The recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria highlighted the importance of building standards and good architectural practices. Turkish officials have turned architects into reasons for the failures, and the public outrage at architects is viewed as responsible for the over 50,000 deaths. But a disaster of this scale is certainly more than just the architects’ fault.
Architects are easy victims, but the real reason is that building standards were not maintained, corrupt officials turned a blind eye to safety standards and regulations and much more. Architecture is at the heart of a new and fascinating book ”ArchitecTorah: Architectural Ideas in Judaism and the Weekly Torah Portion.”
Synopsis: Rabbi Dr. Eliezer Berkovits (8 September 1908 – 20 August 1992) last book, “Jewish Women in Time and Torah”, is a critical examination of the status of women in Halakhah. It offers a coherent theological approach by which the eternal Divine nature of Torah must be upheld, and yet also recognize that the ever-changing status of women, reflected in our sacred texts, is linked to historical and social movements of humanity in the world at large.
BOCA RATON, Florida — Urim Publications published “ArchitecTorah, Architectural Ideas in Judaism and the Weekly Torah Portion” by Joshua Skarf in 2023. It contains 178 short, informative, easy-to-read essays on the 54 weekly portions focusing on Torah topics that reveal hidden information about God and architecture design and theory in his 594-page book.
This collection of articles Contemporary Uses and Forms of Hasidut is part of the Orthodox Forum series that Yeshiva University convenes to discuss important cultural, legal, and sociological trends occurring within the Jewish Orthodox world. This volume focuses on a pronounced shift within modern Orthodox life toward Hasidut and increased spirituality — what many now call “Neo-Hasidut.”
Eliezer Berkovits (1908-1992), a major thinker of the twentieth century who studied under Rabbi Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg at the Hildescheimer Rabbinical Seminary in Berlin and received his PhD in philosophy from the University of Berlin, is best known for his writings on the Holocaust. He refused to agree to any obscene sadistic logic that the Shoah was a punishment for sins of the Jewish people in some form of a construction of theodic explanation and as with Chaim Grade’s My Quarrel with Hersh Rasseyner. In the argument of this Rosh Yeshivah, many Jews remained with their faith during the Holocaust (With God in Hell) and emerged strengthened in faith (Faith After the Holocaust).
About 15 years ago, a prominent rabbi spoke in Passaic and said he had written a paper about Jewish marriage and divorce issues that he felt was rock solid but quite revolutionary. He thought it was so revolutionary that he would wait 20 years to publish it.
Rabbi Eliezer Berkovits was one of the greatest rabbinic minds of the 20th century. He first published his remarkable work, “Jewish Women in Time and Torah,” in 1990, two years before his death. I’d humbly suggest the book was 50 years ahead of its time.
The story of Joseph in Genesis 37–50 is both a familiar and confusing narrative to many of us. In this book, Samuel J. Levine, a professor of Law and Director of the Jewish Law Institute at Touro Law Center, posits that Joseph (referred to as Yosef following the Hebrew spelling) may be on the spectrum, i.e. that he might have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This would provide another way to better understand and appreciate Yosef ’s character, while secondarily providing us with a chance to learn about how we can interact with children and adults on the spectrum.
Anyone interested in Jewish law (halakhah) and the status of women in Jewish law, particularly in contemporary times, will find this book refreshing and inspiring. Especially since it was written by an Orthodox rabbi and scholar.
On the final page of the book, we find this revealing, remarkable, inspiring statement:
“Unfortunately, the problem that we are discussing is not limited to the subject of the status of women in Judaism. It is a problem that involves the entire area of present-day religious faith. The so-called drift to the right is a drift towards a naïve, unquestioning spirituality. In essence it is a drift away from authentic Halakhah.”
BOCA RATON, Florida — Urim Publications and Ktav Publishing in Jerusalem and New York have just republished Jewish Women in Time and Torah. It focuses on three periods of time in how Judaism treated women: (1) The early period of more than a thousand years until around the beginning of the Common Era when women were treated as creatures somewhere between animals and men, beings far inferior to men, created to serve men. (2) The second period until now when many, but not all rabbis, tried to mitigate the situation and treat women as human beings. (3) Now, where too many rabbis still have the early outlook about women, and much more needs to be done.