Category Archives: Current Issue

Discussion Guide – The Akedah

August 1, 2014

1. Why did Abraham argue with God at Sodom but not argue when told to sacrifice his son?
2. Why would God ask Abraham to sacrifice his son? Was the binding of Isaac a test of Abraham?
3. How do you reconcile morally challenging religious texts with continued reverence for tradition and Torah?
4. What does it mean to you to say, “Hineini, Here I am”? More »

Judaism 3.0

Robert J. Saferstein
August 1, 2014

Robert J. Saferstein Today, as our reliance on technological innovation continues to grow, certain questions arise: What are the consequences of engaging with the world in seclusion and through virtual means? How do changes in the ways in which we communicate affect our right to information and our right to privacy? Should expiration dates exist More »

NiSh’ma, September 2011

general
August 1, 2014

Come see! Behold, the union of all things at once: “The Lord has made bare His holy arm…” (Isaiah 52:10): This is the [left] arm of salvation, of vengeance, of redemption. Why? To raise Israel from the dust: to bring Her to Him… And when this [arm] is raised to receive Her, fear engulfs the More »

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 »

0

Rembrandt’s Akedah

general
September 1, 2011

Bryna Jocheved Levy In 1914, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, who would later become the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of the State of Israel, visited the National Gallery in London. His aesthetic sensibilities were aroused by the artistic grandeur that he encountered there. He was particularly transfixed by Rembrandt’s paintings: “…the light in his pictures is More »

Perspectives on the Binding of Isaac

general
September 1, 2011

Sarah [PENINA ADELMAN] Thank You for waking me up again on another day of your creation. Thank You for Your spirit that makes the air fresh. Thank You for lighting up the world with the sun and calling on the insects and the birds to begin their music. You infuse this day with possibility. You More »

Faith and Ethics: A Roundtable on the Akedah

general
September 1, 2011

Faith and Ethics
A Roundtable with Sharon Brous, Dov Linzer, Josh Kornbluth & Jeffrey Helmreich: Can you imagine God commanding you to do something terrible? Traditional Judaic sources may, at times, offend us morally. For example, we might take offense at the biblical treatment of homosexuals or civilian Amalekites.  How do you reconcile these morally challenging   sources with continued reverence for tradition? More »

Abraham’s Attributes: ‘A Source of Strength’

general
September 1, 2011

Ilana Goldhaber-Gordon
There was a time when I could not read the story of the binding of Isaac without wishing for a different ending — that Abraham would stand up to God, refusing to harm his son.  More »

The Land of Isaac? From ‘Glory of Akedah’ to ‘Isaac’s Fear’

general
September 1, 2011

Yael Feldman
More than any biblical narrative, the story of the binding of Isaac has become a focal trope in Zionist thought and Hebrew letters. Most Israelis appreciate the binding as the metaphor for national sacrifice, and hence Isaac naturally stands for Israel’s fallen warriors. More »