Jerusalem of Skyscrapers? Professor Doron Bar on the City's Changing Population


Sunday, the 28th of Iyyar, marks the 51st anniversary of Jerusalem’s unification. Professor Doron Bar, President of the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, and a 7th generation Jerusalemite, tells the story of Jerusalem’s changing population through the lens of his family history. How has Israel’s largest city evolved from a a small group living within the Old City walls to an expansive metropolis?

How Do You Know When You Are Home? Rabbi Reb Dr. Mimi Feigelson on Hasidism


What is the meaning of finding your home? Sometimes it is  knowing your story of origin and sometimes it is locating your spiritual roots. Rabbi Dr. Reb Mimi Feigelson, Mashpiah Ruhanit (Spiritual Mentor) and senior lecturer of Rabbinics and Hasidic Thought at the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary, discusses how she first became interested in Hasidic Thought.

How Do We Make Sense of the Insensible? Rabbi Avi Novis-Deutsch on Parshat Tazria-Metzora


Parshat Tazria-Metzora offers a confusing depiction of skin afflictions and potential treatments that, for many people, have little connection to modern life. Rabbi Avi Novis-Deutsch, Dean of the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary, suggests that the perplexing descriptions like “a white discoloration on the skin of his body which does not appear to be deeper than the skin and the hair in it has not turned white” (Lev. 13:4) may offer the modern reader an opportunity for self-examination about our relationships with God. 

How Do We Respond to Tragedy? Dr. David Frankel on Parshat Shemini


When tragedy strikes what do we say to God? In Parshat Shemini Aaron’s sons, Nadav and Avihu, die suddenly.  Dr. David Frankel, senior lecturer in Bible at the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, examines Aaron’s silent response and contrasts it with The Book of Job and the outrage Job expresses when faced with suffering. When is the time for silent submission and when is outraged protest appropriate?

What Time Is It? Professor Dr. Ari Ackerman on Heschel's Approach to Ritual and Sacrifice


Whether it is the yearly rituals of Passover celebrations or the familiarity of Shabbat rituals each week, Jewish observance creates sanctuaries of time. Dr. Ari Ackerman, Dean of the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies and Senior Lecturer in Jewish Thought, explores Abraham Joshua Heschel’s concept of architecture of time and how ritual helps create holy spheres in our lives. The accompanying article focuses on Heschel and Moses Maimonides’ differing perspectives on ritual sacrifice.

How Does One Sell Hametz Which is in a Different Time Zone? Responsa in a Moment: Vol. 12, No. 3, March 2018


Question from a rabbi in Jerusalem: I am taking care of “Reuven”’s apartment in Jerusalem, but “Reuven” lives in New York. Reuven asked me to sell his hametz to a non-Jew. But Pesah in Israel ends 31 hours before it ends in New York –  a seven-hour time difference plus an additional day of Yom Tov Sheni (the additional day of the Festival in the Diaspora). In other words, the hametz will revert to his possession in Jerusalem when it is still Pesah in New York. How, then, can I sell his hametz?

Are you Ready to Leave Egypt? Rabbi Professor David Golinkin Takes the Passover Stage


Lights Camera Action! Drama doesn’t just take place in the movies, on Passover we remember that we too were brought out of Egypt. In preparation for your own seder Rabbi Professor David Golinkin, President of The Schechter Institutes, tells of the custom of reenacting the story of the Exodus and offers a way of bringing the drama to your own seder.