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How the New Israel Litmus Test Turns Jews Into Christian Zionists
18.10.2017, by Shaul Magid
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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>
Simcha in Torah
01.10.2017, by Donniel Hartman
Simchat Torah is not merely the day where we celebrate our own joy in Torah, but commit ourselves to empowering it and allowing all Jews to find their own personal Simcha in Torah. 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>
Why You Should Sneak-Read In Shul on Yom Kippur
01.10.2017, by Yehuda Kurtzer
There is nothing better than showing up at shul having forgotten your book at home, only to discover a rich body of reading material left behind. But don’t start discussion groups in the pews of the reading material. Remember, this is all in service of your and the community’s spiritual experience, and not a competing performance read more>
For the Sin of Certainty
28.09.2017, by Donniel Hartman
Which difference do we tolerate, and which do we not, is the question. The sin of certainty both blinds us to this question and renders us incapable of such discernment. The price? The price is the dysfunctional harmful social discourse and behavior dominating our lives today 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>
The Jewish Homeland Must not Seek Political Gain from Populist Aggression Against Refugees
19.09.2017, by Donniel Hartman
What is it about Israel as the home of the Jewish people that Netanyahu and his ministers believe to be so endangered? 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>
Ha’azinu: Human Existence in an Age of Divine Concealment
19.09.2017, by Avital Hochstein
We must view our characteristic, as Jews, as "children with no loyalty in them," as both a result and a possibility - and therefore as a reality which is not a necessary one read more>
Messianic Politics
17.09.2017, by Yehuda Kurtzer
This year, there is a lot I want to see change in the world. I am mindful of what I want to see change quickly here in America, in Israel, in Jewish communal life, and in my own soul. I am tempted to find the reset button or a genie with infinite wishes. But in the meantime, I am taking on this challenge differently by saying to myself: Think big! And also, plant seeds read more>
Nitzavim-VaYelekh: The Value of Forgetfulness in a Culture of Tradition
14.09.2017, by Avital Hochstein
No halakhah can be introduced by prophecy, but the tools of Torah study are granted as ways of learning new halakhot throughout the ages 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>
Ki Tavo: ‘When You Enter the Land’: Land as a Place, Aspiration, or Outcome
07.09.2017, by Avital Hochstein
We, who live in a time of Jewish sovereignty in the land of Israel, are now faced with a great challenge: How do we live now? read more>
Ki Teitzei: Were It Not Written, It Would Not Have Been Thinkable
31.08.2017, by Avital Hochstein
We are confronted with a surprising, complex and multifaceted Torah that challenges the reader at every turn and in every generation. This is a Torah that demands the attention and sensitivity of its readers as well as the constant search for hidden meanings, even those embedded between the words and the verses 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>
Shoftim: Where are the Orphans, Widows and Strangers? On the Audible Silence in the Parasha
24.08.2017, by Avital Hochstein
The absence of weakened members of society, alongside the persistent cautions regarding the need to stay on the path, are positioned as warning signs: when a society`s focus is on comparisons with the exterior and on fortifying borders, it is liable to replace concern for charity and justice, raising the danger of inner blindness which itself may lead off the path of righteousness 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>
Re’eh: A Place of Their Own - A Place of His Own
17.08.2017, by Avital Hochstein
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Eikev: What the Manna Teaches about Life in the Land of Canaan
09.08.2017, by Avital Hochstein
Living in response to what comes forth from God’s mouth creates a reality of independence and maturity read more>
Va’Etchanan - Mapping a Relationship: Chapter 4 of Devarim
03.08.2017, by Avital Hochstein
This is the Torah: The exclusivity of the relationship with God, which includes a past, a particular place and particular behaviors, an understanding of the ramifications of betrayal, the possibility of teshuvah and the ability to hold those who sin and make mistakes read more>
Minding the Gap: A Primer for Jewish Professionals and Philanthropy
The recent crises afflicting the already-teetering relationship between Diaspora and Israeli Jewry could offer a moment for Jewish communal opportunism read more>
Devarim: Beginning the Jewish Interpretive Tradition
30.07.2017, by Avital Hochstein
A Torah interpreter must not only go over and repeat, and not only hear that which has not yet been heard, but must also try to answer the questions which the Torah and its previous interpreters have left unanswered read more>
The Impact of 1967 on the Identity of Israeli Jews
25.07.2017, by Yossi Klein Halevi
2017 Robert P. Kogod Annual Lecture read more>
Pinchas: Regarding Leadership and Spirit
13.07.2017, by Avital Hochstein
It is Moshe’s experience of God here that inspires him to turn to God as the God of spirits" read more>
Mr. Netanyahu, Tear Down the Wall Dividing Our People
10.07.2017, by Donniel Hartman
For world Jewry in 2017, a speech about your commitment to religious pluralism is no longer sufficient read more>
The Tragedy of the Wall
09.07.2017, by Yossi Klein Halevi
The haredi community must not be allowed to sabotage the essence of Zionism in our time – which is to uphold the integrity of Jewish peoplehood read more>
Suspending the Kotel Agreement: An Affront to Zionism
09.07.2017, by Donniel Hartman
The Kotel agreement is not solely a Diaspora Jewry concern, but rather an Israeli concern read more>
Balak: Between Pinhas and Balaam
05.07.2017, by Avital Hochstein
We too learn of the simple nature of the relationship between God and his creatures; the relationship is a mutual one, one who chooses it is a part of it, whereas one who scorns the choice remains external to it read more>
1917 - The Idea of a Homeland for the Jewish People
28.06.2017, by Donniel Hartman
Lecture at 2017 Community Leadership Program Summer Retreat, June 21, 2017, Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem. The Summer program was titled, ‘1917, 1947, 1967: The Legacy of The Past and the Future of Modern Israel,’ and ran from June 21–28, 2017. read more>
Chukkat: Death, Impurity, and the Pursuit of Life
28.06.2017, by Avital Hochstein
The demand to move on from death and to purify oneself transforms the encounter with death into one that affirms life through a dynamic commitment to act, to move forward, to become pure again 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>
Korah - On Illness: A Natural and Unnatural Phenomenon
22.06.2017, by Avital Hochstein
The Talmud ends up offering not just a fascinating reading of the Korah tale, but also a worldview regarding death that is the culmination of illness read more>
Shelah: The Story of a Developing Community - From Exodus to Exoneration
15.06.2017, by Avital Hochstein
The sin of the spies is also a milestone not only in the unfolding character of the Jewish people, but also in God’s willingness to grant them the tools to find atonement for the future sins both He and they know they will commit read more>
BeHa’alotkha: Walking in the Footsteps of the Rearguard
08.06.2017, by Avital Hochstein
Boundaries exist not only for the sake of keeping foreignness out, but also for the sake of helping those who are internal to stay within read more>
Still Stuck Between May and June of 1967
07.06.2017, by Yossi Klein Halevi
This is an essay in a series of articles in the New York Times in June 2017 that examined the 1967 Arab-Israeli conflict, a half-century since the Six Day War read more>
Power, God, and Land
06.06.2017, by Donniel Hartman
From one of four iEngage conferences on the same theme from the dates May 17-24, 2017, in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Toronto read more>
Unsettled: On 6-Day War Anniversary, Pondering the Myth-making Stories that Define Judaism
05.06.2017, by Yehuda Kurtzer
‘I wouldn’t trade the Zionism that comes with winning the war for the nostalgia of the older and better Jewish story, but I worry that this new story which has replaced the old mythology of journey is deeply lacking’ read more>
Why May 1967 Matters As Much As June 1967
01.06.2017, by Yossi Klein Halevi
From one of the four ‘Six Days That Shaped 50 Years’ in May 2017 in Toronto, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles read more>
Naso: What Unites the People of Israel - Thoughts on Family and Otherness
01.06.2017, by Avital Hochstein
The Sages chose to read many verses in such a way as to place the kohen and God’s home on the side of the converts read more>
26.05.2017, by Avital Hochstein
Reading this week`s parashah raises a number of complex questions regarding how to navigate the tension between the values set forth in the text and our present-day worldview in the context of women`s involvement in civil society. It is at this sensitive juncture that I would like to propose a few principles and methodologies for approaching traditional texts that seek to interpret the Torah. 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>
Jewish Identity, Belonging, and Community in the 21st Century
18.05.2017, by Donniel Hartman
Jewish Identity, Belonging, and Community in the 21st Century, May 10, 2017, Bnai Jeshurun, New York City. Concluding lecture in the Jewish Identity lecture series of 2016-2017 read more>
BeHar-BeChukotai: The Seventh Year: Sabbatical or Shemittah?
18.05.2017, by Avital Hochstein
Though, modern people in the Western world are, for the most part, removed from the land, we control so much property. VaYikra`s vision of the seventh year demands that we recognize the dependence in our lives. Yet Shemot`s paradigm of the seventh year also commands us to remove ourselves from ownership, to experience living without, perhaps as a basis from which to experience equality. read more>
Emor: Building Mutuality and Covenant Between People and their Leaders
11.05.2017, by Avital Hochstein
We envision a public sphere in which the leadership depends on the people-for nourishment, light, and even the organization and flow of time. In this way, God, the people, and their representatives construct, reflect, and preserve their joint covenant through their respective public roles and responsibilities read more>
Acharei Mot - Kedoshim
05.05.2017, by Avital Hochstein
Jewish sovereignty is a new phenomenon in the Jewish world; it reflects circumstances that we have not experienced in two-thousand years. These circumstances might shed light or reflect darkness, might clarify some things and call others into question. Regardless, they are significant. The Jewish conversation must consider the ways in which these circumstances matter, how the fact of a "post-inheritance and post-sovereignty" reality color the lives of Jews wherever they live. read more>
Tazria-Metzora: Subject, Object, and Reader
27.04.2017, by Avital Hochstein
The thirteenth chapter of Sefer VaYikra talks about tzara`at, among other surface afflictions of the human body and of physical property. 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>
Shemini: Regarding Mistaken Stringencies and Humanity that is Good in the Eyes of God
20.04.2017, by Avital Hochstein
Stringencies are not infrequently mistakes, and often gateways to them. People must confront and be present with what happens to them, even when they are engaged in ‘sanctifying through closeness,’ and despite an intuition that the way of the stoic is the pathway to intimacy with God read more>
A Jubilee For Our Political Certainties
18.04.2017, by Yossi Klein Halevi
The debate over the future of the liberated/occupied/administered territories began in the summer of 1967, immediately after the Six-Day War. It was, initially, an argument among writers, in part a linguistic debate over how to refer to the lands Israel had just won. 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>
Tzav: Turning Over a New Leaf? Two Models of Atonement
06.04.2017, by Avital Hochstein
Atonement is straightening that which was crooked and is a process of renewal, but there is no such thing as new beginning without a past 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>
Plenary Session: 2017 Jewish Funders Network International Conference
03.04.2017, by Yehuda Kurtzer
Yehuda Kurtzer leads a discussion touching on the transformative state of the Jewish community over the past 30 years and what the response should be today 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>
‘My Prayer for Jerusalem’
02.04.2017, by Yossi Klein Halevi
On the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War and the reunification of Jerusalem, Yossi Klein Halevi says: ‘My prayer for Jerusalem, my city, our city, is that the international community will recognize the Jewish people as the legitimate custodian of Jerusalem and that we will see ourselves as the custodians of Jerusalem for humanity’ 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>
Vayikra: ‘If He Does Not Give Information’
30.03.2017, by Avital Hochstein
Even if we have not willingly chosen the circumstances that turned us into people who know, our obligation to fix, to purify, and to alert is not dependent on those circumstances 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>
VaYakhel-Pekudei: Bezalel’s Leadership an Additional Step in Leaving Egypt
22.03.2017, by Avital Hochstein
The leadership model that Bezalel presents is an added step in the distancing from Egypt, a step from a reality in which Moshe the man of God is the leader, toward the possibility of human leadership of a different kind read more>
Pesach’s ‘Wicked Child’ Shows Removing Oneself from Community is Judaism’s True Heresy
21.03.2017, by Donniel Hartman
‘In our tradition, heresy is to separate yourself from the community, because that’s what our tradition is. Our tradition is a religion for a people.’ read more>
Ki Tissa: From the Burning Bush to Sinai
15.03.2017, by Avital Hochstein
At the sneh, God presented himself as one who sees suffering and is moved by it, but at Sinai Moshe asks not only to be seen but also to see God 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>
Tetsaveh: Discourses in Clothing: From Priestly Garments to Common Garb
08.03.2017, by Avital Hochstein
Clothing is about honoring and marking people, drawing attention to them, having their ‘sound heard’ when they ‘come and go’ 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>
Three Ways We Change: What Works and What Doesn’t
06.03.2017, by Call & Responsa
Vol. 3, No. 1, Elana Stein Hain, The Call
The pluses and minuses of three methods of change: three models of change: radical, social conditioning, and adaptive
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Does Outrage Change Others or Solidify our Position?
05.03.2017, by Steven Moskowitz
Vol. 3, No. 1, Steve Moskowitz, The Response
‘From the perspective of justice, small, tedious, and layered changes appear incidental.’
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Sometimes Competing Strategies are Symbiotic
05.03.2017, by Shalom Hartman Institute
Vol. 3, No. 1, David Wolkenfeld, The Response
‘Deeply personal and ingrained components of our identity lead us to one change strategy or another.’
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America 2017: We Have Entered a Time of Great Change
05.03.2017, by Judith HaLevy
Vol. 3, No. 1, Judith HaLevy, The Response
‘A moral imperative for change brings clarity, but also incites immediate polarization.’
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Capitulations are not Viewed Kindly by History
05.03.2017, by Mari Chernow
Vol. 3, No. 1, Mari Chernow, The Response
‘Lasting change often comes because of the passionate work of people inside and outside of the system.’
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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>
Terumah: The Receiving Giver
01.03.2017, by Avital Hochstein
God here is giving us one possible way of dealing with this danger, and that is to turn the tables by recognizing them and naming the need of the giver 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>
Mishpatim: Does the Majority Rule?
22.02.2017, by Avital Hochstein
The emphasis at the center of the story on this principle shifts from being a simple positive statement of following the majority, to one that carries with it echoes of the warning that sometimes one cannot and may not do or say what the majority determines. Even though it can be especially hard to stand up for your own opinion, stand up in the breach for what is right read more>
For Israeli-Palestinian Peace, We Need to Count to 3
21.02.2017, by Donniel Hartman
The problem with Netanyahu’s math is that he seems to be able to count only up to two. I believe there is a third: “What is hateful unto you, do not do unto others.” 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>
Yitro: Reflections on Divine and Human Voices at Sinai
15.02.2017, by Avital Hochstein
As long as in the formation of the covenant or relationship only one real actor is involved, it will be difficult for the other partner to feel whole in entering into the covenant, and to really hear it and respond to it read more>
Video: Were We Like Dreamers?
15.02.2017, by Yossi Klein Halevi
Were We Like Dreamers? From Six Days to Fifty Years. Award-winning author and Shalom Hartman Institute senior fellow, did a live broadcast on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, about the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Six Day War, and what it has meant for Israeli and Jewish society worldwide. Yossi answered questions during the program. The program was part of the Hartman Institute David Hartman Annual Conference for a Jewish-Democratic Israel. 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>
Beshallach: Let Us Not Long for the Desert: Reflections on the Pillar of Cloud
08.02.2017, by Avital Hochstein
We need to grab the golden opportunity that leaving the desert awards us and demands from us as Jews, as a sovereign people, and as global citizens read more>
The Tragedy of Amona
06.02.2017, by Donniel Hartman
If Amona stays, and with it the other settlements outside of the settlement blocs, we certainly will not have the peace we are praying for. We will not have a State of Israel living in peace and security, but rather an Israel engaged in ongoing conflict, alienated from Palestinians and our Arab neighbors, and a pariah in the international community read more>
Linda Sarsour and American Jewish Politics
05.02.2017, by Yehuda Kurtzer
We find more effective common cause than is possible in the inherently constricting litmus test approach, which not only closes off a wider network of allies that we all desperately need, but which also creates a culture of suspicion even toward those with whom we are close. The litmus test approach is a negative structure toward cultivating loyalty; “two-thirds and 51 percent” tilts toward creating cultures of broad assent read more>
Bo: On Belonging and Otherness in Parashat Bo
01.02.2017, by Avital Hochstein
It’s not enough to expand or to include. We have an obligation to look at the way we go about including, how do we invite other people to join us, how we behave toward them when they do read more>
Vaera: On the Value of Stubbornness
28.01.2017, by Avital Hochstein
Stubbornness is a complex and harsh characteristic. It is no surprise, then, that Pharaoh who is considered to be one of the most wicked characters in the Torah is shown as being very stubborn. We see Pharaoh repeatedly refusing to engage with the reality that he is faced with, and stubbornly, over and over, refusing to send the Israelites out of Egypt. Pharaoh is the paradigmatic stubborn person in the Exodus story, yet Parashat Va’Era also points to other characters in the story who are not considered wicked in any way who are nevertheless portrayed with this characteristic of stubbornness. This implies that perhaps stubbornness is not all bad. What can we learn about this character trait from our parashah and when it might make sense to employ it? read more>
Obama, Trump and the Dangers of a ‘Jewish’ President
23.01.2017, by Yossi Klein Halevi
For American Jews, all the guidelines that once helped define their community have eroded. American Jews need to resist the temptation of totally identifying their preferred president with Jewish interests and values 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>
Shemot: The Slippery Slope from Fear to Evil
21.01.2017, by Avital Hochstein
The first chapter of Sefer Shemot contains an important lesson for society: Evil can be perpetrated more easily by a group than by an individual. The chapter sounds this warning: The evil of a decree doesn’t keep people from obeying it. To the contrary, a blanket permission to be evil is a lot easier to implement than one single point of evil. Moreover, an all-encompassing license is, by its very nature, difficult to control once it is released. On top of that, it often returns to visit itself on the people who unleashed it. 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>
Vayechi: Seeing in Genesis
14.01.2017, by Avital Hochstein
In the journey of seeing in the book of Genesis, God is not described as satisfied when He sees, He is described as longing and wanting mutuality, mutuality which is enabled when He is also being seen. The peak expression of this seeing is when it gives birth to a name, a name that is given to the divine from the one seeing Him. read more>
To Pardon the Rebellious Son?
08.01.2017, by Donniel Hartman
It would be sinful to revoke punishment for a soldier convicted of breaking our moral code read more>
Vayigash: Yosef’s Cry of Disappointment
07.01.2017, by Avital Hochstein
Yosef teaches us that relationships require exposure. As long as we maintain our covers and masks, our relationships remain unsatisfying. An act of exposure requires courage, a courage which is necessary in order for relationships to become fulfilling and to bring us peace of mind. 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>
Mikeitz: On the Power and Danger of Groups
31.12.2016, by Avital Hochstein
One of the givens of Jewish tradition is that matters of holiness require ten people, as we see in the context of the minyan of prayer. Different Rabbinic sources try to locate the basis for this demand and many sources in the Rabbinic tradition of Israel connect the ten people needed for a minyan to the original, literal Sons of Israel, the ten of Ya’akov’s sons who went down to Egypt to get food due to the famine plaguing Canaan at the time. We will examine one midrash in Bereishit Rabbah and the way that it grounds the requirement for a minyan from the verses about the journey of Ya’akov’s ten sons in our parashah. read more>
Let the Debate Around Settlements Begin
29.12.2016, by Donniel Hartman
As we are now implementing unilateral policies that are going to determine where the borders of Israel will ultimately lie, we need a serious debate about the consequences. Whether UNSC 2334 will have far-reaching political impact on Israel is not the question. Our position on the settlements will. Let the debate begin read more>
Vayeishev: Different Models of Loyalty
24.12.2016, by Avital Hochstein
We often think of the story of Yehudah and Tamar as being about Yehudah and Tamar, but a closer reading yields that there is a third figure in the story, Hirah the man from Adulam. read more>
Jewish Identity, Belonging, and Community
22.12.2016, by Yehuda Kurtzer
Jewish Identity, Belonging, and Community, B’nai Jeshurun Congregation, New York City, Dec. 14, 2016. Opening lecture in 2016-2017 lecture and study series on intermarriage created by Shalom Hartman Institute of North America and B`nai Jeshurun 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>
Vayishlach: The Ability to Prevail Through Struggle
17.12.2016, by Avital Hochstein
At the heart of our parashah we are presented with the arresting scene of Ya`akov wrestling with an unidentified "man." This puzzling scene is understood by Ya`akov in hindsight as an encounter with God: "So Ya`akov named the place Peniel, meaning, `I have seen a divine being face to face, yet my life has been preserved`" (v. 31). 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>
Visions for a Shared Society
12.12.2016, by Yehuda Kurtzer
Opening lecture, 2016-2017 Los Angeles Synagogue Collaborative Series read more>
Toldot: From Isaac to Esau
03.12.2016, by Avital Hochstein
Yitzhak is a complex figure: at times motivated by inter-personal ties and connected, and at times both an isolated and an isolating personality. I would like to explore the expression of both these aspects of Yitzhak in our parashah. read more>
An Urgent Need for Ambivalence
30.11.2016, by Yehuda Kurtzer
Let’s support even those stumbling out of the gate, and help them formulate the voices we will need for the work ahead. In challenging moments, we need great leadership: cannibalizing our camp right now will be an unendurable loss 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>
The Politics of But
28.11.2016, by Donniel Hartman
If we are to make our societies great again, it will not be by counting on the false sense of security provided by our constitutional and legal systems, but rather through tireless educational efforts to elevate the civility within our civil society read more>
Chayyei Sarah: When Did Humanity Begin to Age and What is the Value of Aging?
26.11.2016, by Avital Hochstein
It seems that in the Bavli Avraham`s request is not a request solely for self respect, as apparent in Bereishit Rabbah, but rather it has a philanthropic side. The request for dissimilarity is not only a request for oneself but also for one`s offspring. It is in fact a universal request regarding progress. Avraham is asking to be able to change the future, a future he will not be a part of, and God`s response is to bless Avraham "with everything." read more>
Vayera: Parents, Children, and Obedience in the Story of the Binding of Yitzhak
19.11.2016, by Avital Hochstein
This week, I would like to discuss two readings-essentially two interpretations-of the story of the Akeidah, the binding of Yitzhak. One of them emphasizes making the ultimate sacrifice for God, while the other sees the central moral of the story as focused on the value of relationships. 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>
Lekh Lekha: Betwen Seeing and Hearing in the Meeting of Hagar and the Angel
12.11.2016, by Avital Hochstein
Hagar teaches us that vision has tremendous power in relationships. Seeing causes the one being seen to feel that their existence has been acknowledged and accepted. This can lead those who are seen to become seers themselves, thus creating a kind of reciprocal seeing that is the key to deep knowledge of the others with whom we share our lives. 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>
What Does It Mean to Be an American Jew Today?
09.11.2016, by Yehuda Kurtzer
Lecture given the day after the 2016 US presidential election, in which Yehuda Kurtzer discusses the vote’s impact on the lives of American Jews read more>
Noach: The First Covenant in Tanakh
05.11.2016, by Avital Hochstein
In Parashat Noah, God shows us that being in relationship with other people requires deep knowledge of ourselves and our own weaknesses, and a strong commitment to controlling our own impulses and our own behavior. God does not try to change the nature of humanity, to change the “inclination of man to good.” Instead God talks to Himself, talks to humanity, puts restrictions on Himself, and becomes able, thereby, to be bound to us. 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>
Bereishit: Two Models of Partnership and Marriage
29.10.2016, by Avital Hochstein
Parashat Bereishit raises fundamental questions about the nature, characteristics, and essence of humanity’s existence 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>
It’s Time to Take the Road Not Taken
26.09.2016, by Donniel Hartman
If the absence of a peace process is not what ought to be, then we can choose to do something about it read more>
‘Putting God Second’ Challenges Us to Think Critically About Tradition
19.09.2016, by Vernon Kurtz
Donniel Hartman challenges all of us to live a life of ethics, morality, and humility, motivated by a belief in God which ennobles our lives and those around us read more>
3 Types of Shimon Peres Haters - and Why They’re Wrong
15.09.2016, by Yehuda Kurtzer
read more>
Sacred Tension
15.09.2016, by Shalom Hartman Institute
iEngage Summer Internship participant Emma Maier writes about her experience learning and working at Shalom Hartman Institute this past summer read more>
We Must Ignore the Destructive Teachings of Scriptures
13.09.2016, by Gerald L. Zelizer
The sacred literature and history of each contain both peaceful and violent components. It depends where the voice who speaks for the religion chooses to look 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>
Why the Witch Hunts?
07.09.2016, by Yehuda Kurtzer
There is no serious way to produce communal “consensus” on Israel, nor is it necessarily desirable. But neither is it the case that these political differences should translate into the vitriol that inevitably accompanies them, much less the frequent and toxic personalization of political difference that is making leadership a miserable activity for Jewish professionals 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>
To my Muslim Brethren: I See You
23.08.2016, by Yehuda Kurtzer
I see you, and will strive to see you in the ways that you want to be seen. We owe you the civility of not judging your politics based your clothing, only your self-expression of choosing to live within the parameters of your faith. I hear stories from friends and colleagues about the urgency of taking off the hijab in America 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>
Video: Otherness and Exceptionalism
04.08.2016, by Donniel Hartman
Donniel Hartman: Otherness and Exceptionalism. Lecture from HartmanSummer 2016. June 29, 2016, Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem, Israel, Community Leadership Program Summer Retreat read more>
Make the Three Weeks a Time for Healing
04.08.2016, by Yossi Klein Halevi
Enough mourning for the sake of mourning. Let us turn the Three Weeks into a time of Jewish healing read more>
Exceptionalism and Otherness (Video)
14.07.2016, by Donniel Hartman
Lecture to (RTS) HartmanSummer 2016. July 14, 2016, Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem, Israel, Rabbinic Torah Study Seminar 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>
The Spiritual Power of Saying ‘I Don’t Know’
12.07.2016, by Steven Moskowitz
Although we traditionally define the Torah as the opening five books of the Bible, we should not limit it to that in our minds read more>
Israeli Jewish Identity in Contemporary Literature (Video)
12.07.2016, by Rachel Korazim
Rachel Korazim: Israeli Jewish Identity in Contemporary Literature, Lecture to Rabbinic Torah Study Seminar (RTS), What is a Jew: Dilemmas of Identity in the 21st Century, July 12, 2016, Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem, Israel 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>
Fear and Hope: The Core Emotions of our Moral DNA
10.07.2016, by Donniel Hartman
Fear, like an infectious disease, rarely rests at the individual who is the cause of the danger. It spreads to those who look like them, to those who believe like them, to those who are not ‘us,’ to redefining who is the true and loyal ‘us’ read more>
The Quest for a Shared Israeli Ethos (2016 HART Talk)
10.07.2016, by Yossi Klein Halevi
From the founding of the state, Israelis have asked themselves: Can this radically diverse society manage to coalesce around a shared identity and set of values? read more>
Tamar Elad Appelbaum: Challenges Facing Israeli Identity
10.07.2016, by Shalom Hartman Institute
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>
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>
On Modern Jewish Identities (Video)
08.07.2016, by Moshe Halbertal
Moshe Halbertal: On Modern Jewish Identities, Lecture to Rabbinic Torah Study Seminar (RTS), What is a Jew: Dilemmas of Identity in the 21st Century, July 8, 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>
Putting God Second Book Talk with David Ingber (Video)
07.07.2016, by Donniel Hartman
Putting God Second, Donniel Hartman interviewed by David Ingber, Book Talk, 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>
Daniel Matt: Siyyum of the Translation of the Zohar on the Torah (Video)
06.07.2016, by Shalom Hartman Institute
Daniel Matt: Siyyum of the Translation of the Zohar on the Torah, interviewed by Biti Roi, 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>
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>
What is an American Jew? (Video)
05.07.2016, by Yehuda Kurtzer
Yehuda Kurtzer: What is an American Jew? Lecture to Rabbinic Torah Study Seminar (RTS), What is a Jew: Dilemmas of Identity in the 21st Century, July 5, 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 Yehuda Kurtzer
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
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>
Rawnak Natour: Arab Identity in Israel (2016 HART Talk)
04.07.2016, by Shalom Hartman Institute
Ask me what my identity is, and you will receive a multifaceted answer: I am a Palestinian, I am an Arab, I am a woman. I am a citizen of Israel, a member of the minority, a native of this land - my homeland. read more>
A Tale of Two Families (2016 HART Talk)
04.07.2016, by Mishael Zion
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>
Seth Farber: The Challenge of Conversion in Israel (2016 HART Talk)
04.07.2016, by Shalom Hartman Institute
2016 HART Talk to Community Leadership Program Summer Retreat, July 4, 2016, Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem, Israel 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>
‘Putting God Second’ Book Talk Video
03.07.2016, by Donniel Hartman
Donniel Hartman: Putting God Second Book Talk With Shaul Magid, June 29, 2016, at the Hartman Summer 2016 Community Leadership Retreat Program, Jerusalem, Israel, Shalom Hartman Institute 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>
BDS is Immoral and a Threat to Peace
30.06.2016, by Yossi Klein Halevi
The attempt to turn Israel into a version of the old, apartheid South Africa will also fail because there are too many people around the world who admire Israel. Israel-lovers are no less passionate in defending the Jewish state than Israel-haters are in seeking to harm it 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>
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>
Video: What is an American Jew?
28.06.2016, by Yehuda Kurtzer
Opening lecture, #HartmanSummer 2016. June 28, 2016. read more>
Summer Will Bring Bittersweet Transition for Rabbinic Leadership Initiative
21.06.2016, by Lauren Berkun
RLI leadership rabbis read more>
American Jewish Engagement with Israel
16.06.2016, by Yehuda Kurtzer
Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer, President of Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, gave the 2016 Robert Kogod Lecture on Monday, June 6, 2016, during the Hartman Institute’s annual Philosophy Conference read more>
‘The Question is Whether God is Meaningful’
16.06.2016, by Donniel Hartman
Donniel Hartman, president of Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, spoke for a second time in a live webinar, June 15, 2016, about his book, ’Putting God Second’ read more>
The State of the Jewish World, 2016
14.06.2016, by Yossi Klein Halevi
Jews are increasingly divided over their anxieties for Israel. We are divided between those who believe that creating a Palestinian state will be an existential threat, and those who believe that failure to create a Palestinian state is the greater threat 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>
Vol. 2. No. 1: What Is A Jew?
14.06.2016, by Call & Responsa
Vol. 2. No. 1: Donniel Hartman says the Jewish world must combine ‘mitzvah’ consciousness with ‘ethnic consciousness.’ Three rabbis offer commentaries on his assertion 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>
We Must Help Them Join Israeli Society
17.05.2016, by Tehilla Afriat and Yair Leibovitz
Yair and Tehilla, students at Hartman high schools, write about their experiences volunteering at the Hartman-Elifelet daycare center for children of refugees in south Tel Aviv read more>
David Hartman Interviewed by Krista Tippett (Video)
17.05.2016, by Rabbi Prof. David Hartman
2011 interview for the program, ‘On Being’ with Krista Tippett of National Public Radio read more>
The ‘Israel Problem’
16.05.2016, by Donniel Hartman
We are in a transition period in which the nature of Jewish identity, religiosity, and commitment are being redefined read more>
A Salute to the Soul of the IDF
15.05.2016, by Yossi Klein Halevi
I worry about the cracks in Israel’s democratic being. But as we enter Remembrance Day for the IDF’s fallen, followed immediately by Independence Day, I will recall the remarkable persistence of our Jewish and democratic spirit. And in a way I didn’t anticipate, I will owe that moment to Yair Golan read more>
From Yom Hashoah to Yom Ha’atzmaut - the New ‘High Holidays’ of Israel
08.05.2016, by Donniel Hartman
Israel must be that which remembers, and through that memory constantly commands itself to be worthy of the price paid, to embrace life, and to live it to the fullest 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>
Honoring Heroes on Holocaust Remembrance Day
01.05.2016, by Donniel Hartman
Today’s Jews, who walk in the world with pride and dignity, are standing on the shoulders of giants who led the way. We must not merely remember their suffering but be worthy of the inheritance of their heroism 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>
How is Prayer Possible After the Holocaust
01.05.2016, by Rabbi Prof. David Hartman
First of the 2008-2009 Lindenbaum Lecture Series, Jerusalem, Israel, Nov. 10, 2008 read more>
Shavuot: Interview with David Hartman from 1993
01.05.2016, by Rabbi Prof. David Hartman
Interview with Jerusalem Online. From Spielberg Jewish Film Archive at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem 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>
The War Against Passover
22.04.2016, by Yossi Klein Halevi
At the heart of the anti-Zionist assault is the notion that the Jews aren’t a people but only a faith read more>
The Question, ‘What is a Jew?’ Asks What Meaning Does Judaism Have for Me?
21.04.2016, by Call & Responsa
The question “What is a Jew” suggests a deeper question: “What meaning does my Judaism have in my life?” 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>
‘Add Human Consciousness to Reengage in Substantive Dialogue’
11.04.2016, by Call & Responsa
Vol. 2. No. 1: Adina Lewittes would add ‘human consciousness’ to ensure the breadth and depth of that which binds Jews to one another read more>
‘What Happens When People are Cedars, not Reeds?’
11.04.2016, by Call & Responsa
Vol. 2. No. 1: Joanna Samuels says she feels less hopeful than Donniel Hartman and that a Jewish philosophical enterprise must engage the reality in which it finds itself read more>
‘We are Called Upon to be a People with a Purpose’
11.04.2016, by Call & Responsa
Vol. 2. No. 1: David Steinhardt says that unlike other defined tribes, we are rooted in a value system. And unlike other religions, it’s not just about faith, values, and behavioral requirements, it’s also about mutual responsibility read more>
What’s Complicated and What’s Not
10.04.2016, by Donniel Hartman
Our future lies in knowing the difference between complicated issues like peace with the Palestinians and not complicated ones like justice toward Israeli Arab citizens read more>
At Pesach, We Must Take Responsibility as Individuals, People, and a Country
10.04.2016, by Rabbi Prof. David Hartman
NEW FOR 5776 (2016) Pesach (Passover) negates the idea that the ultimate purpose of being Jewish can be realized by an individual’s “leap of faith” or by fulfilling the commandments at Sinai read more>
‘Putting God Second’ Webinar with Donniel Hartman
10.04.2016, by Donniel Hartman
Video program recorded March 31, 2016, in Jerusalem, Israel read more>
Donniel Hartman Interviewed for Hadassah’s ‘Defining Zionism’ Series
04.04.2016, by Donniel Hartman
Donniel Hartman participated in Hadassah’s online speaker series read more>
‘We‘re Becoming Less Self-Critical’
24.03.2016, by Donniel Hartman
Donniel Hartman speaks about his new book, ‘Putting God Second,’ with Mark Golub of JBS-TV 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>
Why Jews and Muslims in America Must Talk about Israel
15.03.2016, by Yossi Klein Halevi
Yossi Klein Halevi speaks at the Los Angeles Collaborative on March 6, 2016, on Justice and Righteousness: Why Jews and Muslims in America Must Talk about Israel read more>
Publish the Dissent
13.03.2016, by Yehuda Kurtzer
A Proposal for Strengthening Jewish Communal Decision-Making 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>
Four Daughters: New Archetypes, New Questions
10.03.2016, by Shalom Hartman Institute
Each of the Four Daughters expresses a unique path from bondage to freedom in a national and human sense read more>
Rereading Passover: Redemption and the Rational Mind
10.03.2016, by Rabbi Prof. David Hartman
Passover, writes Rabbi Prof. David Hartman, is meant to celebrate and sustain our deep yearning for freedom, not necessarily to show that God can change the order of the universe. Passover is a holiday that inculcates the belief that man will overcome oppression, that freedom will reign throughout the world. The faith that tyranny will ultimately be vanquished is deeply embedded in the significance of Passover read more>
Peace in the Middle East
09.03.2016, by Donniel Hartman and Imam Abdullah Antepli
Video recording of radio program appearance by Donniel Hartman, Imam Abdullah Antepli, and Molly T. Marshall read more>
What if Trump Was One of Us?
08.03.2016, by Yehuda Kurtzer
The presidential candidacy of Donald Trump – initially implausible, now increasingly inexorable – presents at least three challenges for Jews in America read more>
Purim’s Heroes and Villains
28.02.2016, by Donniel Hartman
Purim’s Heroes and Villains - 2009 lecture recently found 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>
Balancing Self-Preservation and Other Moral Values
15.02.2016, by Yossi Klein Halevi
Lecture on the balance between security and morality, and the unique role of American Jews in shaping the conversation. Part of 2015-2016 NY Collaborative read more>
Jews and Muslims in America: Debate and Dialogue in an Age of Fear
14.02.2016, by Imam Abdullah Antepli and Yehuda Kurtzer
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>
Coping with Troubling Texts
08.02.2016, by Yehuda Kurtzer Haroon Moghul
Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer, President of Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, Dr. Haroon Moghul, Fellow of the Institute`s Muslim Leadership Initiative, ‘I Have a Dream: Jews and Arabs in Israel’ - Sixth Annual David Hartman Memorial Conference for a Jewish-Democratic Israel, February 3, 2016 read more>
The Kotel Compromise: A Time for Rejoicing
07.02.2016, by Denise L. Eger
The historic vote by the Israeli Cabinet to create and fund an egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel, and the ongoing negotiations by the Reform movement in Israel and the United States are cause for celebration read more>
Tanakh Teaching: An Introduction
01.02.2016, by Noam Zion
Subject matter and scholarly discipline define the critical thinking that the teacher wishes to develop in the study of Torah in its contexts 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>

Celebrate and learn about the annual Jewish holiday cycle with these special content collections from the Shalom Hartman Institute.

Video Series

Rabbinic Holiday Webinars

All holiday videos from Shalom Hartman Institute

Article Collections

High Holidays: The Days of Awe

Exploring Hanukkah

Exploring Purim: The "Strangest" Holiday

Pesach's Many Questions

From Yom Hashoah to Yom Ha'atzmaut: Israel's "High Holidays"

Shavuot: Revelation and Modernity

Tisha B'Av

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