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  • Orthodox Forum # 10

    Jewish Spirituality and Divine Law

    Adam Mintz, Lawrence Schiffman and Robert Hirt

    The primary purpose of the conference and this resulting volume has been to demonstrate through a spectrum of diverse views, that spirituality and Orthodox Judaism are actually not hostile to one another, but, to the contrary, complement and enrich one another. The issue is first approached from a historical perspective, in essays dealing with ancient Judaism, the medieval period and the contemporary period. The following essays then consider the interplay between spirituality and traditional Judaism in synagogue art and in prayer. Essays by Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein and Dr. Chaim Waxman frame the discussion and present an overview of the wide-ranging philosophical and sociological implications of the topic. Learn More
  • Orthodox Forum # 20

    The Relationship of Orthodox Jews with Jews of Other Religious Ideologies and Non-Believing Jews

    Adam Mintz

    In the past two decades, formal denominational relationships organizationally in Jewish life have declined and yet the interaction between Orthodox Jews and non-Orthodox Jews on personal and family levels and in the work place has never been greater.

    While there is no dramatic statistical increase in Orthodox affiliation, there is documented evidence that Orthodoxy today is a growing movement with a young, knowledgeable and observant constituency. A critical question for Orthodoxy today is whether it will see itself as a sectarian movement or one that eagerly embraces concerns facing the Jewish people as a whole.

    Despite an increase in the rate of intermarriage among American Jews, there is a current trend towards increased Jewish identification as expressed in the religious, cultural and political arenas within the framework of the Jewish community. It is for this reason that The Orthodox Forum has chosen to analyze these notable changes taking place in both the Orthodox and non-Orthodox community.

    As the phenomenon of engagement Jewishly by the non-Orthodox has been welcomed in most circles, it has created a special challenge for the Orthodox community. How is the Orthodox community to maintain its strict commitment to the ritual and theological foundations of Judaism while at the same time recognizing the actions of these groups and individuals who, while rejecting many religious norms, have chosen to join the Jewish community in serious and substantive ways?

    This volume offers a wide range of historical, theological, Halakhic, educational and communal perspectives on the challenges and considerations faced by those who endeavor to build bridges with believing and non-believing Jews in our community, while steadfastly maintaining their sacred commitments.

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  • Orthodox Forum # 23

    Conversion, Intermarriage and Jewish Identity

    Robert S. Hirt, Adam Mintz and Marc Stein

    Conversion has always been a contentious matter within the Jewish community. In Israel, the US and elsewhere, the issue has caused major divisions between different sectors of the Jewish world. Other than some Conservative congregations, and the Orthodox communities, most Jews in the US are moving away from opposition to intermarriage. Meanwhile, Israel faces a major dilemma in relation to its post-Soviet immigrants, many of whom are of questionable Halachic Jewish status.

    While discussion regarding conversion and intermarriage has its roots in the 19th century and early 20th century, it has become a topic of urgency in this generation.

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  • It's a Thin Line

    Adam Mintz

    This volume represents the first collection of essays on the subject of eruv that combines the halakhic, historical, sociological and artistic aspects of this age-old rabbinic innovation. In the past several decades, the eruv has caught the attention of scholars and artists, sociologists and politicians. Historians have begun to study the development of the eruv from the courtyards of Roman Palestine to the urban eruvin of the modern period. How did the walls and gates of the early period evolve into the ''virtually invisible'' lines of the modern period? How does the history of the eruv inform an understanding of the history of Jews in cities and towns throughout Europe and the Muslim world? Furthermore, in the twentieth century, how does the eruv contribute to the appreciation of the development of Orthodoxy in America and modern-day Europe? Several historians grapple with these issues and attempt to weave the eruv into the fabric of the history of Jewish communities and cultures. For artists, the ability to imagine ''virtually invisible'' lines as solid walls creates endless opportunities to delve into the worlds of the imaginary and the real and the relationship between the two of them. Learn More

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