Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

The Rav And The Rebbe On Spiritual Slavery Of Modernity

04/29/2014
Jewish Week Online Columnist
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As slaves, we experienced three primary forms of oppression: gerut (alienation), avdut (servitude) and innui (affliction), [Genesis 15:14]. Our suffering naturally inspires us to acts of social justice in which we attempt to alleviate others’ physical oppression and deprivation. However, we can perceive and interpret our suffering spiritually as well.

In a way, all moderns are slaves. Fotolia

A Jewish Duty: Creating A More Representative Judiciary

01/02/2014
Jewish Week Online Columnist
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Of all the wisdom and political theory from the great Thomas Paine that has endured perhaps some of his wisest words were those he imparted on the eve of the American revolution: “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must… undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” (The American Crisis, Number IV: Philadelphia, September 12 [1777]). Paine’s words are both thoughtful and inspiring and serve as a reminder that we must constantly defend and enhance our justice system in America to support freedom.

Members of Native American tribes pose for photos at the White House Tribal Nations Conference in 2012. Getty Images

To Bet Or Not To Bet: Jewish Concerns with Gambling And The Lottery

08/06/2013
Jewish Week Online Columnist
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Judaism is mostly a rationalist tradition that embraces free will, critical thinking, and the importance of the intellect. Most endeavors that mandate irrational and overly chancy behavior are forbidden by the Jewish tradition. Gambling is one of the prevalent modern activities that may make for fun sport in moderation, but when treated as a primary source of income it borders on the irrational.

75 percent of gamblers have committed embezzlement or other fraud to finance their habit, experts say. Photo via Google

The Theological Value of Privacy

06/28/2013
Jewish Week Online Columnist
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In recent years, debates about the right to privacy have emerged stronger than ever. Especially in light of last week’s events, there are political issues to explore, but we all also have our own introspective work to do to grow in our own sense of modesty (tzniut).

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Kansas Torah Donated To Sandy-Plagued Woodmere Shul

12/04/2012

 A Woodmere Orthodox synagogue that lost its Torah scrolls due to flooding from Hurricane Sandy received a donated replacement Tuesday morning by way of Kansas.

Ahavas Yisroel: Sandy flooding rendered Torahs unusable.

Orthodox Gays Need Allies, Not Just Compassion

08/14/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

A few months ago, a young Orthodox rabbi decided to “come out of the closet,” in a sense, when he publicly identified himself as an “LGBT ally,” referring to lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, founder of Uri L’Tzedek, an Orthodox social justice group, and a director of the UCLA Hillel, explained that he felt he had been quiet for too long and wanted to say what he felt was the truth.

Rabbi Steven Greenberg
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