debate and Decision in the Jewish State
24.10.2011, by Tal Becker
How we make decisions will shape our society almost as much as the content of the decisions themselves read more>
 
 
The Real Obstacle to Palestinian Statehood
10.10.2011, by Yossi Klein Halevi
Israelis need reassurance that Palestinian statehood won’t threaten our national existence read more>
 
 
The Sounds of Hope
10.10.2011, by Stuart Schoffman
Although penned by an alcoholic poet who moved to America, Israel’s national anthem still lifts the spirits of many Jews read more>
 
 
On Jewish Cynicism and Jewish Hope
09.10.2011, by Tal Becker
It is naive to think that the dangers we face are not significant, but it is no less dangerous to counsel despair and abdicate responsibility for making things better read more>
 
 
‘For the Sin We Have Sinned Against You by Desecrating Your Name’
04.10.2011, by Ariel Picard
The teachers of those who set fire to mosques and uproot olive trees are desecrators of God and blasphemers against the Torah read more>
 
 
Rabbinic Education in the Twenty-First Century
02.10.2011
Joshua Ladon: My rabbinical training has been characterized by collaboration, creativity, and independent exploration read more>
 
 
When Netanyahu Met Compassion
04.09.2011, by Amotz Asa-El
Social upheaval in Israel addresses Netanyahu and all conservatives read more>
 
 
Beyond Survival
05.06.2011, by Tal Becker
An essay on re-imagining the Jewish conversation about Israel read more>
 
 
White House Visit Emphasizes ‘Shared Responsibility’
22.05.2011, by Lauren Berkun
The fact that the White House created a Jewish American Heritage Month in 2006 demonstrates the appreciation of Judaism as a “people” read more>
 
 
Why Israel Matters: Reflections on the “Jewish Question”
28.04.2011, by Stuart Schoffman
The Zionist project, in 2011, may be shot through with thorny problems, but it is still the best answer to the question it was designed to resolve, the so-called "Jewish Question." read more>
 
 
Pharaoh’s Decision-Making Style, and Ours
03.01.2011, by Tal Becker
As Jews, the status quo is never something exalted; it always carries with it the dangers of complacency, of shallowness, of heavy hearts. If our objective is, like Pharaoh, to maintain the status quo we are doomed to failure - a failure that is not only practical, it is also spiritual read more>
 
 
Pharaoh’s Decision-Making Style, and Ours
03.01.2011, by Tal Becker
If our objective is, like Pharaoh, to maintain the status quo we are doomed to failure read more>
 
 
What Victory Looks Like
13.12.2010, by Tal Becker
Israel’s enemies will not be permanently defeated in a great moment on the battlefield. True peace will not be created by a magical moment in the negotiating room read more>
 
 
The Secular Ten Commandments of Bialik
01.12.2010, by Ari Elon
The followers of Israeli poet Haim Nahman Bialik were in raptures over his poetry and his innovations but consistently ignored his call for the building of a secular halakha that would define an obligatory ethical foundation for the emerging national entity read more>
 
 
Barack Obama and his Followers’ Obsession About “The Settlements”
21.11.2010, by Gil Troy
Reducing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to one dimension does violence to the truth, and is a form of liberal racism, condescendingly treating the Palestinians as if they are not accountable for their deeds read more>
 
 
Fighting Zionism: Racism’s Big Lie
11.11.2010, by Gil Troy
I resent that 62 years after Israel’s founding, Israel is the only country in the world on probation. I bristle at the self-righteousness of the apartheid-libelers read more>
 
 
Toward a New Understanding of Jewish Peoplehood
10.11.2010, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
Undoing the False Tension of Particularism and Universalism or Between Aniyei Ircha Kodmim and Tikkun Olam read more>
 
 
Israel is Peripheral in the US Elections - Fortunately
28.10.2010, by Gil Troy
Israelis should be relieved that Israel has not been an issue in this American campaign. Recent polls showing just how enthusiastically Americans support Israel should prove even more reassuring read more>
 
 
We Need Loyalty Acts, Not Loyalty Oaths
13.10.2010, by Gil Troy
In an age where Israel is being delegitimized, we accomplish more with the light touch than the heavy hand. We need good citizens, not resentful subjects; good government, not posturing politicians read more>
 
 
A Visit to Jerusalem Sets the Mind Spinning
01.09.2010, by Stuart Schoffman
Tourism in Jerusalem has a truth of its own, as Twain and Melville well understood read more>
 
 
Havruta Archive, No. 4: The Business of Ethics
22.07.2010, by Havruta
Havruta No. 4 / Winter 2010 - The Business of Ethics read more>
 
 
Havruta 5 - Thinking About Women
22.07.2010, by Havruta
read more>
 
 
In Creating a New Zionist Ethic History is Not Bunk
05.07.2010, by Gil Troy
From our history we understand our longstanding ties to our homeland, our collective rights to national self-determination, the cost of powerlessness over the years, and the tremendous opportunity we have in this generation to return to this land, both for self-defense and for self-fulfillment read more>
 
 
After the Flotilla: Crisis and Opportunity
09.06.2010, by Tal Becker
We do ourselves a disservice when we avoid introspection in the absence of criticism for lack of cause, and equally avoid it when criticism is manifest for fear that we will be seen as susceptible to pressure read more>
 
 
Jerusalem: City of Dreams and Real Estate
06.06.2010, by Stuart Schoffman
The ultimate solution for Jerusalem, an out-of-the-box arrangement for this unique and wondrous city that provides security and dignity for all its inhabitants, awaits its new visionary. With any luck, he or she will be wiser than Solomon, and find a way to share the contested treasure read more>
 
 
Torah Not Contradicted by Multiple Applications
16.05.2010, by Noam Zion
Pluralism can be understood as characteristic of the nature of the Torah as an intentionally open text that cannot be applicable to differing situations and times without human interpretation read more>
 
 
Israel at 62: The Limits of Debate
15.04.2010, by Stuart Schoffman
Israel is both an ancient and post-modern text, to be argued over like a page of Talmud in the Beit Midrash. There are many ways to be pro-Israel, not one or two. The study hall should be big enough to accommodate a wide range of arguers read more>
 
 
The Current Crisis in the Israel-United States Relationship
31.03.2010, by Samuel Gordon
President Obama wants what is best for Israel and the Middle East. He is fully in favor of the “Two State Solution” for the Israelis and the Palestinians - two states for two people read more>
 
 
The Moral Equality of Soldiers
28.03.2010, by Yitzhak Benbaji
Against the background of the wars being waged in Iraq and Afghanistan, a loaded debate is being conducted in the United States and in the international community on the “Just War Theory” developed by the American philosopher Michael Walzer. The implications of this discussion not only touch on the actions of the U.S. military or NATO forces - they also have an impact on the military actions taken in the Israeli-Arab conflict. Dr. Yitzhak Benbaji offers an original interpretation of Walzer’s classic theory. read more>
 
 
Hanna Rubina, the First Lady of Israeli Theater, and the Role of Women in the Seder
28.03.2010, by Dr. Channa Pinchasi
This Pesach, I want women everywhere to be a real part of the seder. I look at Hanna Rubina and I recognize the new, yet ancient way in which women can and should lead the seder read more>
 
 
Jewish Respect and Admiration for Muslim Religiosity Has Long History
15.03.2010, by Zvi Zohar
It is important for both Jews and Muslims to become acquainted with these sources, and to consider their implications read more>
 
 
It’s Cold Out There
02.03.2010
The fear of chaos and deterioration, writes Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman, is the reason we stick with the status quo and avoid change. However, recent history has taught us that vision, determination and initiative can shape a new future that is better than the one we are so afraid of losing. The dramatic changes in the last few decades in the relations between the Catholic Church and the Jewish People and the transformation in relations between Israel and Germany are just two examples of such historic change and they prove that the Sages were right when they said that in this life what is distorted can and – should – be put right. read more>
 
 
No More Blind Faith in Rabbis
18.02.2010, by Dr. Channa Pinchasi
“As a community, we will have to pay a heavy price: To give up some respect for the rabbis and to be more critical of them. Authority and charisma, accompanied by spiritual and religious power, create an opening for sexual abuse.” Channa Pinchasi offers her thoughts on the Rabbi Elon affair. read more>
 
 
Israeli Conversion
18.02.2010, by Ariel Picard
The dramatic changes in the character of Jewish existence in the modern era have reshaped the spheres of Jewish identity and have made it necessary to create conversion mechanisms that are appropriate to the new possibilities read more>
 
 
Havruta 4: “The Business of Ethics”: A Letter to Our Readers
17.02.2010, by Stuart Schoffman
Our fourth issue of Havruta is devoted to a timely topic, “The Business of Ethics.” The financial crisis affects us all: it shakes our foundations read more>
 
 
Havruta Archive, No. 3: The Spiritual Quest: Myth, Mysticism and Meaning
17.02.2010, by Havruta
Havruta Archive - No. 3 - The Spiritual Quest: Myth, Mysticism and Meaning read more>
 
 
Between a Legal Inquiry and a Discussion of Ethics
19.01.2010, by Avi Sagi
The Spirit of the IDF Document and the Investigation of Operation Cast Lead: Professor Avi Sagi, one of the authors of the Spirit of IDF document which replaced the army’s Code of Ethics, explains that one of the document’s objectives is to block the attempt by terrorists to undermine the moral values of Israeli society. He writes that Israel needs to determine whether from this point of view the behavior of its soldiers during Operation Cast Lead gave terror a victory. read more>
 
 
God’s Rainbow: Anger Management Device
12.01.2010, by Yair Lorberbaum
The research of Professor Yair Lorberbaum on the image of God in the Bible shows that the Biblical God is subject to emotional flare-ups and is affected by his relations with man. God’s longing for a connection with man, claims Professor Lorberbaum, is sometimes in conflict with his historic plans; however, this longing constitutes the deep motivation for his plans read more>
 
 
On Monday the Rabbi Went to the Movies
10.01.2010, by Mark Diamond
Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Inglourious Basterds’ is a modern-day Midrash on the Purim story. I see the Biblical Book of Esther as an ancient Jewish fable of justice and revenge read more>
 
 
‘Of What Use is a Candle in Broad Daylight?’ The Reinvention of a Myth
10.01.2010, by Havruta
Has the sun always been large and dazzling and the moon smaller, waxing and waning each month? Or were the cosmos different at the dawn of Creation? The Jewish view of the luminaries ranges beyond the skies, to the biblical text and its interpretive tradition. For us, the story of the sun and moon speaks of our lives and experiences as humans read more>
 
 
Nurturers, Emasculators or Competitors? On the Relation of Jewish Studies to Jewish Thought
22.12.2009, by Moshe Meir
Should Jewish Studies strive to affect public discourse or should it focus only on research? Do the high standards that must be met for good research stifle philosophical creativity? And is it possible that scientific discourse is itself, this fact being the source of its power? read more>
 
 
Revenge and its Place in the Space Between Text and Idea
22.12.2009, by Yoske Yosef Achituv (z”l)
The Quentin Tarantino film “Inglourious Basterds” describes a Jewish campaign of revenge against the Nazis at the peak of World War II. Yoske Achituv examines these questions and describes how Jewish culture deals with the issue of revenge and its place in the space between the text and the idea, on the one hand, and the act and execution, on the other read more>
 
 
What did Poetry Give Ibn Gvirol That Philosophy Could Not?
22.12.2009, by Menachem Lorberbaum
Shlomo Ibn Gvirol is known as a wonderful poet and an influential philosopher, writes Menachem Lorberbaum. However, while his philosophical writing deals with the importance of the human journey towards perfection using the intellect, poetry allowed him to relate to the materiality of the human body. On the tension between writing philosophy and writing poetry, and the complexity of the author’s world. read more>
 
 
The IDF’s Moral Eclipse
17.12.2009, by Avi Sagi
Assuming the Goldstone report is distorted and dripping with hatred for Israel, does that justify the lack of an investigation into what happened during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip? read more>
 
 
Women at a Funeral: The Last Act of Kindness
08.12.2009, by Dr. Channa Pinchasi
I want to change the world, to amend it. And there is also what to amend in the cemetery as in life. Our society, in this matter, is tarrying read more>
 
 
Romance, Masks and Traditional Texts in 16th Century ‘Talmudic Comedy’
25.11.2009, by Yair Lipshitz
‘The Comedy of Betrothal,’ written in the 16th century in the style of Italian Renaissance comedy, is full of sexual innuendo and sophisticated plays on words, together with verse fragments from the Bible and Talmudic texts read more>
 
 
The Spirit of the IDF Ethics Code and the Investigation of Operation Cast Lead
23.11.2009, by Avi Sagi
One of the objectives of the ‘Spirit of the IDF’ document is to block the attempt by terrorists to undermine the moral values of Israeli society. Israel needs to determine whether from this point of view the behavior of its soldiers during Operation Cast Lead gave terror a victory read more>
 
 
Intimate relationships: Parents and children
29.09.2009, by Samuel Gordon
All we really desire is to hear words that will validate us, that we will feel the embrace of someone who loves us, that we will hear in some way: My son, My daughter, My child, My grandchild, My love. What more do any of us desire? Unconditional love, from parents, lovers, spouses, children, and from God read more>
 
 
17 leading thinkers named to inaugural Hartman North American Scholars Circle
16.09.2009, by Donniel Hartman
Hartman North American Scholars Circle is a division of the Shalom Hartman Institute’s Robert and Arlene Kogod Research Center for Contemporary Jewish Thought, which has been formed to provide new ideas and responses to the moral and spiritual challenges facing contemporary North American Jewry read more>
 
 
Mystical vistas: An interview with Moshe Idel
16.08.2009, by Havruta
Moshe Idel, a senior fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute and Max Cooper Professor of Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University, is widely regarded as the most important scholar of Jewish mysticism since Gershom Scholem read more>
 
 
Highways, byways, and pathways
04.08.2009, by Mark Diamond
We are rabbis who labor on the ways of derekh even as we search for paths of orakh. We travel together with our community on life’s highways and remind people to slow down long enough to appreciate the access roads nearby read more>
 
 
Beyond Maimonides: The search for God in postmodern America
04.08.2009, by Havruta
The current penchant for motion and journeys may prove disorienting and taxing on the soul. As we settle into the new millennium, religious seekers may create a new conceptual framework, another theological dance between earth and heaven read more>
 
 
Is pluralism a Jewish word?
03.08.2009, by Jonah Layman
Recent protests in Jerusalem against opening a parking garage on Shabbat and the ongoing struggle by Israel’s rabbinate over control of conversions beg the question of pluralism: Does Judaism tolerate more than one halakhic opinion? read more>
 
 
NOW AVAILABLE! ‘Leadership and Crisis’: New lecture series for adult study and more on DVD
26.07.2009, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
This new program offers study with leading scholars from Hartman Institute in Jerusalem at your convenience that will allow you to raise your community to a new level read more>
 
 
Fun and Fences: The Ethics and Esthetics of Neighborliness in a Midrash and Israeli Commercial
13.07.2009, by Yair Lipshitz
Watching Cellcom’s new pastoral, jovial, disturbing commercial about a soccer ball kicked over the Separation Fence I fear Israel may have lost too much in its wayward quest for fun read more>
 
 
Send Women to Spy Out the Land
18.06.2009, by Dr. Channa Pinchasi
What would have happened if women, rather than men, had been sent to spy out the land of Canaan? Would we then have been spared 40 years of wandering in the wilderness? read more>
 
 
Shabbat, shmitta, and slavery: Human freedom and the yoke of heaven
16.06.2009, by Havruta
Does the Bible see man as free, as a sovereign and autonomous being? From the very beginning, the answer is less than clear-cut read more>
 
 
Introduction to Havruta, No. 3: The Spiritual Quest
15.06.2009, by Havruta
Havruta journal editor Stuart Schoffman previews the third issue, ‘The Spiritual Quest’ read more>
 
 
A Song for Many Voices: The Soul of Secular Israel
15.06.2009, by Rani Jaeger
In spite of its undeniable shortcomings, Zionism’s dizzying success has been to create native generations of Israelis who see the Land as their natural home read more>
 
 
Beyond Left and Right in Israeli dialogue
07.06.2009, by Stuart Schoffman
This 42nd anniversary of the outbreak of the Six-Day War - source of our great pride and ongoing frustration - is a good moment to affirm that the historical justice and necessity of the sovereign Jewish state are indeed more deeply rooted than Obama noted in his speech read more>
 
 
Havruta 2: Israel at 60: Judaism and Democracy in the Old-New Land
07.06.2009, by Havruta
The Significance of Israel for the Future of Judaism, By David Hartman; The Tribes of Israel: Jewish Identities in the Jewish State, By Donniel Hartman, and more read more>
 
 
Torah from heaven: Talmudic interpretations of Sinai
31.05.2009, by Moshe Halbertal
What makes the period from 200 BCE to 600 CE a coherent and revolutionary era in Judaism? Halbertal gives four reasons. Watch the video read more>
 
 
Hesed and the Jewish Way of Life Toward the Poor, the Widow, and the Stranger
24.05.2009, by Noam Zion
Megillat Ruth, together with the laws of leket, pe’ah and geulah, are all generalized categorized as forms of hesed, free will giving out of love. Yet in fact there is an interesting tension between these laws for helping the other and voluntarily given hesed read more>
 
 
Women, Come and Read All of the Megillot
21.05.2009, by Dr. Channa Pinchasi
Women’s reading of the megilla is not bound by a halahkic obligation or restriction. However, this new and exciting Jewish experience can provide a rich religious and spiritual experience read more>
 
 
Engage in Torah Study to Understand World Around Us
07.05.2009, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
We must strive to establish the Torah for ourselves, our families and our communities as a vital, dynamic text, as relevant to our lives today as it was 2,000 years ago read more>
 
 
Zionism Rebooted: The Case for Peace
30.03.2009, by Alick Isaacs
Why is the image of Israel as a source of a new vibrant Jewish culture or as the object of our critical engagement not enough to make its place in American Jewish life self-evident? Why is it these strategies have not cleared up the nagging question: Why Israel? read more>
 
 
Wearing down my soul and renewing it
15.03.2009, by David Thomas
The antidote to burnout is engaging in something that nurtures the soul; Torah learning with colleagues who care deeply about one another feeds and nurtures the rabbi’s soul read more>
 
 
Orality, Narrative, Rhetoric: New Directions in Mishnah Research
03.03.2009, by Ishay Rosen-Zvi
What characterizes the Mishnah as a composition? Or, in short: what is mishnah read more>
 
 
Video: Religious Tolerance, Real Pluralism and ’Holy Envy‘
02.03.2009, by Prof. Menachem Fisch
In opening remarks at a recent public forum during the Shalom Hartman Institute annual Theology Conference, Prof. Menachem Fisch discussed the difference between tolerance and religious pluralism read more>
 
 
The ‘Queer’ Orthodox Jew
24.02.2009, by Jennie Rosenfeld
One factor which contributes to the pain of Modern Orthodox singles is their position within the broader Orthodox community: Rarely are singles simply accepted without any caveats, or without the ‘nebich’ factor read more>
 
 
Freedom in Covenant: A Celebration of Eugene Borowitz’s Theological Quest
18.02.2009, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
Text of a video presentation by Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi honoring Dr. Eugene Borowitz on his 85th birthday, February 17, 2009 read more>
 
 
Israel Not Ready for Green Message - Yet
15.02.2009, by Ariel Picard
New environmental-Jewish party did not win enough votes for Knesset representation but is encouraged for the future read more>
 
 
A Time for Prayer, a Time for Action
11.02.2009, by Mark Diamond
Prayer is a natural and praiseworthy response to crisis. And yet, as Moses discovered, crisis calls for decisive human action. Keep moving. Get on with your life. Confront life`s challenges and move forward read more>
 
 
War on Hamas a time to stay close to one another and to our family in Israel
15.01.2009, by Bill Berk
The big picture is that the Jewish people have the right to defend ourselves. We have the right to live without rockets landing on our heads read more>
 
 
Weapons of Outrage
15.01.2009, by Stuart Schoffman
‘Tell me, what am I supposed to think?’ Words to that effect from the Old Country have been sailing into my email inbox for the past few weeks read more>
 
 
Redemptive fictions: Holiness, heresy and the ironies of Zionism
12.01.2009, by Havruta
The profound historical necessity of a renewed Jewish state was finally comprehended by the world and its remaining Jews only after millions were murdered by a Judeophobic madman and his ostensibly rational apprentices read more>
 
 
Binyamin Ish-Shalom: A halakhic conversion process that is friendly
08.01.2009, by Havruta
When it comes to conversion, the divisiveness among the various denominations is even more radical, because this division is not only between denominations – Orthodox, Conservative, and so on - but within them as well read more>
 
 
Membership: An arcane debate turned a searing headline
08.01.2009, by Havruta
Since its inception, the Jewish nation has been forced to contend with the question of membership. This question is no less pressing now than it was when our matriarch Sarah expelled Ishmael from the clan read more>
 
 
A.B. Yehoshua: ‘I will not have someone else define my identity for me’
08.01.2009, by Havruta
I find the notion of letting non-Jews formulate a definition of ‘Who is a Jew’ morally intolerable. I will not have someone else define my identity for me read more>
 
 
Give preference to halakha that enables giyyur even if candidate is not Orthodox
08.01.2009, by Havruta
Failure to recognize that a partially observant but fully Jewish family is highly preferable to a continued situation of intermarriage is a deep sin against the value of Jewish continuity read more>
 
 
‘I would not recommend patrilineal descent in Israel’
08.01.2009, by Havruta
A halakhic basis for patrilineal descent exists. It only applied in a specific sovereign Jewish entity, where it was assumed that any non-Jewish woman who married a Jewish man would be brought into the prevailing culture read more>
 
 
Is religious law sole authority in Judaism?
30.12.2008, by Donniel Hartman
Exploring the inner struggle within Jewish tradition of whether moral sentiments that contradict religious life have authority for a person committed to living according to God`s will read more>
 
 
Riches by the Pocketful
15.12.2008, by Steven Moskowitz
In the United States, a church can help sustain a synagogue. Christians can say to Jews, “Come, fill our home with your melodies” read more>
 
 
Havruta No. 1, Spring 2008: Membership and Conversion
07.12.2008
Havruta is a semi-annual magazine from the Shalom Hartman Institute read more>
 
 
On Torah, Trenches and Trifles: A Modern Legend
30.11.2008, by Ari Elon
In the beginning the Torah lay bound up in a corner, and whosoever desired would come and claim her… read more>
 
 
The Narrative of Israeli Judaism
11.11.2008, by Ariel Picard
Some Israelis are starting to take a lot from old Jewish culture and renewing it read more>
 
 
Forty years after RFK death, a new beginning?
29.10.2008, by Samuel Gordon
Whether Obama wins or McCain, whether it is a Democrat or Republican Congress, we know that the baton is being passed. Obama’s nomination was, for some , the end of 40 years in the wilderness read more>
 
 
How is this knight different from all other knights?
20.10.2008, by Mark Diamond
I stood with a kippah on my head and a shofar in hand before 700 Roman Catholics assembled for their annual meeting. They were knights and ladies of the Western USA Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem read more>
 
 
The financial meltdown and the fragility of the human condition
02.10.2008, by Bill Berk
On the Days of Awe everything, all that we own and all that we are, hangs in the balance. Here today, gone tomorrow read more>
 
 
The Jewish poet and the Jewish prime minister
22.09.2008, by Havruta
Given the concerns of today’s Jewish world, it is worth pondering the messages and paradoxes of Emma Lazarus’s first published essay on a Jewish subject, “Was the Earl of Beaconsfield a Representative Jew?” read more>
 
 
Beijing 2008: Where are all our medals?
31.08.2008, by Adam Afterman
Israel can never expect any significant Olympic achievement until physical exercise and athletic prowess become as important on the football field as they are on the battlefield read more>
 
 
Israel needs school system that develops Jewish culture
14.08.2008, by Ariel Picard
Israel needs an education system that will create knowledgeable people who know Judaism is a source of values and ideas. It is not enough to have it in the air read more>
 
 
Beyond apologetics: Orthodox feminism in the 21st century
06.08.2008, by Havruta
Hierarchy of gender in Jewish tradition collides head-on with a democratic and egalitarian worldview; The equality of women recognized by the laws of the state clashes sharply with the picture painted in traditional Jewish sources read more>
 
 
Philistines and the future of Zionism: The redemptive scenario of Rabbi Zvi Tau
10.07.2008, by Havruta
Tau teaches that the State of Israel is itself sacred to a degree, and must be loyally served and protected, and his unusual and creative analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has generated great interest among some Israelis - and concern among others read more>
 
 
‘Tough are Gerim’: Conversion to Judaism in Medieval Europe
01.07.2008, by Avraham (Rami) Reiner
The Talmud’s paradigmatic maxim on the acceptance of gerim is Rabbi Helbo’s saying ‘gerim are as hard for Israel as a scab’ read more>
 
 
Heavenly Jerusalem, Earthly Jerusalem
02.06.2008, by Rani Jaeger
Never has a city been so beautiful and so blemished, so revered and so reviled, so easy to love and so hard to live in read more>
 
 
Take Israel’s Declaration of Independence off the Wall
07.05.2008, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
Sixty years after Jews transcended their denominational divides to proclaim the establishment of a state “for the benefit of all its inhabitants,” have we succeeded in fulfilling their legacy of pluralism and tolerance? read more>
 
 
Freedom: The Forgotten Obligation
23.04.2008, by Prof. Menachem Fisch
We must remember that our freedom commits us not only toward God, but toward one another as well read more>
 
 
Ritual, Renewal, and Prophecy: Visions of an Old-New Age
03.04.2008, by Jonathan Garb
Hanukkah’s special status stems not from the historical event involved, but rather from the ceremony of lighting candles - the commemorative ritual itself read more>
 
 
Make Room for Israeli Arabs
02.04.2008, by Avi Sagi
As long as every political, religious and ethnic subgroup in Israel may assert its presence in the public sphere, the Arab sector must be allowed to do so, too read more>
 
 
Encouraging a Culture of Questions
01.04.2008, by Noam Zion
There are no questions that may not be asked, no doubt that may not be raised - as long as the true motive for the question is a genuine desire to learn read more>
 
 
Breaking the chain of terrorism
13.03.2008, by Micah Goodman
The army and Shin Bet, for all of their diligent work in preventing attacks, cannot put an end to terrorism; the true battlefield of terror is the human mind, and it is only there that it can be defeated read more>
 
 
War and ethics in the IDF ethical code
12.03.2008, by Moshe Halbertal
The ethical code integrates proportionality and restriction into IDF operational policy, our attempt at maintaining moral integrity in way we handle conflict militarily read more>
 
 
International Condemnation Good for Israel
10.03.2008, by Alex Sinclair
We can feel outrage at the ignorance and one-sidedness of Ban Ki-moon and his friends, but deep down, we should thank them: their outrage leads to our way out read more>
 
 
The Iranian bomb: bane or boon?
20.02.2008, by Moshe Halbertal
Arab national regimes, once quite content to allow radical Islam to spearhead their war against Israel for them, now find themselves within fatal range of the nuclear monster they’ve helped create read more>
 
 
‘Like a newborn baby’: Intermarriage and conversion
07.02.2008, by Zvi Zohar
Rather than worry about the religious intention of the would-be convert, the rabbis ought to concern themselves with the future of his children read more>
 
 
Ongoing tasks of liberal Judaism
03.02.2008, by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi: Confronting these challenges is in fact deepening the interpretation of our tradition by ensuring that all Jews - regardless of family status - can be present at the ongoing revelation and interpretation of Torah read more>
 
 
Moshe Rabbeinu and the Winograd Commission
29.01.2008, by Menachem Lorberbaum
Our politicians would do well to learn a thing or two from Moshe: a man humble enough to listen to others, but not so humble that he can no longer lead read more>
 
 
Images of God: Prophetic dispute between freedom and determinism
27.01.2008, by Israel Knohl
Does God judge us individually, on account of the consequences of willful choices? Is our fate sealed by a destiny predetermined by the deity? This reminds us of debate over how much behavior and potential are dependent on genetics or environment read more>
 
 
Unite Israel`s education system
21.01.2008, by Dror Yinon
A unified state school system - where secular and religious children study together, eat lunch together, play basketball and go on field trips together - is the only way to secure our future as a people. read more>
 
 
Personality and Teshuvah for the High Holidays
01.07.2007, by Micah Goodman
Analyzing the meaning of rituals surrounding repentance at the High Holidays read more>
 
 
One People, One Education
01.06.2007, by Dror Yinon
A unified state school system - where secular and religious children study together, eat lunch together, play basketball and go on field trips together - is the only way to secure our future as a people. read more>
 
 
 
   
 
   
 
 
Photo by David Rubinger
 
   
 
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