During an exciting opening Shabbos dinner of the fall semester 24 years ago, two freshmen, whom we’ll call Molly and Susan, introduced themselves and asked if they could stop by my office one day during the week. A common request seemingly to fine-tune their orientation to Jewish life on campus,
The importance of leadership in government, business, and every facet of society cannot be overstated. The shelves of our bookstores are stacked with advice on how to become an effective leader. Everyone expects only the highest standards from our leaders. What are the criteria for Jewish leadership? In Parshat Shemot, God chooses Moshe Rebeinu to... Read more »

In Parshas Vayigash, Yosef HaTzadik reveals his true identity to his brothers and asks them to inform Yaakov Avinu that he is alive and to bring their father down to Mitzrayim. Sefer HaYashar (Parshas Vayigash) relates that as the brothers travelled home, they were afraid that suddenly reporting the albeit wonderful news of Yosef
HaRav Yitzhak (Isadore) Twersky’s zt”l (The Talner Rebbi) recent sefer, Torah of the Mind, Torah of the Heart [1], presents the Chasam Sofer’s striking contrast between Chanuch and Avraham Avinu and the implications for every Jew. Rashi (Bereishis 5:24) cites Bereishis Rabba to explain Chanuch’s premature death because he vacillated between righteous and evil behavior,... Read more »

Throughout world history, the Jewish people have endured severe ongoing hate, persecution, exile, violence and genocide. Although in recent decades American Jews have not experienced much anti-Semitism, anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. increased more than one-third in 2016 reflected by assaults, vandalism, and
The social scientist, Professor Peter Burke, defines “identity” as the qualities, beliefs, personality traits, appearance, and/or expressions that characterize a person (Wikipedia, The Cambridge Handbook of Social Theory). When we think of who we are at our core, we have many composites – what we think, read, say, watch and do; our cultural heritage – family,... Read more »