October 17, 2021 |

Rabbi Avi Heller

Missing

Speaking Truth to Power

Among the legends of the Jews are stories about the Golem, an 'unfinished', or artificial man. By Kabbalistic means, this Frankenstein could be temporarily animated to do one's bidding. Some of the Talmudic sages were reputed to have had this ability. Apocryphal stories claim that the great...

The VIP party

I meet Jews all the time who want to identify themselves as Jews to me. I get it - I like my people, too. I have Jewish pride. But it would be a lot easier for them if we had a secret handshake or signal to distinguish them as a member of the tribe. You see, I look overtly Jewish, with my kippa...

Clouds of Glory

Jews are a little crazy. So it shouldn't really surprise us that we've decided to build flimsy huts and spend lots of time in them right as the cold fall weather moves in.[1] And it shouldn't surprise that we are waving palm fronds and exotic 'lemons' around either. Regarding both the dwelling in...

Kol Nidrei

Like most people, I am a coward when it comes to one of the most difficult, albeit essential, elements of the Yom Kippur holiday. I teach my students every year that God will not even give a hearing in the Yom Kippur courtroom to sins between a person and another person until the offender has first...

Echoes of Reality

When I was a college freshman at Boston University, one of the great Rabbis of our generation - Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik - passed away. I am embarrassed to say that I didn't yet know much about this impressive modern Orthodox Rabbi-philosopher[1]. I was not a rabbi, had no plans to be a rabbi...

Disappointment

My favorite image of OJ Simpson is a commercial he did for Hertz. Some poor woman has forgotten her ID at the checkout counter and is getting on the plane. OJ sprints broken-field through a crowded airport and hurdles a block of chairs – in a classic Heisman trophy motion – to catch up to her and...

Midat Chassidut

Is it possible to be a Jew according to only the letter of the law? Is it desirable? On some level, aren't we required to go above and beyond in our relationship with God? Discuss.

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