Writer’s note: I wrote this article about two years ago for Ha’Am, UCLA’s Jewish student newspaper. Since that time I no longer identify as Orthodox, however I think that the sentiment expressed in this article is extremely valid and ever-timely. Today, I still keep Kosher for meat and even in the past couple of weeks […]Read More Non-denominational or non-Orthodox?
The events of the last couple of weeks have been upsetting and unsettling, to say the least. It seems that we have reached an impasse of sorts in the public sphere and it is hard to figure out what we can do to help alleviate the situation. Hate groups, violence, terrorist activity, and a president […]Read More The Moral Arc: Putting the Hate in Perspective
Originally posted on Jewishvaluescenter.org It is easy to tell what a society is deeply worried about by the entertainment it produces. In this case, it is clear that the proliferating amount of television and movie content regarding the dangers of technology is revealing of a deep existential angst that is felt throughout our society. Take artificial […]Read More Technological Trouble: Social Media and the need for Religion
*This is an updated and consolidated version of an old paper that I wrote as a student It seems to me that we need to separate what we call “religion” in our modern world into two disparate entities. On the one hand, we have the moral ideas that a religious man views as central to […]Read More A Brief History of Religion and its Modern Implications
Originally posted on jewishvaluescenter.org Believe me, I completely understand why a Jewish community would want to do away with the ethnocentric notion of Jewish “chosenness”. In our pluralistic society, it is extremely offensive and detrimental for any group to claim superiority in any way over any other group on the basis of identity alone. However, I […]Read More Intermarriage: The Beginning of the End
Originally posted on jewishvaluescenter.org They say that history is written by the winners. This was the sentiment that I felt exactly two years ago when I was sitting under the Arch of Titus during this period known as the Three Weeks. The Three weeks is a period of time in which many Jews observe a low-level […]Read More Moving On From Destruction
Originally posted on jewishvaluescenter.org Growing up, there was always the looming question of whether or not one was an American Jew or a Jewish American. The fundamental issue was whether one places their Jewish identity before their American identity, or vice versa. While this is a question I used to dedicate much thought to, I think […]Read More American Jew or Jewish American?
Originally posted on jewishvaluescenter.org The other day I was asked if I will wear a kippah for the rest of my life. I immediately answered, “I think so”, and that is the truth. I feel strongly that Jewish men who are committed to their Judaism should be wearing a kippah. This is not, by any means, […]Read More Don’t Judge a Man by his (Head) Cover
Originally posted on jewishvaluescenter.org To be completely honest, I do not think that Halacha is something that must be followed in every instance. There are plenty of areas including LGBT rights, the Agunah problem, and many other moral imperatives that I believe override any Halachic consideration. However, one of the interesting things about not having […]Read More The Noble Path of the Modern Prophet
This past week the Israeli government went back on its plan to create an egalitarian prayer space due to the immense pressure coming from the ultra-Orthodox, or Haredi, community. This is by no means a unique or new occurrence. For years the ultra-Orthodox community has used their government sanctioned control of Judaism and the […]Read More Separation of Church and State, or Separation of the ultra-Orthodox from Judaism?