Many Jews, ‘observant’ and ‘non-observant’ alike, associate the religious Jewish life with ritual practice.
Whilst ritual mitzvot are essential, I seek to redress the balance by presenting a more expansive understanding of Torat Chayim – Judaism’s relevance to our lives.
In accordance with Torah sources, I present character development as a central focus of the committed Jewish life. The lives of Torah luminaries such as Rabbi Aryeh Levin, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein and Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach provide proof of the capacity of Torah life and wisdom to yield outstanding moral personalities. Many sources stress that this moral development requires far more than ritual observance but necessitates a deep exploration of Jewish ethical wisdom together with a commitment to inculcating and applying that wisdom in one’s life. Some of the shiurim and articles on this site discuss the ethical ideas associated with the observance of Jewish festivals or the performance of other mitzvot.
I also argue for the application of Torah wisdom to issues concerning the Jewish community and general society. Whilst there is a tendency to view social activism and religious Jewish commitment as alternative expressions of Jewish identity, I understand the application of Torah concepts to social ethics to be an important responsibility for 21st century Modern Orthodoxy.
This site is presented for the benefit of anyone who is interested in the topic. The main target readership, however, are those writers, educators or those active in communal life who believe passionately in the wisdom and potency of Jewish values. If you fit into any of those categories, I would love to hear from you and to explore ideas together.
I draw widely on many Torah sources but have been particularly influenced by the ideological positions of Rabbi Yisrael Salanter and Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch. I should also make special mention of Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein who, through his writings and lectures, applied his vast Torah knowledge to a wide range of contemporary issues and Rabbi Jonathan Sacks who is unparalleled in his articulation of a Jewish worldview and its relevance to today’s society.