Author Archives: Rabbi Amitai Adler

Rabbi Amitai Adler

About Rabbi Amitai Adler

is a Conservative rabbi. He is a teacher and writer, and serves as the Interim Rabbi of Temple B'nai Israel in Aurora, Illinois. Rabbi Adler lives in Deerfield, Illinois, with his wife, Rabbi Julie Pelc Adler and their son.

The Hardest Part

Rabbi Amitai Adler
March 5, 2014

The foremost challenge of hope–an ideal, a goal to be striven for–is the long arc of waiting. In our personal lives, this may be comparatively manageable, a matter of days, weeks, or months as we wrestle with some challenge in our professional, avocational, or inner lives. But in our collective life as a people, the More »

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Motion Without Movement

Rabbi Amitai Adler
February 24, 2014

Of all the ways to be unsettled as a Jew in America few are less comfortable than realizing that the movements into which our society has separated itself have no place for you. I was raised Modern Orthodox, but not the Modern Orthodoxy most would recognize today. My father was a talmid (student) of Rav More »

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Responsibilities First, Individualism Second

Rabbi Amitai Adler
November 29, 2013

Our Torah– both Written and Oral– is constructed around mitzvot not only concerning oneself and one’s personal obligations to God, but concerning every person’s obligation to every other, so that we may collectively create a society worthy of being God’s covenant partner, and fit to be an example to other nations. It’s easy to quote More »

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And It Shall Be A Sign For You

Rabbi Amitai Adler
October 21, 2013

Judaism has a penchant for recursive symbology: symbols of symbols of symbols, nested within one another, sometimes dizzyingly. A great example of this is the aron kodesh (the holy ark in the synagogue). During tefillah (prayer), we face it, we bow toward it, we rise when it is open, and it is a minor honor More »

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The Avodah: Showing Us The Way To Go

Rabbi Amitai Adler
September 6, 2013

I have heard many people expressing discomfort with or disconnection from the Avodah service. As many in this month’s issue have noted, it can seem archaic, foreign, bloody, even disturbing to modern eyes. And this is unfortunate. I should note, for the record, that I am not a fan of animal sacrifice. I have no More »

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The Necessity of Sin

Rabbi Amitai Adler
August 5, 2013

Sin is often perceived as a troubling notion in Modern Judaism– especially in American Judaism. In no small part, this has to do with the pervasiveness of American sociopolitical philosophy: Americans are taught to perceive themselves individualistically, with potentially unlimited inherent personal rights that are only to be sacrificed for such minimal legislated limitations as More »

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Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed

Rabbi Amitai Adler
July 8, 2013

In theory, there ought to be nothing preventing American Jews from owning guns. The halachah has never been shy about self-defense, and the principle of dina d’malchta dina hee (“The law of the land is law” i.e., binding upon you) would seem to lead us to the notion that, given the Second Amendment, and the More »

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