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“Orthodoxy and Diversity: How Open Should Our Communities Be?”​

Stay tuned as we will examine what I think our (Morethodox) attitudes should be with regard to non-Jews, intermarried Jews, gay Jews, Jews who do not keep kosher, and Jews who cheat on their taxes.

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Orthodox Rabbinic Leaders Writing About how they see Judaism, Israel, the Jewish People and Our World.

Studies in Orthodox Judaism

                          The three branches of Judaism

Orthodox, Conservative and Reform – have been at odds for a long time. In many ways, these divisions parallel the East Coast, West Coast rap wars of the 1990s. The coast that gets all the attention is the left coast – home to showy but hollow rappers like Will Smith who only take from their predecessors without giving back. Then there’s the right coast, home to rap titans like Snoop Dogg and Tupac who are actually serious about their craft.


The Orthodox in the analogy would be Tupac; they're what most people think of when you say "Jew." They keep kosher, they pray three times a day, and they make sure every strand of hair is in place. Of course, there's a big difference between the Orthodox and Tupac: Tupac is dead.


The Conservative would be Suge Knight then – they're not as flashy as the Orthodox, but that doesn't mean they don't have clout. You won't see them at temple every Saturday or keeping kosher all the time, but they still go to synagogue for holidays and their kids still get a decent Jewish education.


They're more interested in how they appear than what they actually believe; if you asked them who was the first person to play center field for the Phillies, they couldn't tell you off the top of their heads . And like Will Smith's rapper/actor career, Reform Jews don't make a lot of sense

We believe we must err, in an extreme way, on the side of welcoming.

Womens Participation Ritual
Advocacy Gay Marriage
Homosexuals Orthodox Community
Clamer Fuller Articulation

Being Jewish isn't about being religious or claiming to be descended from Abraham.

It's about culture, history and nationalism – things that have nothing to do with the Ten Commandments (which are pretty much the only thing Tupac had in common with Abraham).

Courses in Judaism

Orthodox Judaism has a set of laws called Halacha which governs every aspect of life, public and private. Learn it from Orthodox Rabbinic Leaders.

Gavriel Altmann

He has S’micha (Rabbinical Ordination), an MSW in social work and an MA in Jewish philosophy from Yeshiva University in New York City. Before coming to St. Louis Rabbi Gavriel Altmann was the Rabbi of India where he and his wife, Sara Winkelman, spent a year working with the Indian Jewish community under the auspices of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

Zohar Levinsky

He graduated from Drisha’s three-year Scholars Circle Program and, completed five years of studying Jewish law under the supervision of Rabbi Matz Okun. Concurrently, he served the congregation in many pastoral, teaching, and advisory roles. Upon completing her studies, Zohar was ordained by Rabbi Matz Okun and Rabbi Pessach Pazy. She lectures throughout the US and has authored several articles

Deron Resnick

He began his rabbinic career in 1990, as the associate Rabbi at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, New York. The Hebrew Institute is one of the national flagships of Modern Orthodoxy. Rabbi Deron Resnick came to B’nai David – Judea Congregation in Los Angeles in the summer of 1996. He has also introduced changes in synagogue ritual and leadership intended to enhance the role of women in Orthodox life

Got a Question?​ You Just Ask!

The history of the Jews is full of persecution and suffering. The Holocaust which killed 6 million Jews in Europe is a sad page in our history. We document the huge number of human rights violations, hate speech and the disgraceful behavior caused by some bad apples in its midst.

Latest Observations :: Morethodoxy

Are Jews Allowed to Gamble?

There’s a lot of debate surrounding gambling and whether or not it’s ethical. But what about when it comes to Jews? Can they gamble without transgressing any religious laws? In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the key points around gambling and Judaism so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not to participate in this activity. We’ll also look at some of the consequences that could come from engaging in gambling as a Jewish person.

The history of gambling in Judaism?

Gambling has been around for centuries, and there’s no doubt that it has a long history within Judaism. However, gambling is not explicitly mentioned in the Torah or other Jewish religious texts. This means there isn’t a clear-cut answer as to whether or not gambling is allowed from a purely religious perspective.

However, there are a number of rabbinic opinions on the matter. Some believe that gambling is permitted under certain circumstances, while others argue that we should avoid it. The majority opinion seems to be that gambling is only permissible if done in moderation and without risking large sums of money.

How have different rabbis interpreted the prohibition against gambling?

Some rabbis have interpreted the prohibition against gambling as applying only to games of chance, such as dice or lotteries. Others believe that gambling is prohibited, even if it involves skill.

The history of gambling in Judaism and how different rabbis have interpreted the prohibition against it is complex. However, there are a few key things to keep in mind. Firstly, gambling is seen as a form of theft. When you gamble, you’re taking money that could be used for other purposes (such as supporting your family or giving to charity) and using it for something that has no inherent value.

Additionally, gambling is addictive and can lead to financial ruin. Finally, gambling can lead to criminal activity, another major no-no in Judaism.

So what does this all mean for Jews who want to gamble on popular singaporean casino games? Ultimately, it’s up to each individual to make their own decision about whether or not they think it’s permissible. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks involved before making final decisions.

Contemporary Jewish attitudes towards gambling?

There is no one answer to this question, as Jewish people have a range of different attitudes towards gambling. Some people believe it is permissible under certain circumstances, while others believe it is a no. The majority opinion seems to be that gambling is only permissible if done in moderation and without risking large sums of money.

It’s important to note that these attitudes are not set in stone and can change over time. Additionally, different Jews may have different opinions on the matter depending on their own experiences or beliefs. Ultimately, it’s up to each Jew to decide whether or not they think gambling is acceptable.

Gambling addiction and its effects on both individuals and families

Gambling addiction is a real problem that can have devastating consequences for individuals and families. If you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling addiction, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. Several resources are available to help you get on the road to recovery, including therapy, support groups, and hotlines.

Some of the effects of gambling addiction include:

Financial problems

Gambling can lead to serious financial difficulties. Addicts often spend more money on gambling than they can afford to lose, putting them into debt. Additionally, addicts may start borrowing money from friends or family members to fund their habits, which can strain relationships.

Relationship problems

Gambling addiction can also lead to relationship problems. Addicts may start neglecting their partner or spouse in favor of gambling, which can cause arguments and resentment. Additionally, financial problems caused by gambling can put a strain on relationships.

Health problems

Gambling addiction can take a toll on your physical and mental health. Addicts may experience sleep problems, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, they may start using alcohol or drugs to cope with the stress of their addiction, which can lead to even more health problems.

Whether or not Jews are allowed to gamble in today’s world?

There is no easy answer regarding whether or not Jews are allowed to gamble in today’s world. As mentioned before, gambling is seen as a form of theft and can lead to financial ruin. Additionally, gambling can be addictive and lead to criminal activity. However, some rabbis believe that gambling is only prohibited if it involves games of chance. Others believe that gambling is prohibited, even if it involves skill. Ultimately, it’s up to each individual to decide whether or not they think gambling is permissible. If you decide to gamble, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks involved and take steps to ensure that you don’t get addicted or fall into debt.


Gambling can be a complicated issue for Jews, as there is no definitive answer about whether or not it is allowed. Rabbis have interpreted the prohibition against gambling differently, and there are both pros and cons to engaging in this activity. Ultimately, it is up to each Jew to decide whether they want to gamble, taking into account all of the relevant factors. If you choose to gamble, it is important to do so responsibly to avoid financial trouble. Thanks for reading!

Key Beliefs of Orthodox Judaism

What is Orthodox Judaism?

Orthodox Judaism is one of the three major branches of Judaism, alongside Conservative Judaism and Reform Judaism. It is characterized by strict adherence to Jewish law and tradition and a strong emphasis on communal observance and religious study.

Orthodox Jews believe that the Torah – the five books of Moses – was given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai and that it is the authoritative guide for Jewish life and practice. They also believe in the oral tradition – the collective body of rabbinic wisdom and interpretation that has been passed down through the generations.

What is the role of women in Orthodox Judaism? How do they differ from men regarding their religious roles and responsibilities?

Orthodox Judaism generally believes that men and women have different but equally important roles in religious life. For example, men are typically responsible for leading prayer services and studying religious texts, while women are often responsible for running the household and raising the children. However, both men and women are expected to follow Jewish law and tradition, and both sexes are considered equal in the eyes of God. Some Orthodox Jewish communities have begun to allow women to take on more active roles in religious life, such as leading prayer services or teaching classes on Jewish law.

What are some of the most important rituals and traditions observed in Orthodox Judaism?

One of the most important aspects of Orthodox Judaism is the observance of Jewish law or halakha. Halakha governs every aspect of religious life, from what prayers to say and how to dress, what food to eat and how to conduct business dealings. Orthodox Jews also place a great emphasis on ritual practices, such as prayer, study, and acts of charity. In addition, many Orthodox Jews observe traditional Jewish holidays, such as Passover and Hanukkah.

What are some of the key beliefs of Orthodox Judaism?

Orthodox Judaism upholds the authority of the Hebrew Bible (also known as the Old Testament) and the rabbinic tradition (known as the Oral Law). Orthodox Jews believe that God revealed the Oral Law to Moses on Mount Sinai and that it was passed down from generation to generation. Orthodox Judaism also teaches that God is perfect and holy and that humans are imperfect beings capable of doing good or evil. In addition, Orthodox Jews believe in the concept of teshuvah, or repentance, which holds that people can always turn back to God no matter how far they have strayed. Finally, Orthodox Judaism teaches that there will be a day of judgment when all people will be held accountable for their actions. The righteous will be rewarded with eternal life in Paradise. At the same time, the wicked will be condemned to Hell.

How does Orthodox Judaism view homosexuality, and what is the stance on same-sex marriage within the community?

Orthodox Judaism generally views homosexuality as a violation of Jewish law, and most Orthodox rabbis do not officiate at same-sex weddings. However, there is a growing movement within the Orthodox community to accept and embrace gay, lesbian, or bisexual people. This movement is known as “Open Orthodoxy.” While still a minority opinion, Open Orthodoxy is gaining traction in some quarters, and some rabbis now perform same-sex marriages.

What challenges does Orthodox Judaism face in the modern world, and how is it adapting to meet these challenges?

One of the biggest challenges Orthodox Judaism faces in the modern world is the issue of assimilation. Due to the increased interaction between Jews and non-Jews, many Jews adopted the customs and beliefs of the surrounding culture. In response to this challenge, some Orthodox Jewish leaders have called for a greater emphasis on Jewish education and outreach programs to promote Jewish identity. Additionally, many Orthodox Jews have become more active in politics, ensuring that laws and public policies are consistent with Orthodox values. Finally, some Orthodox Jews have been working to create new forms of Jewish expression that are more relevant to contemporary life, such as “spiritual Judaism” or ” eco-kosher” practices.

What is Orthodox Judaism

Orthodox Judaism is one of the major branches of Judaism. It is characterized by strict adherence to Jewish law and tradition. Orthodox Jews believe that the Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible) was divinely revealed and should be followed literally. They also uphold the oral tradition of the rabbis, which includes the Talmud (a collection of rabbinic writings on Jewish law, ethics, customs, and history).

Orthodox Judaism is the most traditional form of Judaism. It emphasizes close adherence to Jewish law and ritual instead of secular or liberal forms of Judaism. Its adherents view themselves as guardians of authentic Judaism and often look askance at more modern streams of Judaism.

The word “orthodox” comes from the Greekorthodoxos, which means “having the right opinion.” Orthodox Judaism is so named because it adheres to the correct interpretation of Jewish law.

Orthodox Judaism is not a monolithic movement. There are different schools of thought within Orthodoxy, and there is also room for individual interpretation of Jewish law. However, there are certain core beliefs that all Orthodox Jews share.

Some of the most important tenets of Orthodox Judaism include:

  • The belief that the Torah was divinely revealed and contained absolute truths that must be followed literally
  • The belief in the oral tradition of the rabbis and the Talmud as authoritative sources of Jewish law and wisdom
  • The belief that God is omniscient, omnipotent, and benevolent
  • The belief in the eventual coming of the Messiah and the redemption of the world
  • The belief in the immortality of the soul and life after death
  • The observance of Jewish law, including the dietary laws, the laws of ritual purity, and the Sabbath and festival laws

Orthodox Judaism is the largest branch of Judaism, including Hasidic and non-Hasidic groups. Hasidism is a mystical tradition that arose in 18th-century Eastern Europe. Hasidic Jews are characterized by their intense devotion to God and their passion for prayer and study. They often live in insular communities where they can maintain their traditional life.

Non-Hasidic Orthodox Jews, on the other hand, tend to be more modern and open to secular influences. They often live in mixed neighborhoods and send their children to secular schools. Many non-Hasidic Orthodox Jews also work in professions not traditionally associated with Judaism, such as medicine, law, or business.

Orthodox Judaism is the fastest-growing form of Judaism in the world today. It is particularly popular among young people, attracted to its traditional values and practices.

How does Orthodox Judaism differ from other forms of Judaism, and what are the key distinctions between them?

Orthodox Judaism is the most traditional and conservative form of Judaism. It emphasizes strict adherence to Jewish law and tradition instead of more liberal or secular forms of Judaism. Orthodox Jews believe that the Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible) was divinely revealed and should be followed literally. They also uphold the oral tradition of the rabbis, which includes the Talmud (a collection of rabbinic writings on Jewish law, ethics, customs, and history).

One key distinction between Orthodox Judaism and other forms of Judaism is the role of the rabbi. In Orthodox Judaism, the rabbi is not merely a teacher or advisor but an authoritative figure whose rulings on Jewish law are binding. Another key difference is the importance placed on Jewish law. For Orthodox Jews, Jewish law is not merely a set of suggestions or guidelines but an absolute truth that must be followed without exception.

Exploring the Breadth, Depth and Passion of Orthodox Judaism

What is Orthodox Judaism, and what are its main beliefs and practices?

Orthodox Judaism is one of the oldest forms of Judaism and is characterized by strict adherence to Jewish law. Orthodox Jews believe that the Torah (the five books of Moses) is the divinely-revealed word of God and must be followed exactly as written. They also hold that the oral tradition – a body of teachings handed down from generation to generation – is equally binding.

Orthodox Judaism is a broad and diverse religious movement encompassing a wide range of beliefs and practices. It is the largest and most traditional branch of Judaism, and its members are referred to as Orthodox Jews.

Orthodox Jews are very committed to their faith and observe all major Jewish holidays. They also typically keep a kosher home and follow the traditional modesty rules in dress and behavior. In addition, Orthodox Jews typically pray three times a day – morning, afternoon, and evening – and attend synagogue on Shabbat (the Sabbath).

There are different levels of Orthodox Judaism, and not all Orthodox Jews observe all of the beliefs mentioned above and practices. However, all Orthodox Jews do believe in the fundamental principles of Orthodox Judaism and strive to live their lives following these beliefs.

Orthodox Judaism is characterized by strict adherence to Jewish law or halakha. This includes belief in the divine origin of the Torah or the five books of Moses and the oral tradition passed down from generation to generation. Orthodox Jews also believe that the entire Jewish people are responsible for keeping the commandments, or mitzvot.

In addition to these beliefs, Orthodox Judaism also places a strong emphasis on study and observance. Orthodox Jews are required to learn about their religion and put its teachings into practice in their daily lives. They are also expected to participate in religious rituals and ceremonies, such as prayer, study and giving charity.

How has Orthodox Judaism evolved over the years?

Orthodox Judaism has evolved over the years in response to changing circumstances and the needs of the Jewish people. For example, there has been a growing trend among Orthodox Jews to embrace technology and modernity in recent years while still maintaining their commitment to traditional values and beliefs. This has led to the development of new Orthodox Jewish communities that are more open to the outside world and more willing to engage with non-Orthodox Jews.

At the same time, there are some Orthodox Jews who believe that the changes taking place within Orthodox Judaism are causing it to lose its way and that it is becoming too liberal. These individuals often choose to live in more insular Orthodox communities, where they can practice their faith more traditionally.

Ultimately, Orthodox Judaism will continue to evolve, as it has throughout its long history. However, the core beliefs and values of the Orthodox Jewish faith will remain the same.

Despite its name, Orthodox Judaism is not a monolithic movement. There are different schools of thought within Orthodox Judaism, and each one has its own unique beliefs and practices. However, all Orthodox Jews share a commitment to traditional Jewish law and teachings.

If you would like to learn more about Orthodox Judaism, many resources are available. There are books, websites and organizations that can provide you with information and support. You can also find local Orthodox Jewish communities in many cities and towns across the United States.

The Evolving Role of Women in Orthodox Judaism


Orthodox Judaism is often seen as a bastion of tradition, with deeply entrenched gender roles and limited opportunities for women in religious life. However, in recent years, there has been a quiet revolution taking place within the world of Orthodox Judaism, challenging the status quo and redefining the roles of women in Jewish religious life. This article will explore the history of women’s participation in Orthodox Judaism, the traditional roles they have played, and the ways in which these roles are changing in contemporary times.

Historical Background

Historically, women in Orthodox Judaism have been relegated to the private sphere, focusing primarily on the home, family, and the observance of religious laws pertaining to women. While men were expected to pray, study religious texts, and engage in synagogue life, women were responsible for maintaining the Jewish home, raising children, and ensuring the family’s adherence to religious laws.

In the Talmud, an important Jewish text containing rabbinic discussions and interpretations of Jewish law, women are exempt from certain time-bound commandments, such as daily prayer and Torah study. This exemption was justified on the basis that women’s primary responsibilities lie within the domestic sphere, and these time-bound obligations might interfere with their duties as wives and mothers. However, women were still expected to observe other religious laws, such as keeping a kosher home and maintaining family purity.

Traditional Roles of Women in Orthodox Judaism

In traditional Orthodox Judaism, women have had limited access to leadership roles and religious education. Although women have always been essential to the preservation of Jewish tradition through their roles as wives and mothers, they have largely been excluded from more public religious roles, such as leading prayers, reading from the Torah, or serving as rabbis.

In many Orthodox communities, the synagogue is divided by a mechitza, a physical barrier separating men and women during prayer services. This separation is intended to maintain modesty and prevent distraction during prayer, but it also underscores the distinction between men’s and women’s roles in religious life.

Changes in Contemporary Orthodox Judaism

In recent years, there has been a growing movement within Orthodox Judaism to challenge and redefine traditional gender roles. As women have become more educated and engaged in secular society, they have also sought to expand their roles within the religious sphere.

One significant development has been the increased opportunities for women’s religious education. Institutions like the Drisha Institute in New York and Nishmat in Jerusalem have emerged to provide women with advanced Torah study opportunities, equipping them with the skills and knowledge to engage more deeply with Jewish texts and traditions.

The concept of female spiritual leadership is also gaining traction within the Orthodox community. While the title “rabbi” is still reserved for men, a growing number of Orthodox women are serving in religious leadership roles, such as yoatzot halacha (advisors in Jewish law), spiritual mentors, and community educators.

Another notable change is the emergence of partnership minyanim, prayer groups that strive to maximize women’s participation within the bounds of halacha (Jewish law). In these settings, women may lead certain parts of the prayer service, read from the Torah, and deliver sermons, while still maintaining a degree of separation between men and women during prayer.

Challenges and Controversies

The evolving role of women in Orthodox Judaism has not been without controversy. Some members of the Orthodox community argue that these changes undermine centuries of tradition and may ultimately compromise the integrity of Orthodox Judaism.

The Importance of Torah Study in Orthodox Judaism

Orthodox Judaism places great emphasis on the study of the Torah, which is considered the cornerstone of Jewish tradition and the foundation of Jewish life. The Torah is comprised of the Five Books of Moses, which contain the fundamental teachings and laws of Judaism. Orthodox Jews believe that the study of Torah is essential to fulfilling the commandment to love God with all one’s heart, soul, and might (Deuteronomy 6:5), and to maintain a close relationship with Him.

The study of Torah is not merely an intellectual exercise, but a deeply spiritual and transformative process. It is believed to have the power to elevate one’s soul, purify one’s thoughts, and connect one to the divine. The goal of Torah study is not just to acquire knowledge, but to internalize the wisdom and values of the Torah and to apply them to one’s life. In this way, the study of Torah becomes a way of life, and not just an academic pursuit.

Orthodox Jews engage in Torah study in a variety of ways. One of the most prominent forms of Torah study is the study of Talmud, which is the primary text of Jewish law and tradition. The Talmud is a vast and complex work that contains the teachings and discussions of rabbis from the first five centuries CE. It covers a wide range of topics, including Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, and history. The study of Talmud is seen as a way to delve deeply into the wisdom and nuances of Jewish law and tradition, and to gain a greater understanding of the will of God.

Talmud study is often done in pairs or small groups, with each person contributing their insights and interpretations. This method of study, known as chavruta, fosters a sense of camaraderie and mutual respect among students, as they work together to uncover the meaning of the text. In addition to Talmud study, Orthodox Jews also study other texts, such as the Bible, the Mishnah, and the works of medieval Jewish scholars.

The study of Torah is not limited to formal settings, such as yeshivas or synagogues. It is a lifelong pursuit that is integrated into all aspects of daily life. Orthodox Jews study Torah in the morning before starting their day, in the evening after work, and on weekends and holidays. They also incorporate Torah study into their prayers and rituals, reciting portions of the Torah during daily services and studying Torah during the Sabbath and holidays.

In Orthodox Judaism, the study of Torah is not just for scholars or religious leaders, but for all Jews. Men, women, and children are encouraged to engage in Torah study and to make it a priority in their lives. This emphasis on Torah study has helped to create a vibrant and knowledgeable Jewish community, where the teachings of the Torah are passed down from generation to generation.

The importance of Torah study in Orthodox Judaism is also reflected in the educational system. Yeshivas, which are schools that specialize in Torah study, are an integral part of the Orthodox Jewish community. These institutions provide a rigorous and comprehensive education in Torah, Talmud, and Jewish law, and prepare students for a life of dedicated Torah study and observance. In addition to yeshivas, there are also schools for girls and women, where they receive a thorough education in Torah and Jewish law.

The study of Torah is not only a way to deepen one’s spiritual connection to God, but also a way to strengthen one’s commitment to the Jewish community and to Jewish tradition. It is through the study of Torah that Jews are able to connect with their heritage and to understand the values and principles that have sustained the Jewish people for thousands of years. By immersing themselves in the teachings of the Torah, Orthodox Jews are able to live a life of meaning and purpose, grounded in a deep understanding of their faith.

Furthermore, the study of Torah is also seen as a means of personal growth and development. By studying the Torah and its teachings, Orthodox Jews are able to refine their character traits and cultivate virtues such as kindness, compassion, and humility. The Torah provides a framework for ethical living and serves as a guide for making moral decisions in all aspects of life.

The importance of Torah study is reflected in the many customs and rituals that surround it. For example, before beginning the study of Torah, Jews recite a special prayer asking for God’s guidance and wisdom. There are also specific blessings and customs for different types of Torah study, such as the study of the Talmud, the weekly Torah portion, or the Psalms.

In addition, the Torah is also studied in the context of community life. Every Sabbath, a portion of the Torah is read aloud in the synagogue, and the weekly Torah portion serves as the basis for sermons and discussions. The study of Torah is also integrated into Jewish holidays, such as Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot, where the Torah is read and studied in depth.

Overall, the importance of Torah study in Orthodox Judaism cannot be overstated. It is seen as a fundamental part of Jewish life and is essential for maintaining a strong connection to God and to Jewish tradition. Through the study of Torah, Orthodox Jews are able to deepen their understanding of their faith, refine their character traits, and connect with their heritage. It is a lifelong pursuit that requires dedication, discipline, and a deep love for God and His teachings.

In conclusion, the study of Torah is a central and essential aspect of Orthodox Judaism. It is not only an intellectual pursuit, but a spiritual and transformative process that has the power to elevate one’s soul and connect one to the divine. The study of Torah is a way of life for Orthodox Jews, and is integrated into all aspects of daily life. It is through the study of Torah that Jews are able to connect with their heritage, understand the values and principles that have sustained the Jewish people for thousands of years, and live a life of meaning and purpose.

Orthodox Jewish Life in the Modern World

Orthodox Judaism is a vibrant and dynamic community that values tradition, faith, and family above all else. While the principles and values of Orthodox Judaism have remained steadfast over time, the challenges and opportunities facing Orthodox Jews in the modern world are constantly evolving.

One of the most significant challenges facing Orthodox Jews in the modern world is the influence of technology. While technology has brought many benefits to society, it has also created new challenges for Orthodox Jews who seek to maintain their traditional practices and beliefs. For example, the widespread use of smartphones and the internet has made it easier for Orthodox Jews to access information and connect with others, but it has also made it more difficult to maintain boundaries between the secular and religious spheres of life.

To navigate these challenges, many Orthodox Jews have established rules and guidelines around the use of technology. For example, some Orthodox Jews have separate smartphones for work and personal use, while others limit their use of technology on the Sabbath and holidays. Additionally, many Orthodox Jewish communities have established filters and other safeguards to protect themselves from inappropriate content online.

Another challenge facing Orthodox Jews in the modern world is the workplace. Orthodox Jews often face unique challenges in the workplace, such as the need to take time off for religious holidays and the requirement to wear modest clothing. Additionally, many Orthodox Jews work in industries that conflict with their religious beliefs, such as the food service industry, which may require them to handle non-kosher foods.

To navigate these challenges, many Orthodox Jews seek out employers who are understanding of their religious needs and are willing to accommodate them. Additionally, many Orthodox Jewish communities have established their own businesses and industries, such as kosher food production and distribution, to provide employment opportunities for members of the community.

In addition to the challenges of technology and the workplace, Orthodox Jews also face challenges in their social relationships. The values and practices of Orthodox Judaism can sometimes be at odds with the values and practices of the wider society. For example, Orthodox Jews often prioritize family and community over individualism and personal freedom, which can lead to tension in social relationships.

To navigate these challenges, many Orthodox Jews seek out communities and social circles that share their values and beliefs. Additionally, many Orthodox Jews prioritize their relationships with other Orthodox Jews and seek to build strong connections within the community.

Despite these challenges, there are also many opportunities for Orthodox Jews in the modern world. For example, the widespread availability of education and opportunities for professional development has allowed Orthodox Jews to achieve high levels of success in many fields. Additionally, the global reach of Orthodox Jewish communities has allowed for greater cooperation and collaboration between different communities and for the spread of traditional Jewish practices and beliefs.

To take advantage of these opportunities, many Orthodox Jews prioritize education and professional development, and seek out opportunities to engage with other Jewish communities around the world. Additionally, many Orthodox Jewish communities have established outreach programs to share their traditions and practices with non-Jewish communities and to promote understanding and cooperation between different religious groups.

In conclusion, Orthodox Jewish life in the modern world is marked by both challenges and opportunities. While the influence of technology and the demands of the workplace can present challenges to traditional Jewish practices and beliefs, Orthodox Jews have developed strategies for navigating these challenges while maintaining their commitment to their faith and traditions. Additionally, the opportunities presented by education, professional development, and global outreach have allowed Orthodox Jews to achieve high levels of success and to share their values and practices with the wider world. Ultimately, Orthodox Judaism remains a vibrant and dynamic community that values tradition, faith, and family above all else.

The Complex Relationship between Orthodox Judaism and Zionism


The relationship between Orthodox Judaism and Zionism is a multifaceted one, reflecting the diverse range of opinions, beliefs, and approaches within the Orthodox Jewish community. Although many Orthodox Jews support the State of Israel, others hold contrasting views regarding the implications of Zionism for their religious identity and political stance. This article delves into the complexities surrounding the connection between Orthodox Judaism and Zionism, examining the different attitudes and approaches within the Orthodox community.

I. The Origins of the Zionist Movement

Zionism emerged in the late 19th century as a response to the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Europe. It aimed to establish a national homeland for the Jewish people in their ancient land of Israel. Theodor Herzl, considered the father of modern political Zionism, envisioned a secular state where Jews could live in peace and security. While this vision attracted widespread support among secular Jews, the Orthodox community remained divided.

II. Orthodox Judaism and Early Zionist Thought

Orthodox Judaism encompasses a wide range of beliefs and practices, which often leads to divergent attitudes towards Zionism. In the early days of the Zionist movement, many Orthodox Jews were skeptical or opposed to the idea of a Jewish state. This opposition was rooted in several concerns:

The Messiah: Traditional Orthodox Jewish belief holds that the ingathering of the Jewish exiles and the establishment of a sovereign Jewish state must be preceded by the arrival of the Messiah. As Zionism advocated for the establishment of a Jewish state without waiting for the Messiah, some Orthodox Jews viewed this as a rebellion against God’s will.

Secularism: The secular nature of the early Zionist movement was another point of contention for Orthodox Jews. They worried that a secular Jewish state might erode the religious foundations of Jewish life and identity.

Collaboration with non-Jews: The cooperation of the Zionist movement with non-Jewish powers to establish a Jewish state was seen by some Orthodox Jews as a violation of the principles of Jewish self-reliance and trust in divine providence.

III. The Emergence of Religious Zionism

In response to these concerns, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, the first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of British Mandatory Palestine, developed a religious Zionist ideology. He argued that the secular Zionist movement was part of a divine plan to bring about the ultimate redemption of the Jewish people. According to Rabbi Kook, the establishment of a Jewish state would serve as a catalyst for a spiritual awakening, ultimately leading to the arrival of the Messiah.

This religious Zionist approach gained traction within the Orthodox community, leading to the formation of political parties and religious institutions that embraced both Orthodox Judaism and Zionism.

IV. Anti-Zionist Orthodox Perspectives

Despite the growing acceptance of religious Zionism, some Orthodox Jews continue to oppose the Zionist movement. The Neturei Karta, an ultra-Orthodox group, is perhaps the most well-known example. They maintain that the establishment of a Jewish state before the arrival of the Messiah is a violation of Jewish law and that true redemption can only come through divine intervention.

V. Contemporary Orthodox Jewish Attitudes

Today, the Orthodox Jewish community remains divided in its approach to Zionism. While religious Zionism is a significant force within the community, there are still those who oppose or question the Zionist project. The reasons for this opposition vary, but they often center on concerns about the secular nature of the State of Israel and the conflict between religious and political priorities.

Some Orthodox Jews view the State of Israel as a secular state that does not adequately represent Jewish religious values. They argue that the State of Israel has prioritized political and military objectives over religious concerns, leading to policies that are at odds with traditional Orthodox Jewish beliefs. This perspective often leads to a rejection of the Zionist project as it currently exists.

Others within the Orthodox community support the State of Israel but are critical of certain policies or actions taken by the Israeli government. They may believe that the state should prioritize religious concerns or that it should take a more conciliatory approach to the conflict with the Palestinians. These individuals may view Zionism as a necessary project for the Jewish people but question how it has been implemented in practice.

Finally, there are Orthodox Jews who support Zionism wholeheartedly, seeing it as an essential component of Jewish identity and survival. They argue that the establishment of the State of Israel was a necessary response to centuries of persecution and that the state serves as a refuge for Jews facing anti-Semitism and other forms of persecution around the world.


The relationship between Orthodox Judaism and Zionism is a complex and multifaceted one. While the early Zionist movement faced opposition from many Orthodox Jews, the emergence of religious Zionism helped to bridge the gap between these two communities. Today, the Orthodox community remains divided in its approach to Zionism, reflecting the diverse range of opinions, beliefs, and attitudes within this community. Despite these differences, the State of Israel remains an important and contested issue within the Orthodox Jewish world.

Orthodox Jewish Spirituality and Mysticism: A Journey into Sacred Traditions

Orthodox Jewish spirituality and mysticism provide an intriguing and profound insight into the lives of observant Jews. Rooted in ancient practices and wisdom, the spiritual disciplines and mystical teachings found within Orthodox Judaism are rich in symbolism, metaphor, and sacred teachings. This article explores the role of prayer, meditation, and other spiritual practices in the lives of Orthodox Jews and examines the mystical traditions of Kabbalah and Hasidism within the Orthodox community.

Prayer and Meditation in Orthodox Judaism

In Orthodox Judaism, prayer (tefillah) is a central component of daily life, serving as a means of communication with the Divine. Prayers are recited at designated times throughout the day, including morning (Shacharit), afternoon (Mincha), and evening (Ma’ariv) services. The act of prayer provides an opportunity for spiritual connection, reflection, and self-improvement.

Meditation, although not as widely practiced as prayer, also plays an important role in Orthodox Jewish spirituality. The Jewish form of meditation, known as hitbodedut, involves speaking to God in one’s own words, cultivating a personal and intimate relationship with the Divine. Practitioners of hitbodedut may spend hours alone, in nature or a secluded place, engaging in this meditative dialogue. This practice has deep roots in Jewish mystical traditions, particularly within Hasidism.

Kabbalah: The Mystical Heart of Judaism

Kabbalah, a term derived from the Hebrew word for “receiving,” refers to the esoteric teachings of Judaism that delve into the nature of the Divine, the cosmos, and the human soul. Kabbalistic texts, such as the Zohar, provide interpretations of the Torah and Jewish law from a mystical perspective, revealing hidden dimensions of reality and offering practical guidance for spiritual growth.

One of the central concepts in Kabbalah is the sefirot, ten divine attributes or emanations through which God interacts with the world. Kabbalists study these sefirot to understand the inner workings of the Divine and to cultivate spiritual qualities in their own lives. The sefirot are often depicted as a tree-like structure known as the Etz Chaim, or Tree of Life, symbolizing the interconnectedness of all creation.

Hasidism: A Revitalization of Jewish Mysticism

Hasidism emerged in the 18th century in Eastern Europe as a spiritual movement that sought to revitalize Jewish mysticism and make it accessible to the broader community. Founded by Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov, Hasidism emphasized the importance of devekut, or cleaving to God, through daily acts of love, joy, and devotion. Hasidic teachings encouraged the pursuit of spiritual growth and inner transformation, regardless of one’s level of religious observance or scholarly knowledge.

The Hasidic movement is known for its charismatic leaders, or rebbes, who serve as spiritual guides for their followers. Rebbes inspire their communities through storytelling, teaching, and providing personal guidance on matters of the heart and soul. Hasidic teachings often involve the reinterpretation of Kabbalistic concepts in a way that is practical and accessible, making the esoteric wisdom of Jewish mysticism relevant to daily life.