Saving Books from the Fire eJewishPhilanthropy, September 10, 2017 I recently was speaking with a prospective donor about our work of bringing rigorous and relevant Jewish study to all, irrespective of practice or affiliation, and enabling Jews of all perspectives to own the the texts and ideas of Jewish life. He is a thoughtful person, highly intellectual, and deeply … Read more

בלב ובראש פתוח: תגובה לביקורתו של אברהם בורג על נשות הכותל

יואל לוי וליאון אריה מוריס במאמר מעניין ומאתגר מותח אברהם בורג ביקורת על נשות הכותל כדוגמה נוספת ליהדות שהיא “תמצית העבודה הזרה” (“מה הסיפור שלהן עם הכותל?” הארץ, 16 ביוני, 2016). ישראלים רבים, וגם רבים מיהודי התפוצות הלא-אורתודוקסיים, יזדהו עם בורג האומר כי “אין בי שום געגוע לבית המקדש שהיה, ואף כיסוף לבית המקדש שלעולם … Read more

Hearts and Minds Wide Open: A Response to Avraham Burg’s Critique of Women of the Wall

(Haaretz, June 27, 2016) Joel Levy and Leon A. Morris In his thoughtful and challenging essay, Avraham Burg critiques the Women of the Wall as yet another example of a Judaism that is “the essence of idolatry.” (“What’s Truly Absurd About Women of the Wall,” June 17, 2016).  Many Israelis – and many non-Orthodox Diaspora … Read more

קצת פוטושופ והר הבית נמחק

From Haaretz ליאון אריה מוריס 21.04.2016 20:00 PDF of original article יעל, בתנו בת החמש, חזרה נרגשת מהגן עם הגדה לילדים שקיבלה שם, ומיהרה להראות לי אותה. ישבתי אתה ליד שולחן המטבח, מאושר מיכולתה לשיר את “הא לחמא עניא”, את “מה נשתנה” ואת “דיינו”. התענגתי על המיומנויות שלה, על ביטחונה ועל כל מה שלמדה בבית … Read more

Reform Judaism and the Challenge of our Time

Published originally in Haaretz November 5, 2015 By LEON MORRIS As the Reform movement gathered for its Biennial Convention in Orlando, Florida – its aliyat ha’regel of inspiration, study and celebration – it did so just one month after the Reconstructionist Rabbinical School implemented the very admissions policy that a younger generation of Reform Jews … Read more

Pragmatism versus the Talmudic Process in Reform Judaism: The Minyan as Case Study?

Introduction The minyan, the required quorum of ten adult Jews needed for public prayer, has constituted a core component of Jewish life throughout the millennia. In the context of communal worship, the minyan represents a microcosm of the entirety of the Jewish people, whose primary spiritual experiences are public and communal. the notion of the … Read more

The Calves of Our Lips: The Inescapable Connections between Prayer and Sacrifice

Rabbi Leon A. Morris Published in the summer of 2013 in CCAR Journal: The Reform Jewish Quarterly. See here for a PDF of the article. The notion of sacrificial offerings was an anathema in the shaping of a modern Jewish life. Since the earliest days of Reform Judaism, those most ancient forms of divine service were … Read more

Christmas belongs to Christians

Scott Korb & Rabbi Leon A Morris The Baltimore Sun It’s been nearly 30 years since author Anne Rolphe reflected on her family’s Christmas tree in The New York Times with the essay “Christmas Comes to a Jewish Home.” Rolphe’s December 1978 essay elicited a strong reaction from many Jews who rightfully objected to the ways … Read more

Recovering Faith from its Misuse

April 2006 Scott M. Korb a Roman Catholic from Brooklyn, NY, is co-author with Peter Bebergal, of “The Faith Between Us,” forthcoming from Bloomsbury Rabbi Leon A. Morris is director of the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning at Temple Emanu-El in NYC. In the Book of Exodus, after hearing God’s own voice, and with Moses up … Read more

Reinventing ‘religion’ in America

BY SCOTT M. KORB AND LEON A. MORRIS In the Book of Exodus, after hearing God’s voice and with Moses on Mount Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments, the ancient Israelites create and worship a golden calf, proclaiming, “This is our God.” An angry Moses breaks the stone tablets when he descends to the foot of … Read more