Jewish Holidays: Thought

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 Meir Goldwicht

Rabbi Meir Goldwicht, a prominent Israeli scholar and educator, is the Joel and Maria Finkle Visiting Israeli Rosh Yeshiva and a rosh yeshiva at the Yeshiva Program/Mazer School of Talmudic Studies at Yeshiva University. He is also head rosh yeshiva at the Irving I. Stone Beit Midrash Program. Rabbi Goldwicht received semikha from the renowned rabbinic authorities Rabbi Zalman Nehemia Goldberg, former Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem HaRav HaGaon Betzallel Zolti and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, HaRav Rashi of Israel. Rabbi Goldwicht delivers Hebrew and English shiurim (lectures) extensively across the metropolitan area, throughout the United States and in Israel, including weekly evening shiurim in 5 New York area communities. He has delivered more than 1,000 inspiring shiurim every year to grateful audiences. Rabbi Goldwicht is also rosh kollel at Camp Mesorah. Sample Titles Chazal’s Perspective on Daily Life Situations The Secret of the Strength and Power of our People, from Megillat Esther Until Today Greek Culture Then and Now Yerushalayim Kisei Hashem, Yesterday and Today in the Perspective of Chazal...

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Mr. Charlie Harary

Mr. Charlie Harary, Esq. is a Clinical Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship and an Associate Entrepreneur in Residence at the Syms School of Business in Yeshiva University. In addition, Mr. Harary is the CEO of H3 Capital LLC, a private equity company based in New York. Prior to H3 Capital, Mr. Harary was the First Vice President of Residential Operations and Legal Counsel of RXR Realty, a multi-billion dollar Real Estate Company based in New York. Prior to RXR, Mr. Harary was an associate in Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and Davis Polk & Wardwell. He received his J.D. from Columbia Law School where he was awarded the James Kent Scholar and the Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. Mr. Harary is a prolific speaker who has traveled all over the country and abroad speaking for organizations, schools, universities and institutions on a variety of topics and to audiences of various sizes and affiliations. He has created dozens of videos that have received worldwide attention reaching hundreds of thousands of people in over 15 countries. Mr. Harary is also a Senior Lecturer for the Orthodox Union, Aish Hatorah and NCSY. In addition, he is an active community leader. He is the founder and president of Milvado Inc., an organization that develops innovative methods to teach spirituality in relevant and modern ways. He is a member of the Executive Board of the OU as well as the Founding Chairman of its Young Leadership Cabinet. He is also a member of the Conference of Young Jewish Presidents. Sample Titles From Vision to Execution: How to Turn Your Idea into a Reality The Traits of Great Jewish Leaders Tapping into your Inner Greatness Moses and the Making of a Great Leader How to Build and Excite A Board and Lay Leadership Creating Successful Companies Principles of Entrepreneurship Social Entrepreneurship How to Have Great Relationships The Secret to Happiness The Building Blocks of Godliness in the First Four Stories of Genesis The Seven Shepards...

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Rabbi David Horwitz

Rabbi David Horwitz is a rosh yeshiva and the Rabbi Dovid Lifshitz Professor of Talmud at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University. He also is an instructor of Jewish history and Jewish philosophy at Yeshiva College and teaches an advanced shiur (lecture) for the Yeshiva Program/Mazer School of Talmudic Studies. In 1997, Rabbi Horwitz received Yeshiva’s 13th Annual Moshe and Madelaine Baumel Judaic Faculty Incentive Award, which honors outstanding Jewish studies educators at the University and RIETS. Rabbi Horwitz is an alumnus of Yeshiva University High School for Boys (where he won the National Bible Contest, Chidon Hatanach), Yeshiva College, Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, and received his semikha (rabbinic ordination) from RIETS, where he was a fellow of the Gruss Kollel Elyon. Sample Titles Issues in Sefiras HaOmer Inyanei Pesach Halachic Issues in Japan Sefirat HaOmer – Is Verbalization Necessary? Halakha and the Scientific Revolution Rav Horowitz Sefer Hamadda Human Effort and Determinism in Ralbag Memories of the Rav Torah Umadda Rambam vs The Chachmei Ashkenaz on the Haggadah – some surprising differences An Argument of Rav and Shmuel – Matchil B’Gnut U’Lsayem B’Shevach – Spiritual Redemption and Talmud Torah The Corporate Completeness of Kelal...

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Rabbi Aharon Kahn

Rabbi Aharon Kahn was named Joel Jablonski Professor of Talmud and Codes at Yeshiva University’s affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) in 1988. A specialist in rabbinic law, Rabbi Kahn was ordained at RIETS in 1969 and later earned Semikhah Yadin Yadin, the highest level of rabbinic ordination, from the late Torah sages Rabbi Mendel Zaks and Rabbi Moshe Duber Rivkin. For 20 years, he studied with the late, revered Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Leib Merkin Distinguished Professor of Talmud and Jewish Philsophy at RIETS, who was considered the foremost authority on Halakhah (Jewish law) and chief mentor and inspiration of authentic Jewish leadership on this continent. For ten of those years, he was Rabbi Soloveitchik’s assistant. Rabbi Kahn was appointed Rosh Kollel of RIETS’ prestigious Kollel Elyon at its inception and served in that position from 1983 to 1998. At RIETS, Rabbi Kahn was co-editor of the University’s Centennial Torah volume, Yevul Hayovlot, which contained a sampling of the Torah scholarship of Yeshiva’s roshei yeshiva since its inception. He is also the author of nine volumes spanning the entire range of Jewish scholarship. Rabbi Kahn completed eighteen year tenure as spiritual leader of the Downtown Talmud Torah Synagogue on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 1987. He then moved to the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn where he established Knesseth Bais Avigdor, a unique congregation that provides opportunities for lay people to engage in serious Torah study on a daily basis. His wife, Rebetzin Rachel Kahn, is the principal of the Bais Yaakov of the East Side. Mr. Jablonski established the Chair in Talmud and Codes in memory of his parents, Chaim and Sima Weissman Jablonski, and his brother, Bezalel in July, 1988. Sample Titles Memories of the Rav Perspectives on Tzedaka Teshuvah–It’s Time! The Rambam’s Mitzvah of Koreich Giving Thanks–Hakoras Hatovah: A Yesod in Yahadus Nosai Be’ol im Chaveiro: The Passion in Compassion Chazal’s Perspective on Daily Life...

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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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Professor Smadar Rosensweig

Smadar Rosensweig is clinical assistant professor of Judaic studies at Stern College for Women. She received her B.A. from Barnard College  in 1983, and an M.A. in 1987 and M.Phil in 1989, both in Jewish History from Columbia University. She gives shiurim and lectures throughout the New York metropolitan area and across the country. Sample Titles Themes in Megillat Ruth From The Depths of Shechem To The Glory of Geula: The Remarkable Ascention of Shevet Levi Moshe, Aharon, & Miriam: Sibling Models of Leadership Sefirah, Torah & Personal Growth Bracha and Bechora: Reuven and Yehuda Interrelationship of Avot and Imahot The Lesons of Chana Haftarot of Calamity and Consolation Mothers-in-law, Daughters-in-law; the Book of...

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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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Rabbi Dr. Eliezer Schnall

Rabbi Dr. Eliezer Schnall is currently on the faculty of the Yeshiva College Psychology Department and the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education. He has published widely and lectured nationally on topics related to religion and psychology, as well as mental health and the Orthodox Jewish community. His research has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, on the cover of the Jerusalem Post, and on CBS television news (– and was even joked about by Jay Leno in his opening monologue on NBC’s Tonight Show.) Rabbi Dr. Schnall received ordination from Yeshiva University’s rabbinical school, the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. He did his clinical residency in psychology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School of UMDNJ, and holds a PhD in psychology from Yeshiva University. Sample Titles Orthodox Jewish Marriage: Why we’re satisfied, why we’re stressed Prayer and Longevity: Will going to shul help you live longer? The more things change the more they stay the same: An intergenerational view of mental health in the Orthodox Jewish community Avadim Hayeenu: Building Pyramids, Building Legos, and Building Self-Esteem Groupthink: How did the Sanhedrin avoid the kinds of mistakes that plagued JFK, NASA, and the captain of the Titanic? Multicultural Counseling and the Orthodox Jew Beyond Jerry Seinfeld and Jackie Mason: Is Humor Jewish, and Why Should I Care? Stress and Distress in the Modern World: Jewish Spirituality Responds Bringing Awe into our Lives: Positive Psychology and the Aesthetic in Judaism Harnessing the Power of Gratitude: A Contemporary View of a Timeless Mitzvah Hope and Optimism: In Judaism and in Our Daily Lives Making Marriage Work: Jewish and Psychological Perspectives Prayer and Longevity: Will Attending Shul Help You Live...

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Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky

Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky is a rosh yeshiva at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary at Yeshiva University. In addition, he also serves as spiritual leader of Congregation Ohr HaTorah in Bergenfield, N.J. His synagogue has attracted many Orthodox Jews to the community. Rabbi Sobolofsky also lectures at the Bergen County Beis Medrash Program, housed at Congregation Bnai Yeshurun in Teaneck, N.J. Prior to his appointment as a rosh yeshiva, Rabbi Sobolofsky was a fellow of the Gruss Kollel Elyon and then went on to teach in the Irving I. Stone Beis Medrash Program. Rabbi Sobolofsky studied at Yeshivat Kerem BeYavneh and Yeshiva. Graduating in 1987, he was named valedictorian of the Mazer Yeshiva Program. He then attended RIETS, where he studied under Rabbi Hershel Schacter and Rabbi Mordechai Willig, finishing in 1990 and proceeded to the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration in 1996. Rabbi Sobolofsky is the author of Reishis Koach, on Maseches Bechoros, and has produced a series of shiurim on tape on Hilchos Nidda, Hilchos Aveilus, on the construction of a mikvah and on halachic aspects of the Seder, which are available on CDs and MP3s.His most recent sefer is titled The Laws and Concepts of Niddah. Sample Titles Chinuch and Mesorah: A Formula for Success Shofar and Mussaf on Rosh Hoshanah The Halakhic Perspective on Abortion End of Life Issues Emergencies on Shabbat and Yom Tov Pregnancy and Birth in Jewish Law and Thought The Future of Korbanot and the Rebuilding of the Beit ha-Mikdash Shabbat and Yom Tov in Jewish Thought Birth, Marriage, and Death in Jewish Law Conversion to Judaism The Jewish Traveler: The International Date Line The History of Torah she-Ba’al...

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