Israel: Israel in Jewish Thought

Rabbi Kenneth Auman

Rabbi Kenneth Auman has been an adjunct professor of Jewish studies at Stern College for Women at Yeshiva University since 1993. Rabbi Auman is also spiritual leader of the Young Israel of Flatbush, where he has served since 1984. Rabbi Auman is well known among his congregants and students for his warmth, humor and impressive scholarship, and has become a highly sought-after speaker in history, halakha and hashkafa. In addition to his rabbinical and teaching roles, Rabbi Auman is active in many community causes. Rabbi Auman has served as president of the Vaad Harabonim of Flatbush, established the Kehillah Kashrus Rabbinical Board, served as rabbinic advisor to the Get organization, was president of the Rabbinical Council of America and has played an important role in maintaining the Flatbush eruv. Rabbi Auman earned a BA in Jewish studies at Yeshiva College and an MA in medieval Jewish history from Bernard Revel Graduate School in Jewish Studies. He received both Yadin Yadin and Yoreh Yoreh semikha from Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. Rabbi Auman previously served as spiritual leader of Young Israel of Stamford and Inwood Jewish Center. He began his teaching career at SAR Academy in the Bronx and Ramaz Upper School in Manhattan. Sample Titles ISRAEL: The modern State as heir to the ancient kingdom May one go on the Har Habayit? Does arguing with G-d make any sense? The Mitzvah of chessed Shidduchim, Bashert, and dating The Jewish wedding ceremony How does prayer work? The seudat havra’ah and other cheerful topics What’s in a name? Attempting to be an honest employer or employee Receiving blessings from angels Family Dynamics Dreams and their significance The mitzvoth of Yibbum and chalitza – Jewish continuity Kavod hamet Reward and Punishment: Is the World Fair? The Halachic Obligations of Non- Jews How Much Are We Influenced by our Surroundings? The Mitzvah of Living and Settling in the Land of Israel Does Gd Judge us on Our Present or on Our Future? Halachic...

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Rabbi Mordechai Becher

Rabbi Mordechai Becher, originally from Australia, an instructor at the James Striar School of Yeshiva University and a senior lecturer for the Gateways Organization. Rabbi Becher received his ordination from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. He taught at Ohr Somayach, Neve Yerushalayim and Darchei Binah in Jerusalem for 15 years, served in the Israel Defence Forces and taught in a number of Rabbinic training programs. His latest book, Gateway to Judaism, published by Shaar Press, is now in its sixth printing. Rabbi Becher has lectured for the UJA, Jewish Federations, the Zionist Organization of America, Hillel and is on the speakers’ bureau of the Israeli Consulate in New York. Rabbi Becher has answered thousands of questions on the Ask-the-Rabbi website, and has taught in Canada, the United States, England, Israel, South Africa, Australia and Russia. Sample Titles “An Eye For An Eye”: What Does it Really Mean? What If We Found Moshe’s Tefillin – Archaeology and Halachah Occupied or Liberated: Whose Land Is It Anyway? Jewish State or State for Jews? The Ideal of a Jewish State in Jewish Thought Cloning in Halachah “Triage” Rationing Resources, and Priorities in Medical Emergencies The Sabbath : Who Invented the Weekend Anyway? Exile of the Body, Exile of the Soul: The Exodus as a Metaphor. Freewill and Conditioning: A Delicate Balance. Jewish Law in a Non-Jewish Society Strings Attached: The Mitzvah of Tzitzit From Cairo to Cambridge: Jewish Treasures of Egypt (Cairo Genizah A/V) A Prophet for Our Time: The Life and Philosophy of Rabbi Samson Raphael...

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Rabbi Lawrence Hajioff

Rabbi Lawrence Hajioff serves on the Judaic studies faculty of Stern College for Women. Originally from London, England, Rabbi Hajioff graduated with honors in political science from Manchester University. After working for two years for MTV in news production, and winning the national competition ‘Jewish Stand-Up Comedian’ of the Year, Rabbi Hajioff traveled to study in Israel and then Monsey to receive his rabbinical smicha ordination from Yeshiva Ohr Somayach. Rabbi Hajioff has worked extensively with young Jewish drug addicts, and in 2004 received an award from the Town of Ramapo for his work on their behalf. In 2005 Rabbi Hajioff joined the faculty of Stern College for Women at Yeshiva University. In 2006 he received the “Professor of the Year” award in Judaic Studies from the senior year students at Stern. Rabbi Hajioff also works for Birthright Israel in New York as their official Rabbi and educational director. He has been instrumental in implementing programs for Birthright Israel in Manhattan such as the very successful adult bar and bat mitzvah program which some four hundred people have completed so far. He also leads trips to Israel and Poland three times annually for some three hundred participants. Rabbi Hajioff also teaches on the Mechina Introductory Judaic studies program at Stern College. This program includes Shabbatonim on and off campus, and a summer learning program in Israel at the YU campus. He teaches introductory Judaic studies courses, which cover all the foundations of Jewish thought, as well as a lower intermediate level course covering all the Jewish holidays, and an intermediate level course on the Sabbath. He has developed a new course introducing kabbalistic ideas in Jewish thought. Sample Titles The Five Levels of Pleasure Four Misconceptions Jews Have About Judaism Children – Planting and Building; Bringing up Healthy Children in Today’s Technological World. Finding Inspiration in a Hectic World Do Jews Believe in G-d War – What is it Good For? Israel – Whose Land Is It Anyway? Health...

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Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff

Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff of Yeshiva University’s Caroline and Joseph S. Gruss Institute in Jerusalem, is a noted scholar, author and teacher. Born in New York City in 1937, Rabbi Rakeffet moved with his family to Israel in 1969, following seven years as spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Ephraim and Maplewood Jewish Center in New Jersey. Rabbi Rakeffet has written many entries for Encyclopedia Judaica, including the one on the Rav, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. His two-volume “The Rav: The World of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik” was published in 1999 by KTAV Publishing House. Most recently, Rabbi Rakeffet’s scholarly memoir, “From Washington Avenue to Washington Street”, was published in 2011 by the OU Press in conjunction with Gefen Publishing House. Rabbi Rakeffet is also the author of “Bernard Revel: Builder of American Jewish Orthodoxy,” a biography of Yeshiva’s first president published by the Jewish Publication Society; and “The Silver Era: Rabbi Eliezer Silver and His Generation,” about the life and times of Rabbi Eliezer Silver (1881-1968) and published by Feldheim. Both these works have gone through three editions. In 1997, he published two volumes of “Rakafot Aharon,” a collection of published scholarship in the fields of halakha and Jewish history. The Yeshiva College Alumni Association awarded its annual Bernard Revel Memorial Award in Religion and Religious Education to Rabbi Rakeffet in 1975, the first time the award ceremony took place in Israel. He has taught at Jerusalem’s Torah College for Men, Machon Gold, Michlalah (the Jerusalem College for Women) and Midreshet Moriah, an advanced Torah study program for women....

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Rabbi Dr. Michael Rosensweig

Rabbi Dr. Michael Rosensweig occupies the Nathan and Perel Schupf Chair in Talmud at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and is a rosh yeshiva in the Yeshiva Program/Mazer School of Talmudic Studies of Yeshiva University. He has written extensively, contributing to numerous journals of Torah learning. Rabbi Rosensweig received his semikha (rabbinic ordination) from RIETS and was a distinguished fellow of its post-semikha institute, the Gruss Kollel Elyon. He received his BA from Yeshiva College and earned his PhD in medieval Jewish history from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies while studying under Professor Haym Soloveitchik. Rabbi Rosensweig was also a student of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveichik for seven years, and a student of Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, renowned Talmudic scholar, rosh yeshiva at Yeshivat Har Etzion and director of the Joseph and Caroline Gruss Institute in Jerusalem. In 1997, Rabbi Rosensweig was appointed rosh kollel (dean) of the prestigious Israel Henry Beren Institute for Higher Talmudic Studies (Ha-Machon ha-Gavohah le’Talmud) at RIETS. Rabbi Rosensweig is known for his intricate conceptual approach to Talmud study, as well as his heavy use of Brisker methodology in Talmudic analysis. Sample Titles Judging and Being Judged: Ending Personal and Communal Divisiveness Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding: The Guidance of Daas Torah Family: The Cornerstone of Community How to Pick a School for your Child…Values & Priorities in Jewish Education The Role of Personal Initiative in Avodat Hashem: Opportunities and Limits Sefirat ha-Omer: The Bridge Between Pesach and Shavuos The Hashkafic Framework of Social Change The Teshuvas of Aseres Yemei Teshuva and Yom Kippur Repentance As a Response to 9/11 Eretz Yisrael: The Corporate Headquarters of Klal Yisroel Teshuva With Respect To Transgressions and Our Relationship with Hashem The Dual Nature of Rosh Hashanah Teshuvah on Yom Kippur according to the Rambam’s Hilchos Teshuva Reflections on the Conceptual Approach to Talmud Torah Personal Initiative and Creativity in Avodat Hashem The Interface between Yom Kippur & Sukkot: Joy and Awe as Complementary Expressions...

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