Freedom: American vs. Jewish Concepts

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5781
by Rabbi Elliot Dorff, PhD
posted on March 24, 2021
American Jews like to think of the American and Jewish sides of their identity as being congruent, that they not only agree with each other but reenforce each other. This was articulated, for example, in one of my hometown rabbi’s favorite readings in the Sabbath and Festivals Prayer Book, edited by Rabbi Morris Silverman and used widely in Conservative synagogues from 1946 to the publication of Siddur Sim Shalom in 1985. The reading, “America- Founded on Biblical Precepts” (pp. Read more...

The Distinctive Jewish Perceptions and Values Embedded in the Passover Story

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5777
by Rabbi Elliot Dorff, PhD
posted on July 14, 2017
Torah Reading
Haftarah Reading
Most Jews tend to think that everyone in the world thinks and acts as Jews do. That includes not only the content of the way that Jews understand and react to life, but the argumentative, and yet humorous, method we use to negotiate it. It will therefore be helpful to clarify the underlying assumptions of Jewish ethics by comparing them to those of Christianity and American secularism, the two other traditions that American Jews are likely to know, to show that that is not so. Read more...

Exodus & Revolution

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5776
by Rabbi Adam Greenwald
posted on April 22, 2016
Torah Reading
Haftarah Reading
In Professor Michael Walzer's now-classic study of the political history of the Passover story, Exodus and Revolution (1985), he concludes with three fundamental teachings that illuminate the ongoing relevance of the narrative to our contemporary lives: Read more...