Is the Torah true? Did the historical events described within it actually happen? How are we, as Orthodox Jews, to contend with archeological findings that may suggest otherwise? How do we, as Modern Orthodox Jews, justify our embrace of academic research for establishing truth in all areas except those that seem to contradict the received wisdom of our tradition?
These are questions I've been grappling with for as long as I can remember. During that time I've picked up approaches and strategies, if not full-fledged answers, which have helped me pursue the ideal articulated by my teacher, Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, z"tzl, when he wrote "What I received from all my mentors, at home or in yeshivot, was the key to confronting life, particularly modern life, in all its complexity: the recognition that it was not so necessary to have all the answers as to learn to live with the questions."
This piece is a summary of the ways in which which I have tried to give over those insights to my students so that they may be more prepared to meet these challenges than I was at their age.
Like me, and like my students, it's a work in progress. Join the conversation here and let me know what you think, what you'd add, or what you'd approach differently.
CEO of the Ades Family Foundation. Founding Head of School of the Jewish Leadership Academy. Fascinated with the Jewish future.