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Jan 10, 2021, 1:44 PM
The Talmud won’t pardon Donald Trump
Jewish law introduces us to the 'cheat' who relishes duping those under his power. The sages declare, 'We have no responsibility toward cheats.'
Dec 14, 2020, 10:16 AM
Miracle on demand
On Hannukah, we do the one thing that our sages caution us against the entire year - we ask for a miracle. We are generally cautioned by the Talmud, “do not depend upon miracles.” We are expected to judge...
Oct 9, 2020, 4:12 PM
Confronting The Authoritarian Personalities
On this day, HaShanah Rabbah, we take willow branches and beat them three times on the ground, asking for final salvation. I feel that Israelis and Americans are those very willows, being beaten on the ground by our authoritarian...
Jun 5, 2020, 12:16 PM
Letter to Students in a Perilous Time
My Dear Talmidim/ot, A number of you have asked me regarding our spiritual and moral situation in our confused and complicated current situation, especially in the USA, but also in Israel and elsewhere as well. This is my take: The...
Sep 24, 2019, 4:21 PM
What it meant to sound the shofar in Auschwitz
In the camps, every mitzvah was a miracle -- done hurriedly, under fear of discovery, as a one-shot deal. Every mitzvah was an act of resistance
Jul 10, 2019, 3:19 PM
Rabbi Rafi’s rejection of Diaspora Judaism
By Jewish law, there is an obligation to all Jews, including those who intermarry, to transmit the light of hope and connection
May 28, 2019, 11:25 PM
We Orthodox Jews desperately need gay rabbis
I ordained a gay rabbinical student because requiring people to hide or 'cure' their sexuality violates the Jewish notion of Law
Jan 7, 2019, 12:45 PM
The Sinful Physics of Stoning a Mother
There is a physics to misdeeds according to the rabbis, and this explains the stoning of the Arab mother of nine. Aveirah Goreret Aveirah. Sin causes sin. That means when a grievous action happens we have to play the...
Oct 27, 2018, 9:57 PM
Who Made Me Do It?
When caught by my Israeli or American religious colleagues, students, or friends supporting a liberal position, I often defuse the tension by weakly smiling, “The Devil made me do it.” I usually get a pass along with words of...
Sep 24, 2017, 3:38 PM
Days of no return: A teshuvah memory
What it means to live in a world without hope
Rabbi Daniel Landes is founder and director of YASHRUT, building civil discourse through a theology of integrity, justice, and tolerance. YASHRUT includes a semikhah initiative as well as programs for rabbinic leaders.