We aspire to be a loyal child, a loyal friend, a loyal Jew.
It is the struggle and not peaceful nirvana that is the core of a Torah-rich life.
However one feels about Orthodox segmentation, it must be acknowledged as an enduring characteristic of our community. It is thus worthwhile to consider and take advantage of the many opportunities that this diversity generates.
When parents exhibit deference to, and respect for, religious leadership, their children are being gifted a prism through which to see the grandeur and holiness of our religion.
I will never know whether my choices were optimal, but I do know that through my journey as a communal activist, I have spent much time with truly extraordinary Jews.
It may be easier for us to identify our own views regarding economic disparity by considering four representative approaches. Have our religious authorities conveyed which, if any, of these four views reflects Torah values? Is there a uniform view? Is there an alternative view that we should be adopting?
Making the case for greater unity
How can we search for God when do not have the time or energy to search for ourselves?
Genuine kavod is subtle, thoughtfully fashioned to recognize and elevate the essence of its recipient.
To what extent can we associate with institutions that seek to advance a form of Judaism that is antagonistic to our central life’s purpose?
The strange and challenging period of Covid-19 sequestering is an unprecedented opportunity to discover aspects of ourselves in ways that are almost never available.
We educate our children to be devoted Jews, but do we also teach them how to be passionate Jews?
We must ask: Does the lack of strife among American Orthodoxy reflect brotherly love and respect or does it signify a sense of alienation and detachment?
Multiple approaches to Orthodox life have always existed. Occasionally, however, an approach to observant Judaism, though not ideal, is introduced to ensure the preservation of Torah observance.
American Orthodoxy, particularly in high-density neighborhoods, no longer provides a sense of communal intimacy
The challenge we confront as individuals, and as a community, is to discern when and how to apply the values of tolerance and intolerance appropriately.
We can embrace making choices, or we can allow our personality, experiences and environment (complemented by a good measure of inertia) to predetermine our choices. Clearly, choosing to choose, and investing the proper thought and energy into the choices we make, is a threshold step to being a Torah Jew.
It seems to me that our community’s relationship to chesed has changed. Rather than actually performing chesed, we increasingly outsource the tasks.
I fear that if we fail to develop a culture that effectively infuses our youth with a strong Orthodox Jewish identity, our community will eventually dwindle, with some, overwhelmed by the religious challenges, forfeiting their integration into secular society and others simply forfeiting their Orthodoxy.
As our children reach adulthood, many of us tend to abandon our identity as parents altogether. By relinquishing our parental responsibilities, we diminish ourselves and our children.
An old rabbinic quip recounts the fellow marooned on a desert island who pledges to God to undertake a life exclusively dedicated to servicing the poor, if only he were to be found. When a ship shortly thereafter passes by and finds him, the fellow looks heavenward and remarks, “Forget it God, it’s taken care […]
How do we know whether or not our relationship with God is advancing? How do we determine whether our efforts to intensify spirituality on a communal level are effective?
By Mark (Moishe) Bane It is time for American Orthodox leaders to begin a national discussion regarding communal priorities and resource allocation. Our community has evolved from the fledgling start-up of earlier days into a robust, growing and increasingly complex society. Marvin Schick, in his Avi Chai day school surveys, reports that Orthodox day school […]
With these, and many other, unavoidable responsibilities and demands, I often wonder how there can possibly be time for one to focus on religious growth. And when making choices for our children, are we preparing them for lifelong spiritual growth—or just casual observance?
American Orthodoxy is in a financial crisis. Similar to other communities, in many Orthodox neighborhoods 10 percent or more of primary breadwinners cannot find employment. As a result of the tumbling S&P 500 and interest rates, many are suffering from ever-dwindling savings accounts and pension funds. Moreover, lower incomes, job insecurity and the decrease in […]