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Jewish Journal

  • The Pope and Jewish Communal Professionals: Staying in a Job too Long? The Need for Term Limits!

    By Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz

    February 27, 2013 | 8:57 am

    I have been involved with many institutions where someone clearly overstayed his or her welcome in a certain position. That person should have retired, transitioned, or resigned years (maybe even decades) earlier, but found ways to maneuver such that he or she could stick around,... read on

  • A Reflection on Awakening & Encountering

    By Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz

    February 25, 2013 | 10:37 am

    The Jewish tradition seeks to startle us, to challenge our routine and our dogmas. Slavoj Zizek, the Slovene philosopher and social critique writes poignantly about this point.

    “There is an overwhelming argument for the intimate link between Judaism and psychoanalysis: in both... read on

  • How Do We Relate to Morally Difficult Texts in the Jewish Tradition?

    By Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz

    February 24, 2013 | 11:16 am

    We have all become familiar with the tactics of bigots who distort our religious beliefs or make up horrible lies to advance their hatred. Fortunately, most people in our pluralistic society recognize and reject these tactics.

    But how would we respond to a skeptic who points to... read on

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  • Rousseau, Civilized Man and Chametz in the Heart!

    By Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz

    February 23, 2013 | 10:33 pm

    It is generally viewed as a success of the Enlightenment that we have cast off what philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau called “homme sauvage” (the natural, free, wild man) and built up the “homme civilize” (the civilized, enlightened, modern man). As Rousseau, who paradoxically... read on

  • Is Haman alive today? Purim & Happiness!

    By Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz

    February 22, 2013 | 11:02 am

    The Jewish holiday of Purim, which begins tonight, is a joyous time of celebration. The story of the Book of Esther is familiar: In the 4th century BCE, the Persian King Ahasuerus fell under the influence of his evil prime minister Haman, who resented the Jews who refused to bow... read on

  • The Force of the Orthodox Union

    By Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz

    February 21, 2013 | 3:42 pm

    The Orthodox Union (OU) is the leading organization supporting and building the American Orthodox community. Its teen and young adult engagement efforts stretch across North America through NCSY and JLIC; its lay and rabbinic community building efforts are significant, with its... read on

  • Combatting Sloth!

    By Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz

    February 21, 2013 | 3:06 pm

    Classically, the vice of sloth (laziness) had two components:

    1. acedia – a lack of caring or indifference
    2. tristtitia – sadness, sorrow, or despair   

    I would argue that the negative aspect of individualism that exists today in 21st century is furthered by acedia. The... read on

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