Category: Jewish Law / Halakha

I first heard the term “gadolatry” attributed to the late professor Arthur Hertzberg. A portmanteau of “gadol” and “idolatry,” the word “gadolatry” refers to a perceived phenomenon in Orthodox Judaism where select rabbinic leaders are treated with a degree of deference or reverence, bordering on worshipping the person of the rabbi himself. That Dr. Hertzberg would coin such an inflammatory term is not surprising given his personality, such that any reactions of offense or outrage are as intentional as they are predictable. However, it has been my experience that those strong passions on either side have turned the reasonable question of the role of the gadol in Judaism into the single greatest impediment to intelligent religious discourse in the Orthodox Jewish community.

While I have no expectations of resolving this divisive issue, I do hope to explicate the rationales implied when one invokes a gadol, and why others may find such an argument unconvincing.

Jewish Culture Jewish Law / Halakha Jewish Thought, Theology, and Machshava Random Acts of Scholarship

Jewish Law / Halakha Jewish Thought, Theology, and Machshava Podcasts Politics of Exclusion in Judaism Sermons, Lectures, and Divrei Torah

By community request, my class topic for this past Shavuot was on the issues related to kosher cheese. For obvious reasons there is no audio, but for those interested in the topic I’m attaching the source sheet. If anyone is interested in the details I would be happy to discuss offline, or you’re more than welcome to book a speaking engagement :-)

Jewish Law / Halakha Sermons, Lectures, and Divrei Torah

Jewish Law / Halakha Jewish Thought, Theology, and Machshava Podcasts Politics of Exclusion in Judaism Sermons, Lectures, and Divrei Torah

Jewish History Jewish Law / Halakha Podcasts Sermons, Lectures, and Divrei Torah Who's Who in the Talmud

Jewish Law / Halakha Jewish Thought, Theology, and Machshava Podcasts Politics of Exclusion in Judaism Sermons, Lectures, and Divrei Torah

Jewish Law / Halakha Jewish Thought, Theology, and Machshava Lectures Podcasts Politics of Exclusion in Judaism Sermons, Lectures, and Divrei Torah

Jewish History Jewish Law / Halakha Jewish Thought, Theology, and Machshava Lectures Podcasts Politics Sermons, Lectures, and Divrei Torah

In the Spring Semester of 2011 I had the honor of addressing the NYU Jewish Law Students Association for a weekly series covering Economics and Social Justice in Jewish Law. Below are the links to the specific lectures in the order given with audio and PDF source sheets available. As always, comments are welcome. If there is interest in me delivering any of these lectures or the entire series in person, please contact me directly.

Economics and Social Justice in Jewish Law Jewish Law / Halakha Jewish Thought, Theology, and Machshava Lectures Podcasts Sermons, Lectures, and Divrei Torah

The rabbinic idiom “Tikun Olam” literally means “repairing/fixing the world” and has been invoked to promote advocacy for numerous causes and policies. But what did “Tikun Olam” mean to those who coined the phrase? In the final installment of his Economics and Social Justice in Jewish Law series, Rabbi Yuter explores the specific instances of Tikkun Olam to extrapolate and infer the ideal social system as understood by the Rabbinic Sages.

Economics and Social Justice in Jewish Law Jewish Law / Halakha Jewish Thought, Theology, and Machshava Lectures Podcasts Sermons, Lectures, and Divrei Torah