Category Archives: Certainty, Hatred, and Polarization

Avi Schaefer’s Method

Zoe Jick
April 27, 2012

With the AIPAC and JStreet conferences just behind us, the topic of “American students’ engagement with Israel” is the most frequent subject between those of us working in organizations that do Israel campus engagement. The David Project recently released its “White Paper,” a call to action for strengthening American youth’s Jewish identity and connection to More »


What do I know?

Matt Bar
April 23, 2012

Editor of Sh’ma, Susan Berrin, introduces this month’s theme with “What happens when we treat our positions — our versions of reality — as ‘truth.’” What I believe I know and don’t know and how does that inform my Jewish identity? Yeah, it gets deep. I thought I’d make a list of what I think More »


Our Rabbinic Intermarriage

Rabbi Julie Pelc Adler
April 16, 2012

There was a time, early in our relationship, when my husband and I made jokes about our peculiar form of intermarriage: he preferred diet Pepsi and I, diet Coke.  We laughed about the 24-pack of cans of each variety in our pantry, acknowledging that we’d save money if we could just agree on one soda More »


Faith is Certain

Emily Goldberg
April 12, 2012

I know that the sun will rise tomorrow. With all of the scientific facts and astronomical data we are blessed with today, I can expect to wake up tomorrow and see rays of light emitting through my window. There is also no debating time. Our clocks, both digital and internal, will continue to function in More »


Elu v’Elu

Rabbi Amitai Adler
April 9, 2012

I heard, a number of years ago, a wonderful drashah by my friend and teacher Rabbi Aryeh Cohen, on the famous sugiya from Eruvin 13b concerning Hillel and Shammai. The Gemara relates that the schools of Hillel and Shammai were deeply divided concerning certain matters of halachah (Rashi clarifies that the quarrel was intensifying to More »


Hillel, Shammai, Certainty, and Hatred

Alex Braver
April 5, 2012

When in grade school, I first learned of the famous debate between the ancient rabbinic sages about Hanukkah: The House of Shammai ruled that we should light eight candles on the first night, seven on the second, and continue descending until the last night had one lonely candle remaining, while the House of Hillel ruled More »