In his new book, 'Putting God Second: How to Save Religion from Itself,' Rabbi Donniel Hartman argues that religion often fails to create believers who care for their fellow man.
Dr. Samuel Lebens
Samuel Lebens is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Centre for Philosophy of Religion, at Rutgers University. Born in England, Sam holds a PhD in Metaphysics and Logic from the University of London. While still a student in London, Sam was heavily involved with student politics, and was elected onto the National Executive of the National Union of Students, where he was a prominent defender of Zionism on British campuses. Having made aliya and spending a number of years in Israeli yeshivas, Sam holds an Orthodox rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg and chairs the Association for the Philosophy of Judaism. If Sam had enough spare time, he'd like to be a playwright (some of his plays were produced while he lived in London), but instead, he fills his days researching, teaching in universities and Jewish communities, and writing.
Lebens is a contributing blogger for Haaretz Jewish World.
Our most pressing challenge is to articulate an alternative to radicalism, a moderate but authentic Orthodox Judaism that rejects xenophobia and violence.
On Sukkot, we learn that the land we live on isn’t really ours. When we leave our homes, we re-enact the experience of being refugees.
We in the religious Jewish community have created a climate in which a 'bad seed' could come to think that murderous violence was a holy thing to do.
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The twin sense of belonging and alienation haunts so many of us. And yet we don’t give up.
The divided Beit Shemesh school is but a symptom of the deep divisions in Israeli society - and the Jewish community whose segregation between streams has run us off-course as a people.
No matter which city or country I’ve lived in, the sense of a shared destiny among Jews lends itself to a strong sense of community. But these bonds have their limits, which we must actively work to erase.
When crisis strikes the Jewish state, we in the Diaspora feel an urge to voice our concerns and support. Most of the time our 'friends' don't agree.
The leading U.S. Orthodox rabbi had the right to criticize Reform and Conservative ideologies, but in focusing on intermarriage and assimilation he confused theology with sociology.
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Jewish law needn't bend to liberal trends, but we must still engage in debate with an attentive and respectful ear.
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Those involved in the debate on Open Orthodoxy need to adopt a philosophical eye.
Limmud simply isn't what you think it is.
The annual Torah-reading cycle has only just begun. Join in, whoever you are.
An ethical consumer is somebody who doesn’t just see the objects in front of them, but tries to understand their ethical and social significance.
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The Chief Rabbi should be the leading teacher of Torah, not a creation by an atheistic government for reasons of political gain.
Why is it that as soon as we Jews get on a plane, one group is bound to make all of the others crimson with embarrassment?
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