For many Americans, when thinking of chief Sephardic rabbis, their list may consist only of one whom they know: Rav Ovadia Yosef, zt”l. As chief Sephardic rabbi of Tel Aviv, R’ Haim David Halevy, zt”l, is not as well-known as R’ Ovadia Yosef, but was certainly in his league.
“How a tormented soul returned to its Jewish home. The extraordinary story of Tova Mordechai…. You will be both amazed and spellbound by this sometimes harrowing, sometimes comical, powerful account of Tova Mordechai’s incredible journey to rediscover her Jewish heritage after she had succeeded to reach the highest rank as minister of her church.”
Orthodox women could enjoy greater equality if rabbis were ready to pursue it
A new book takes a fresh look at rabbinic sources on women’s prayer
The expressions “gender equality” and “Jewish law” rarely appear in the same sentence and many would expect a book on the subject to be a short one. Gender equality is the language of today’s equal rights movement, while Jewish law contains features that are conspicuously unequal: a woman’s testimony is invalid in a Jewish court and she is categorised with slaves and children for many halachic purposes.
“Rabbi Eliyahu Yosef Shear Yashuv Cohen (1927-2016) had his feet in more than one world. He fought in the battle for Jerusalem in the 1948-49 war and was taken prisoner to Jordan when the Old City fell, hence the subtitle “Between War and Peace.” One chapter is his diary from the battle and his captivity. After the war, he was appointed chief chaplain of the Air Force. His brother-in-law Rabbi Shlomo Goren was the chief chaplain of the army. In 1953, he married Naomi Goldstein the daughter of Rabbi Herbert Goldstein of New York and grand-daughter of Harry Fischel.
As chief rabbi of the Israel Air Force and of the city of Haifa he had frequent meetings with Jews of many levels of observance and with Arabs and Christians. He even went to Rome to meet the Pope and address the synod of the Catholic Church. He was respected by religious leaders, heads of state, public figures and his own community in Haifa and Jerusalem.
This is an interesting book that introduces Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen to a new audience even though he died less than 2 years ago. The book is highly recommended for academic, synagogue, school, and personal collections.
by Gedalyah Reback • Scribe (Forward), November 8, 2017
“The law “ואהבתם את הגר,” and you shall love the convert, is mentioned over 36 times in the Torah. The prolific rabbi Moshe Feinstein wrote that “As a matter of normative practice, one should know that the mitzvah (commandment) to love the convert obligates us to bring them closer and to be lenient on all these matters [of Jewish law].”
“For the observant Jew, the Torah is the eternal word of G-d. If one wishes to build a life based on Torah and Halakha, one can go on two paths. One path is the conviction, in the words of Rabbis Ethan Tucker and Michael Rosenberg that “the eternal word of G-d must speak to our contemporary challenges.” This path embodies the idea that Halakha is ever expanding.