Mesorah Matrix Series Blog

Havdalah: A Social Justice Perspective

Shmuly Yanklowitz   Separation Through Connectedness with the World At this crucial moment in human history, we live in a culture that is permeated with cynicism and a lingering sense of moral murkiness. It...

The Night Journey of the Soul

 Orna Triguboff   In the Jewish tradition, the first prayer said in the morning upon waking contains these words: “I am grateful (modeh ani1) before You…that You have returned my soul to me….” This...

Kaddish as Prayer and Confession

Jeremy Rosen   The Kaddish has become popular to the point of cliché in Jewish culture and religious practice. Whether in the original Aramaic and Hebrew or translated into English and other languages, most...

“And Give You Peace”

Aryeh Cohen   I The famous Priestly Benediction, presented in Scripture at Numbers 6:22–27, ends with the prayer that God give the Israelites peace (6:26). But the peace so referenced, a peace that “is...

The Ethic of Holiness

Jonathan Sacks   There is a paradox at the heart of Judaism, which remains the defining tension in Jewish life today. On the one hand, the Torah gave the world the first universal vision...

Preface

Martin S. Cohen   In its famous opening chapter, the Hebrew Bible describes creation as consisting of twin acts of making and separating: God creates light on the first day and then separates it...

Havdalah: The Essence of Judaism

Reuven P. Bulka   When we hear the word havdalah, we instinctively think about the conclusion of Shabbat and the yamim tovim, the festivals, when we are obliged to delineate the ordinary days from...