The Ability and Responsibility to Change

Headshot of Elliot Dorff
by Rabbi Elliot Dorff, PhD
posted on September 13, 2021
A few weeks ago, I was part of a rabbinic court (beit din) for someone who was converting to Judaism.  In his essay to describe his journey to Judaism, he mentioned that he had grown up as a Protestant Christian.  During the conversation, I mentioned that the High Holy Days were coming and asked him what he thought their meaning was.  He rightfully said that they were a very serious time when we are prompted to evaluate what we have done in the past year, seek forgiveness from anyone we have wronged, and plan ways to improve our relationships with others and with God during the yea Read more...

Our Day In Heaven

Photo of Pinchas Giller
by Rabbi Pinchas Giller
posted on September 25, 2020
In general, Jews expect to maintain a becoming agnosticism about metaphysics. They tend to observe the admonition of the second chapter of the Mishnah in Hagigah, namely that “whoever considers these four things, better that they should never have come into the World: what is above, what is below, what came before and what will be after.” Hence, it is considered slightly tasteless to speculate about Heaven, or the afterlife, or even the nature of the soul, in conventional Judaism.  Read more...

This Yom Kippur, Pay Attention to the Music

Headshot of Elliot Dorff
by Rabbi Elliot Dorff, PhD
posted on September 9, 2017
I have a Ph.D. in philosophy from a philosophy department that espoused analytic philosophy, which focuses on the meaning of words. I am therefore probably the last person you know who would tell you to ignore the words of Yom Kippur – the words of the liturgy and the words spoken in sermons during the day. Read more...

G'mar Hatima Tovah from the Ziegler School

by Rabbi Aaron Alexander
posted on October 3, 2014
Dear Friends,  In just a few days we'll all stand together on Yom Kippur, physically distant from one another, but powerfully connected by the shared openness in our hearts - to deeply loving, intentionally living, and thoughtfully forgiving. Kol Yisra'el Aravin Zeh La-Zeh. All Jews - that were, that are, that will be - are inextricably bound together in service of God, Torah, and Israel. We feel much gratitude for being able to share in this journey together with you, imagining a present and future that is worthy of our rich past.  Read more...