Spiritual Leader

Trope Tools - Learn to Read Torah on the iPad

Rabbi Eli Garfinkel, rabbi of Temple Beth El in Somerset, New Jersey and the techie behind the award-winning RabbiPod, has created his first app for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad family of Apple devices.

Trope Tools iPad App

The Dirty Truth About Orthodox Women Rabbis

The rejection of women rabbis and "rabbas" by the Rabbinical Council of America is "chilling," feminists tell us.

Really? In what way? What exactly can't Modern Orthodox women do, according to the new understanding, that has anyone chilled?

Can Orthodox women publish books, essay and spiritual insights on religious life, and be a leader in that way? Yes.

Can they do pastoral work, visiting hospitals, teaching bat mitzvahs, and counseling anyone? Yes.

'Main Street USA,' Just Across the River

The Jews of Roosevelt Island like the
small-town feel of their outpost.

04/01/2010
Editorial Intern

Talk about a Jewish diaspora.
Cut off from the Manhattan mainland and its very Jewish heartbeat, the Jews of Roosevelt Island may be the least-known Jewish community in the area.
Which is OK by them.

Rabbi Zalman and Nechama Duchman and their children. The Chabad emissaries settled in Roosevelt Island four years ago.

Standing Tall

04/01/2010

God’s first words to the prophet Ezekiel are: “Son of man, stand on your feet that I may speak to you” (Ezek. 2:1). Reaching our full human height we are most ready to encounter God.

When a Jew has suffered a loss and tears a garment in mourning, the tearing takes place while the mourner stands upright. Confronting the pain and puzzlement of loss, standing upright signifies dignity and hope.

Avi Weiss vs Avi Weiss

 Avi Weiss’ main point for having a woman on his rabbinic staff at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale is that “90 percent” of what a rabba (woman rabbi) does is the same as what a rabbi does. In Avi’s shul, a rabba gives sermons from the pulpit, teaches classes, visits the sick, provides spiritual and halachic guidance, and works with bat mitzvah girls, and Sara Hurwitz does that all quite nicely. So why not give her honor equal to her colleagues who are men?

The Limits Of ‘Stuff’

03/18/2010

Here it is. The essential religious message in three words: stuff is inadequate.
 
Materialism is insufficient to explain the world. There is more to you than synapses. The marvelous, multicolored universe is not just an accident of ancient chemistry, or a random collection of molecules. There is an animating spirit that moves the world, barely glimpsed. Soul force comes from within us, but more, it moves through us. Because we only have words, we call it “God.”
 

Stanton Street Back To Life

09/17/2004
Staff Writer

Elissa Sampson and her husband, Jonathan Boyarin, longtime members of the Stanton Street Shul, held a blue paper napkin between them as they twirled to the music of the four-piece klezmer band hired by the synagogue for the afternoon.

Agudah: Avi Weiss Shul Not Orthodox

It's a strange thing about some liberal rabbis. They knock the concept of "Das Torah" (the unilateral and unquestioned right of sages to guide their community based upon their mastery of Torah). But then, when a rabbi such as Avi Weiss want to create a woman rabbi, he acts unilaterally, without respecting any communal consensus, based upon what he says is his own mastery and understanding of Torah. In other words, his Das Torah.  
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