When offered in isolation, prayer as a response to preventable tragedies is problematic from both secular and religious perspectives. Coupled with human action, however, prayer can call people to perform as their best, most elevated selves.
Ayalon Eliach is a lawyer and a rabbinical student at Hebrew College. He holds a BA in Religious Studies from Yale University and a JD from Harvard Law School. He is passionate about using religion as a source of connection rather than separation in the world. He tweets at @ayaloneliach.
While it's poetic to defend LGBTQ rights by citing the Torah verse that says all humans were 'created in God's image,' this verse doesn't engage specifically with the issue at hand. Other passages, however, do.
If the Israelites ate matzah before even fleeing Egypt, and if leavened bread is not only prohibited on Passover but during other temple rituals, there must be a deeper, more fundamental significance to this glorified dry cracker.
Even critics of AIPAC's decision to invite Donald Trump have suggested that the pro-Israel lobby was merely following a deeply rooted policy of inviting all candidates. This simply isn't true.
Scholars have long believed these satirical performances originated in a poem from the 1500s, but a careful reading of the Talmud reveals a spiel that extends far further back in history than that.
The growth of ‘indie’ Jewish communities has largely come from the fact that they do not focus on making people Jewish; instead, they offer people ways in which Jewish wisdom, practice and ritual can make their lives better.
Israel's shrinking left and liberal electorate is the biggest impediment to a more just treatment of Palestinians. Rather than warning them off, we should be actively encouraging American Jews with deep liberal and democratic values to come live in Israel and counter Israel's turn to the right.
Jewish leaders have forgotten that halakha was meant to evolve over time to reflect modern values.
The RCA is committed to 'equal liberty and justice for all' – except women, gays and lesbians.
Attempts to conflate the two arguments have commentators contradicting themselves.
Rereading this holy book every year reminds us of the evolutionary nature of morality, and deters us from ever believing we have reached the pinnacle of moral rectitude.
When reciting the Unetaneh Tokef prayer, Jews in Israel and the West would be better off considering what they can do to better the future of others, rather than focusing on themselves.
The laws of keeping kosher were created to promote health and humane practices. It's time to get back in touch with those values by revising the rules.
Being a good friend doesn't mean supporting others blindly, cheering them on regardless of how self-destructive their behavior may be.
Illinois' attempt to fight the delegitimization of Israel is praiseworthy, but it must not come at the expense of the Jewish state's moral agency.
The biblical character of Mordechai pimped out his cousin and feigned piety to gain power. So why do we see him as a hero?