Tarbut Goes Topless

The letter whose text is reprinted below this commentary has been sent by the Administration of the Tarbut v’Torah Jewish Community School (TVT of Irvine) to its families.  It finally and formally brings to an end the charade that has seen TVT falsely promote itself as a suitable educational vehicle for the children of Orthodox-affiliated Jewish families in Orange County, California.  TVT has gone topless: it formally has adopted an explicit policy, reversing the policy that stood from its founding in 1991 ...

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Tarbut Goes Topless

The letter whose text is reprinted below this commentary has been sent by the Administration of the Tarbut v’Torah Jewish Community School (TVT of Irvine) to its families.  It finally and formally brings to an end the charade that has seen TVT falsely promote itself as a suitable educational vehicle for the children of Orthodox-affiliated Jewish families in Orange County, California.  TVT has gone topless: it formally has adopted an explicit policy, reversing the policy that stood from its founding in 1991 ...

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On the Increased Urgency for a New Jewish Educational Vision to Guide the Pedagogic Model of Tarbut v’Torah (TVT)

When I was ordained in March 1981 with s’mikha from HaRav HaGaon Harav Yosef Ber Soloveitchik zt”l and RavNahum Lamm shlit”a at Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), I undertook to be a Rav b’Yisrael, a rabbi and teacher in the greater Jewish community. I have been a Rav for 27 years and have practiced in pulpit and community rabbonus for more than 15 of those years. It is because I love the Jewish People, and particularly because I am devoted to the Judaic education of young people — of all ages, of all backgrounds — that I write ...

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On the Increased Urgency for a New Jewish Educational Vision to Guide the Pedagogic Model of Tarbut v’Torah (TVT)

When I was ordained in March 1981 with s’mikha from HaRav HaGaon Harav Yosef Ber Soloveitchik zt”l and RavNahum Lamm shlit”a at Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), I undertook to be a Rav b’Yisrael, a rabbi and teacher in the greater Jewish community. I have been a Rav for 27 years and have practiced in pulpit and community rabbonus for more than 15 of those years. It is because I love the Jewish People, and particularly because I am devoted to the Judaic education of young people — of all ages, of all backgrounds — that I write ...

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Parshat Miketz

It happens to all of us. You are with friends, engaged in small talk, and then someone makes a disparaging comment about a common acquaintance. You didn’t see the insult coming, but there it is. It’s entered the conversation.

What should you do? Should you challenge the slight or let it go by unaddressed?

Before you can process your thoughts, the small talk has moved on to another subject — the sub-prime mortgage crisis, the latest ...

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Parshat VaYigash

After the Golden Calf, Moshe prays to God, begging forgiveness. In the course of his prophetic dialogue with the Creator, Moshe asks to see God’s glory. God responds that no person can see His face and live. However, He will allow Moshe to see His back (Exodus 33:17-23). Rashi, citing the Talmud, understands God’s offer literally. As we sing in the An’im Z’mirot hymn toward the end of Shabbat morning services: “He showed [Moshe] the humble one the [rear] knot ...

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Parashat VaY’chi

ANOTHER DEATH-BED SCENE

The Torah is a book of laws, 248 positive mitzvot and 365 negative commandments that set forth Jewish practices from birth to death. When the Torah relates narratives and ìBible stories,î those accounts are included to teach us how to live in practical terms. Our guiding aphorism is ìMaíasei avot siman la-banimî: our ancestorsí deeds signal us, their children, how to live. Yet, the Torah is sparing in many story details, leaving unspoken that which ìgoes without saying.î

It ...

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Parshat Sh’mot

In the course of a lifetime, we encounter any number of friends.

Some are friends by happenstance — friends who happen to attend school with us, happen to work where we do or reside near us. When we graduate from school, change careers or relocate, most such friends slowly disappear from our lives — and we from theirs.

But there are others, fewer, whose friendship lasts a lifetime. They are the friends we invite to our ...

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Parashat Va-era

Parshat Va-era

Parshat Va-era is the Sedrah that most thoroughly covers the substance underlying the Pesach narrative.  HKB”H tells Moshe, in language from which we learn the obligation to drink four or five cups at the Seder, that He now is moving towards implementing the Exodus. He commands Moshe to intensify the meetings with Pharaoh, warning that increasingly severe consequences will plague Egypt if Pharaoh does not let the Jews serve Hashem in the Midbar.  And soon the plagues come.

Like a ...

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Parshat Bo

We read two puzzling statements as God prepares to exact the plagues in this week’s parasha. “And I will pass through Egypt … and I will smite every first-born … and I will exact judgments against all the gods of Egypt. I am God” (Exodus 12:12). Moreover, on that night, “[T]here will be a great cry throughout all Egypt, the like of which never before has been and never again will be. [But] against the Children of Israel ...

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