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Regular readers of VT may have noticed my absence from the blog the past couple of weeks – but it has been for the most wonderful of reasons: my wife and I have been extremely busy as we have welcomed […]

Kol ha kavod to Rabbi Stern on drawing the line between the coercive power of the Israeli Rabbinate and their encroachment on the American Orthodox Rabbinate’s authority over American conversions. However, I wonder if Rabbi Stern would be willing to […]

The issue of intermarriage and conversion has most recently been reawakened by the Israeli Chief Rabbinate’s attempt to take over the full conversion process of the American Orthodox Rabbinate. This difference between American Jewry and the Israeli Chief Rabbinate comes […]

Rabbi Grossman has spoken like a true Jewish mother. Her moral finger-wagging at those who crack a few jokes is either obvious or prudishly naive about human nature. Yes, Jewish mother jokes can be insensitive and downright hurtful. But they […]

How many Jewish mothers does it take to change the Jewish mother stereotype? I don’t know about you, but the Jewish mothers I knew–my mother and both my grandmothers–were loving individuals who gave unstintingly of themselves to their children in […]

I would agree with both Rabbi Waxman’s and Rabbi Grossman’s comments regarding Charles Murray’s recent essay in Commentary Magazine on Jewish brains. Even if his answers seem a bit strained, Murray’s article certainly has a certain grain of truth. The […]

It is not just our traditional and liturgical emphasis on asking questions that contributes to what Rabbi Waxman terms the “Jewish intellectual legacy.” It is the value Jewish traditional learning placed upon engaging different opinions. The Talmud is full of […]

An article by Charles Murray that recently appeared in Commentary Magazine has been inspiring both conversation and criticism with its claim that Jews are uniquely gifted when it comes to intellectual accomplishment, especially in the arts and sciences. Although much […]

I brought my 7th grade class to the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington last Sunday. I wish I could say they were learning past history. The sad news is, they were not. The very same day, people gathered in front […]

A few weeks ago my congregation was fortunate enough to host Ruth Messinger, executive director of American Jewish World Service, who spoke to us on the situation in Darfur and the obligations that our Jewish values–and recent history–demand of us. […]