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Essays and articles addressing the contemporary issues under debate in the media and in living rooms across the Global Village

Issues

Issues

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What Does Judaism Say About Gun Control?
Of Weapons and Wickedness
Examining the gun control debate from the perspective of classic Judaic sources
Facing Grief
Staying Functional and Faithful
Any loss, especially one involving the loss of love, independence, structure or identity, causes a temporary loss of balance—physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Is Judaism a Theocracy?
The human psyche is home to two contrasting drives: a striving for freedom, and an impulse to submit to authority. Which should be given priority over the other? Or, to otherwise state the question: in what sort of environment would the Torah prefer to see the Jew—as a member of a free society, or as the subject of an authoritarian regime?
Avoid the Happiness Cops
I'm all for happiness, but to be fully human means to be able to acknowledge and express the full range of emotions which G‑d gave us.
A Matter of Responsibility
Kabbalah, psychology, and the real issue behind "gun control vs. people control"
Peace or Piece?
"Peace" is commonly regarded as synonymous with compromise. But what if you compromise the very foundation on which the existence of peace depends?
Where Is Man?
Remembering the Holocaust, we're faced with the eternal question: Where was G-d? But I believe that 60 years ago G-d was watching and waiting for an answer to an even more important question: Where is man?
Jews are from Sinai, not Mars or Venus
The Curse of Eve
A Jewish Perspective on Women in Society
Those who refer to the biblical story of Eve as a Divine endorsement of sexism are overlooking a simple truth: a curse is not something that should to be the way it is -- it's something that should not be the way it is...
The Tree of Knowledge
Twice in the Torah we find a human and an animal conversing: Eve and the serpent, and Balaam and his ass. In both cases, they're talking about the uses and abuses of the Inner Voice
The Art of Passionate Disagreement
For truth to be upheld, it is fundamental that human beings do not live in intellectual isolation, only hearing views that reinforce their own...
Are We Really Independent?
We have our own state; so why do we still mourn our exile on Tishah B'Av?
Belief in the Wall
In effect, democracy is far more dependent on the commonly held belief/value system of the population than it is on the non-establishment of a particular religion.
Our Greatest Fear
Giving Yourself Permission to Feel
It seems that what people fear more than anything is not crime, illness or even death. The greatest fear is their own feelings, especially the "big three": loneliness, helplessness and insignificance.
Have We Become Too Sensitive?
Has the deliberate, laudable avoidance of focusing on others' weaknesses also led to a reluctance to focus on others' strengths -- for fear that it will hurt the self esteem of those who don't have those particular talents or strengths?
The Multiculturalism Debate
Does Jewish unity allow for diversity? The pros and cons of multiculturalism are reflected in the two primary mitzvot of Sukkot -- taking the Four Kinds and dwelling in the sukkah.
When Tragedy Strikes
Is it a message from G‑d, calling us all to take heed, or are the tragedies that strike our lives just random events?
Why did G‑d give me mental illness?
Every soul journeys down into this world with two suitcases. One is full of challenges; the other, the talents and strengths necessary to withstand those challenges. The first suitcase is opened for you; the second you have to open yourself.
Ego Strengths – And Their Absence
Throughout our lives, we will all experience endless irritations, frustrations and losses. What makes the difference between those who stay down and those who pick themselves up and start rebuilding?
A Bridge to Somewhere
A Rabbi and an Atheist Explore their Jewishness
An American Chabad rabbi working in Uruguay to "activate souls," and a well established doctor, self proclaimed atheist from the interior of Argentina, explore their Jewishnesss, establishing a line of communication that not only transcends their differences but feeds off them…
The Threat of Extremism
As I watched this gripping video, my recurring thought was how a positive ideal could become absolutely evil if distorted from its proper context or taken to too extreme a measure.
Retaining Gravity on the Moon's Surface
Millions worldwide watched in awe as the lunar module raced through space. People held their breaths at what was seen as the almost impossible mission. But many religious people felt disoriented...
Where are the Revolutionaries?
Would Abraham Recognize His Children?
When I was around six years old, I vividly recall – in a type of frozen image, the type that results only from a childhood experience forever etched in our memories – a fistfight that took place in my local synagogue...
Terrorism
Should I Heal the Planet or Help My Community?
What’s my role in life? Is it to “slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet,” or is it to help my own family and community?
What's the Point of a One-Time Mitzvah?
What have we gained from guilt-tripping a guy into tefillin? It’s just a one off, with no guarantee of any followup.
How Do Torah and Mitzvahs Contribute to World Peace?
Imagine the following scenario: Bored with your job, you decide to do something radically different.
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