Separating At Birth
An approach to "hard" halakhot
Two years ago on the Friday preceding Parshat Tazria-Metzora, I used the weekly Parshat HaShavua slot at Kohelet Yeshiva High School to lay out an approach to seemingly "hard" halakhot. I challenged our students to ask two questions each time they hit up against a halakha or a set of halakhot that strike them as difficult, . . .
The Making of Modern Judaism
A Three Part Lecture Series
As part of our Kohelet Yeshiva Beit Midrash Adult Education Program, I recently completed a three part lecture series entitled the Making of Modern Judaism. At various points in the series people asked me if recordings and / or source sheets were available from the ones they had missed. Below you'll find links to both. . . .
We had the pleasure of hosting Rabbi Dr. Zev Eleff as part of our Kohelet Beit Midrash Scholar Series last Shabbat (next up: Marc Shapiro, Jeffery Woolf, Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Malka Simkovich, Shani Taragin and Malka Binah...). Dr. Eleff's keynote address following davening Shabbat morning explored the "Gedolim culture" of . . .
A Tribute to a Man I Never Met
I began my talk at the Young Israel of Teaneck last Friday night with a story of a visit I once made to Briarcrest Christian Academy when I was Head of School of the Margolin Hebrew Academy in Memphis, TN. After the talk was over, several people lined up to ask questions or share a thought spurred by the lecture. One of them, . . .
The Work That Lies Ahead
Modern Orthodoxy and Our New Reality
Last week, as our high school launched an integration day in which all classes, in all subject areas, focused on various aspects of the election, I shared the following thoughts with our students.
Now that the voters have spoken their mind, it is crtitical that we remind ourselves about the work that lies ahead. . . .
Yom Tov Sheni
A Study in the Denominational Divide
Jon had been at the firm for a little more than two months when he realized the time had come for that dreaded conversation. He had been pushing it off and pushing it off, but it was now early September and he simply couldn't push it off any more. So he summoned his last bit of courage, steeled himself, and headed down the hall to . . .
An Ambitious Agenda for Modern Orthodoxy
The current edition of Jewish Action Magazine (Fall, 2016) contains my review of the recently published collection of essays entitled Torah and Western Thought: Intellectual Portraits of Orthodoxy and Modernity. As I note in the piece, I believe this volume can help advance the much needed conversation . . .