Audacious Religious Responsibility in Response to Orlando

There are those who will address the complex questions of gun ownership in the wake of the massacre in Orlando. There are those that will address the challenging nature of political radicalization in response to Orlando. Yet, in the face of so much loss of life -- tragically, horrifically and devastatingly -- those of us called to religious and faith leadership must rise to the tremendous challenge of taking responsibility for the¬†teachings of our faith. It is not enough to be apologetic about … [Read more...]

Religious Conservatives: Let’s Celebrate Marriage!

I am an Orthodox rabbi. In my faith community we do not perform same-sex marriages. We believe that the Torah and subsequent rabbinic tradition rule out the possibility of two people of the same sex coming together in marriage. Yet, we are called upon to be welcoming, to be embracing and to be inclusive of all people. A growing list of Orthodox rabbis and leaders have added their names to a Statement of Principles first published in July of 2010 affirming the inherent dignity of all people who … [Read more...]

Is There A Future For Jews In Europe?

A young girl's bat mitzvah is cut short. The life of a volunteer security guard is permanently cut short. The Jewish community of Copenhagen is only the latest in Europe to face the rising tide of anti-Semitic violence. It is almost impossible to comprehend how a community that still within living memory experienced the most systemic attempt at their genocide in history, now once again, faces the fear of terrorist attacks. This time though it is very different. Despite the strong emotional … [Read more...]

Why Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia Will Determine the Fate of European Society

The future of Europe rests on how it protects the Jews and Muslims who live on the continent. The fate of the liberal political experiment in Europe, initiated in the 18th century and brought to the brink of collapse numerous times in the years that have followed, rests entirely on whether Jews and Muslims can safely walk the streets of Paris, London and Berlin. Is it possible for Jews and Muslims to experience full integration as members of the larger society? Can they practice their religions … [Read more...]

One Lesson From The Voyeur Rabbi Scandal: Women Must Be Part of Every Board Room

It has now been more than a week since the revelations occurred in the media of the alleged voyeuristic spying committed by one of the most influential and powerful Modern Orthodox rabbis in America, Rabbi Barry Freundel. If it was not horrible enough that women, most of them in the process of converting to Judaism, were violated in one of the most special and intimate ritual places in Judaism, it is now clear that the problems go back for years. Abuses of a sexual nature are often more about … [Read more...]

Muslims and Jews: What Happens to the News That Doesn’t Fit the Story?

I read Matti Friedman's article on Tablet¬†published last month and was deeply intrigued. In fact, I read it several times because the picture he provides in the way news reporters craft a story happened to me not long before he published his piece. The article, "An Insider's Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth," which was shared on Facebook more than 78,000 times, details how the major news agencies are more interested in crafting a story than they are reporting on the actual news. He … [Read more...]


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