This week I participated in a Conservative Leadership Delegation to Israel to confer with Israel’s new President, cabinet ministers in the new coalition government, members of the Knesset from multiple political parties, and leadership of the Jewish Agency. I also spoke on two panels (with JTS’ chancellor and the CEO of the Rabbinical Assembly) on Tuesday evening and again on Wednesday night.
As published in the Jewish Journal: https://jewishjournal.com/commentary/opinion/312306/jewish-wisdom-for-a-time-of-pandemic/
The Coronavirus is now officially a world-wide pandemic. As I write these words, there are about 130,000 confirmed cases, of whom some 5,000 have died, another 6,000 are considered serious, and about 70,000 people have recovered. 116 countries have been infected (out of a global total of 195). By the time you read these words, it is probably that the numbers will have risen...
Listen in to December's Q&A with Rabbi Artson and the students of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies. This month's hot topics: the future of Conservative Judaism, December dilemma, Kaddish without a Minyan, Jewish law (halakhah) today, the power of Hanukkah, personal preference vs communal authority, issues about Israel!
The Torah urges us to “love our neighbor as ourselves,” but most of us are not really good at loving ourselves, or treating ourselves with compassion. Rabbi Artson invites us to see ourselves as good, kind, and holy, so that we can take better care of ourselves and each other.
Religion is too important to leave just to the believers. Even as a human creation, religion is second to none for locating one’s story in a bigger narrative, for connecting us to community and belonging, to inspire us with art and architecture and imagination, and to motivate us to care for those in need.
Rabbi Artson’s first Q&A of the academic year. Lively back-and-forth with the Ziegler students on topics for this year’s High Holy Days; rabbinic view of football and concussions; thoughts on rabbinic roles in political debate; what we can hope for in Israel’s election; managing a divisive world; skepticism about marriage and commitments; should Jews be pressured to marry and have babies; the Jewish community of tomorrow and how it must evolve!
During a period of partisan zeal and assault, too many succumb to the temptation to jettison decency and righteousness for a short term victory. Exploring the wisdom of the Torah, to “love your neighbor as yourself,” Rabbi Artson dives deep into the fusion of the personal and the communal, the private and the public. Future rabbis — and all who love virtue and goodness — have a duty to double down on truth, on strengthening character, personal integrity, human dignity (our own and each other’s), and on implementing love as justice.
Listen in with the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies for a lively Lunch & Learn! Students grill Rabbi Artson on creating an ethics curriculum for government service, responding to Prime Minister Netanyahu inviting a Kahane party into a future coalition, fighting addictions to technology, making Judaism egalitarian, limits to human knowledge, why is Siri gendered!
Listen in as Rabbi Artson and the students of the Ziegler School explore: what would you wish you could change in the Torah? Gun control? Donations from a bad person? Is Los Angeles the Diaspora? Is Tel Aviv? What’s new in Jewish Philosophy? Rabbis working outside of congregations? Must converts believe in God? Connecting the work of social justice and personal growth?
Lively conversation between Rabbi Artson and the Ziegler students exploring: can Jews participate in Halloween? Reflections on the shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh, antisemitism and our responses, what would you say to the family of the baby having its brit milah in that synagogue that morning? Support from other communities and our connections to them, and exploring what does it mean to politicize or not politicize this event?