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Rabbi Levi Brackman
Deceit watch out, goodness is the new normal
Firms and brokers that claim their clients' best interests are their number one priority, whilst simultaneously making commissions, need to question themselves and their integrity more deeply.
(08:26 ,04/12/14)
Opposition to female participation culture-based, not halachic
The concern among many Orthodox Jews regarding women's role has less to do with adherence to Jewish law, and more to do with the fear of changes impacting the religious community's nature.
(14:00 ,02/20/14)
Adar and futile pursuit of happiness
An ability to perceive a deeper meaning within the events and experiences around us, and having a consciousness of the hand of the divine, results in a sense of well-being and thus joy of life
(20:13 ,02/06/14)
Heaven on earth or heaven and hell?
A life lived striving for a place in afterlife may miss opportunities to impact humanity positively while alive in physical form, resulting in missed opportunities for both individual and humanity
(11:06 ,01/17/14)
Rabbi Weiss a victim of haredi Rabbinate
Israel's Chief Rabbinate has stopped representing Jews in general, representing instead only a broken ultra-Orthodox view of Judaism
(17:53 ,01/08/14)
Netanyahu is right, Torah says so
There is no evidence that Iranian government's fundamental behavior, tendencies have changed. We learn from how God dealt with Pharaohs in Egypt that it is important to keep up pressure in order to achieve a permanent change in behavior
(08:39 ,01/06/14)
Is growing old bad?
In a culture based on biblical values, elderly are celebrated. But Western society doesn’t see things quite the same way
(07:30 ,12/22/13)
Irrational Kabbalah Center hatred
Pressure put on Limmud conference to disinvite Kabbalah Center points to double standards, unjust behavior that are allowed to go unchecked in Jewish community
(15:26 ,12/15/13)
Nelson 'Joseph' Mandela
Like biblical figure, former South African president recognized opportunity that had been presented to him and his country to become model on how to behave and react nobly to injustice
(08:35 ,12/09/13)
A guide for good economic times
As we approach years of plenty ahead, we need to be aware of natural laws of universe that Bible teaches. Primarily we need to realize they won’t last forever, they will be followed by years of hardship
(07:48 ,12/06/13)
A rabbi’s guide to Thanksgivukkah
Hanukkah and Thanksgiving are, conceptually at least, the same holiday. There is no reason, therefore, why we shouldn’t all be celebrating them together
(15:39 ,11/25/13)
Silence of US Jewry is deafening, again
We must ask ourselves every day: What are we going to do today to help ensure there is a bright, thriving and flourishing next generation of Jews who are proud to identify as Jewish by religion?
(08:04 ,11/07/13)
Frum and Stuck
Existential religious crises do not have to result in binary choice of either living double life or leaving faith community, becoming entirely secular
(08:14 ,10/29/13)
Kudos to UK Chief Rabbi Mirvis
We must offer young Jews multiple ways to affiliate on their terms, build sense of Jewish identity. Britain's new chief rabbi made first step in this direction by agreeing to attend Limmud conference
(14:12 ,10/20/13)
The festival of gratitude
Why does Sukkot, most happy holiday of the year, come directly after Yom Kippur, most serious and solemn day of Jewish calendar?
(11:02 ,09/23/13)
Yom Kippur reflections on striking Syria
As we approach Day of Atonement, we should be realistic about things we can change and, at the same time, things we have little influence over
(07:09 ,09/13/13)
Chief rabbi elections a wake-up call
When good people in Rabbinate work together to ensure that any sort of corruption, nepotism and backroom deals are frowned upon, integrity and respectability will be restored
(14:43 ,07/26/13)
Inspirational opposition to growing Jewish center
Centrist Judaism needs to communicate its case in compelling manner to wider audience. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks is prime candidate to lead way
(07:43 ,07/09/13)
Ordaining women as clergy members?
Having women scholars on the same footing as men will make Orthodox Judaism more attractive to many
(07:34 ,06/23/13)
Kotel war: Neither side can win, yet
Until shouting and knee jerk reactions stop and real discussion begins, Women of Wall saga will just make Judaism and Jews much worse off
(07:53 ,05/27/13)
Rabbinic plagiarism and scholarly integrity
Being truthful about origins of any idea is a Jewish value, yet citing source for idea is not seen as obligatory within Jewish tradition
(07:19 ,05/12/13)
Is Judaism a cult?
Judaism offers, through Torah, a practical structure for living, but does not impose rigid way of thinking and theology
(07:20 ,04/28/13)
Why I care about Judaism: Jewish prayer
When we pray we are recognizing a personal and imminent God who, although we can never comprehend, listens to prayers and acts in our lives
(07:52 ,04/22/13)
Judaism's relentless focus on life
Torah implores us to focus on life and not on death because by prizing life and living, our main concern becomes how to best live life here and now
(08:39 ,03/15/13)
What Jewish theology?
Judaism, in its native form, steers away from any type of theological questions because religion's role is not to explain nature of God but rather how God acts in our life and how He wants us to live
(07:34 ,03/08/13)
Why I care about Judaism: Milestones and goals
Celebrations offered by Judaism enable us to have better grasp on our time, make sure time we have is used productively
(07:36 ,02/21/13)
Why I care about Judaism: Do's and don’ts
With rituals of Judaism, God has offered me full-proof system that allows me to live life well-lived
(08:01 ,02/13/13)
Why I care about Judaism: Shabbat
Jewish day of rest has allowed work to be a choice for me, not a habit
(13:29 ,02/08/13)
Why I care about Judaism
I want to share Judaism with others simply because of the hugely positive impact it has had on my life
(08:18 ,01/31/13)
Rabbis desecrate God’s name in London
Religious leaders are held to higher standards, must be completely and permanently removed from religious positions based on sexual abuse rumors
(14:38 ,12/23/12)
Hanukkah: Wrong decision, right outcome
Ancient rabbis' conflict over celebrating Festival of Lights teaches us that it's how we deal with our mistake that makes all the difference
(07:37 ,12/14/12)
Israelis can joke but for us it's serious
Those of us living outside war-zone have moral obligation to defend Israel against voices saying it is using disproportionate force
(07:43 ,11/19/12)
Faith is the face of Hurricane Sandy
Those who say God caused hurricane as punishment for this or that are stating article of their faith, no matter how much proof is brought from Bible or elsewhere
(07:25 ,11/04/12)
Can rabbi run for political office?
Becoming a politician is getting too close to falsehoods, especially for 'America’s Rabbi', who portrays himself as exponent of Jewish values
(14:04 ,10/26/12)
A single-issue election for Jews
American Jews have a solemn responsibility this election year, and that responsibility is not toward a political party or ideology – it is towards Israel
(13:33 ,10/05/12)
Muslim response to idiotic film
If someone created video portraying any one of the Jewish holy men in such mean spirited fashion, I would also be offended. But acting in violent manner based on feeling of zealousness is not something Jewish Bible encourages
(07:36 ,09/19/12)
God omission may cost Obama election
US president, and many Democrats, appear not to five credit to God for any of their successes – or failures. According to Bible, this is greatest form of arrogance a human being can have
(14:48 ,09/13/12)
Yes, romantic love is important
Rabbi Brackman says that shared values are not only component needed to make Orthodox marriage work, but rather love, compatibility and ability to respect spouse are recipe for successful marriage
(07:56 ,08/20/12)
Feeding violence to our children can kill
Colorado movie massacre begs question of how much violence children are exposed to on big and small screens contributes to possible violent tendency
(09:01 ,08/04/12)
Why won’t God reveal himself again?
According to tradition, collective transcendence above ego was key for revelation
(08:05 ,05/27/12)
Judaism a religion of peace – for some
Law that forbids doctors from treating gentiles on Shabbat has been used by anti-religious radicals to discredit Judaism
(15:12 ,05/22/12)
Knowledge is power: The haredi internet problem
Real threat is not the internet, but inconsistencies that have crept into our religion over the ages
(07:58 ,05/14/12)
Biblical advice for peace at 64
Israel fails to realize that reason it has been unable to make a sustainable peace with Arab neighbors is very same reason they rejected Israel's very founding sixty four years ago - Arabs do not want to live in peace with Israel under any circumstances
(12:34 ,04/26/12)
Beauty is vital, for women
Is beauty really in the eye of the beholder or should young Orthodox women enhance their appearance to improve their chances of attracting a husband?
(13:50 ,04/03/12)
Let them baptize Anne Frank
We need to calm down, stop being neurotic over Mormon practice of posthumously baptizing Jews.Why would we care if Mormon church considers our ancestors to be Mormon?
(21:24 ,02/25/12)
The wedding guidelines fallacy
Until haredi community’s economic model becomes self sustaining, saving $20,000 on wedding will not fundamentally make a difference to strained finances of so many families
(08:11 ,01/30/12)
Moses' lesson for US presidential hopefuls
Real leaders don’t want to lead, but neither do they shun from doing morally correct thing when everybody else has failed to act
(13:56 ,01/15/12)
Moral opposition to religious misogyny
Religious bigotry towards women is more difficult to counter as it often comes garbed in clothes of piety
(15:12 ,01/06/12)
Matisyahu’s shaven face a wakeup call
Hasidic Judaism must reshape itself by loosening some restrictions which are no longer relevant, allowing more individual self-expression
(07:57 ,12/30/11)
The business of Jewish outreach
Orthodox Jewish organizations have much more in common than what divides them. They should all see tremendous value inherent in working together for common good of Jewish people
(08:52 ,11/27/11)
A true Jewish hero
A hero is someone who is able to set aside their own personal gain in order to achieve for the greater good. But it seems a real hero is more than that
(08:20 ,11/08/11)
Does Judaism want women to move over?
Talmud indicates that people who display lack of Derech Eretz are more likely to sin. Those putting up signs in Brooklyn asking woman to step aside would do well focusing on that
(08:46 ,10/16/11)
Changing the educational paradox
Not teaching general studies is not only a perversion of Jewish tradition and an aberration of Judaism; it is also denying young people the opportunity to fulfill their God-given purpose
(07:48 ,09/15/11)
Hunt for UK chief rabbi heating up
For the sake of Anglo Jewry, United Synagogue of Great Britain's new chief rabbi must spend next 20 or 30 years rebuilding Jewish community rather than himself or his image
(08:05 ,08/16/11)
Faith is key to great leadership
To be successful we need to have eternal optimism and faith in mission, despite challenges posed by people and circumstances
(08:03 ,07/08/11)
Strauss-Kahn: Why the mighty fall
Arrogant man, who considers himself very powerful, pushes God and his own inner divine aspect out of his life, mistakenly thinking he can do it all using his intellect and will power
(08:10 ,06/02/11)
Obama’s speech will change nothing
No matter how many revolutions Arabs have, real progress will always be one step away as long as animosity and resentment prevail in region
(08:18 ,05/23/11)
Judaism and alcohol
Clearly consumption of strong drink is a powerful part of contemporary Jewish life. But should it be?
(08:58 ,03/18/11)
Evil of repression of self-expression
Any person, society, or government who stymies an individual’s self-expression not only disturbs the individual, but also corrupts the will of God
(13:50 ,03/10/11)
Jews, listen up carefully
Israeli government should lead by example, begin to listen intently to all citizens
(14:00 ,01/24/11)
Is Better Place the better option?
Electric Car Network visionary Shai Agassi powerful proponent of major Jewish values of Tikun Olam, helping the environment and saving lives
(13:07 ,01/13/11)
Uriel Malka, gentle life of true dedication
Rabbi killed in Carmel wildfire survived Lebanon war and saw the positive in every situation. His self-sacrifice to his people will remain his legacy and a powerful example to us all
(08:07 ,12/06/10)
Conflict amongst brothers never necessary
Jacob and Esau did not share the same theology, ideology or values, but managed to hug and kiss in the spirit of love and brotherhood. If they could do it, so can we. Who will make the first move?
(08:22 ,11/24/10)
Help us change yeshiva system
Average haredi person must work towards more practical and reasonable approach to religious life that allows every community member the possibility of fulfilling their purpose in the world in its entirety
(07:55 ,11/14/10)
How the messiah becomes a pariah
Obama, Democrats being punished for portraying themselves as Godly while in truth they were just ordinary mundane politicians
(14:52 ,10/28/10)
Don’t lie: Science is relevant to Judaism
Instead of seeing challenges or modern scientific and technological advances as something that can be used for its own advantage, haredi community tries to shut out any modern thinking
(07:34 ,10/22/10)
On debating atheists
As intelligent believers our deeply held positions are not based on instinct alone, they are based on a full understanding of the philosophical arguments that support our view
(07:19 ,10/01/10)
Stop making the golden calf
In mainstream Orthodox community, it seems strictest interpretations and rulings, rather than most lenient win out, damaging Jewish community as a whole
(08:54 ,09/01/10)
Judaism helps us avoid insanity
Month of Elul should be spent in deep introspection, intensive mindfulness helping us avoid making the same mistake twice, being more productive
(08:26 ,08/17/10)
Is religion still relevant?
In essence, religion gives us options to believe where knowledge is no longer applicable
(07:54 ,08/13/10)
Uninspiring institutionalized religion
Politics within religious community can often turn nasty, with each side claiming to be doing God’s bidding
(07:51 ,07/28/10)
Take Judaism out of the past
Judaism needs current and living leaders who are able to relate Torah to this generation
(17:16 ,07/13/10)
An epic pre-messianic battle between good and evil
For some reason, people who consider themselves enlightened often feel it is perfectly permissible to hold unreasonable prejudices towards religious people
(08:30 ,06/27/10)
Israel’s staggering lack of creativity
Authorities must learn and adhere to common sense and good judgment, not only with regard its enemies but with regard its own people as well
(07:53 ,06/20/10)
Our arrogance will kill us in the end
Humans live most of their lives in denial of their limitations. Arrogance and stupidity cause us to make catastrophic miscalculations, such as Iran's race to nuclear weapons and Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, Rabbi Levi Brackman says
(08:08 ,06/17/10)
Passover is about more than kitniyot
Spring holiday should be transformative on personal level, not merely about details of custom and ritual. True freedom is being authentic to who you are
(17:59 ,04/02/10)
The failed Ukrainian revolution
For change to endure, a shift in circumstance must be accompanied by an adjustment of outlook and approach
(07:44 ,02/07/10)
Uniting our belief system
New books try to tackle Maimonides’ 13 Principles of Faith
(16:54 ,01/24/10)
Unsustainable haredi system needs systemic change
Ultra-Orthodox community cannot be exempt from learning a profession in order to become productive members of society
(07:24 ,01/10/10)
The tragic ultra-Orthodox sub-culture
Judaism is not, never has been monolithic, but misconception within haredi community of rich variety of options may keep some members locked in way of life that does not speak to them
(07:27 ,12/24/09)
Why so many Jews are atheists
Real cause of overwhelming Jewish atheistic tendencies seems to be tragic ignorance of Judaism’s most profound teachings and ideas
(08:40 ,11/25/09)
An Alternative to J-Street
A pro-Israel, pro-peace organization must be founded that takes a more pragmatic approach to Arab-Israeli conflict
(08:18 ,11/01/09)
Progressive hypocrites
Most effective way to overcome entrenched prejudices is through firsthand education
(14:16 ,10/23/09)
Identifying a phony rabbi
Relationship between clergyperson or spiritual guide and guidance seeker or congregant must be very different from any other type of professional relationship
(15:56 ,10/11/09)
Is Jewish unity achievable?
We Jews have been through too much to allow our differences overshadow immense amount we have in common
(19:30 ,09/28/09)
Are Orthodox Jews fundamentalists?
There are many things that others may find unbelievable and unreasonable but, after thorough review, are found to be true
(19:39 ,09/12/09)
Meaning of Am Yisrael Chai
There is no doubt that we Jews will outlive the Islamic republic of Iran
(07:06 ,09/01/09)
Traditional synagogues will die off
As long as rabbis are not allowed to lead their congregations, Diaspora communities will continue to bleed members
(20:36 ,08/16/09)
Religious Jews don’t launder money
Jews who take their religion seriously and truly fear God don’t cheat, and when they hear about others who do they are outraged and do all they can to put a stop to it
(20:34 ,08/01/09)
Debating female roles in synagogues
Some women want a more active role in the synagogue—not because they are feminists, but simply because they have a spiritual yearning for it. If Jewish law allows it, women should be encouraged to participate
(22:20 ,07/25/09)
Is free healthcare our moral duty?
Torah clearly states we are morally obligated to help those less fortunate. Maimonides says we must provide them with free medical treatment as well, as this is part of our ethical responsibilities towards others as human beings
(21:37 ,07/11/09)
Obama’s real priorities
For US president America’s interests take precedence and in his view they no longer necessarily coincide with Israel’s.
(09:47 ,07/05/09)
Lessons from Jackson’s tragic life
Michael Jackson's deepest illness was spiritual – despite his fame and fortune he remained deeply unhappy
(10:01 ,06/29/09)
Our self-serving execs
Is it proper for executives of Jewish non-profit organizations to be paid huge salaries?
(11:22 ,06/14/09)
Why be positive about Obama’s speech?
Because, according to the Kabbalists, a positive outlook is vital for a positive outcome to occur
(12:11 ,06/07/09)
You’re more important than you realize
People work to become the center of their own universe while missing out on becoming the center of the real universe
(20:57 ,05/23/09)
Torah’s wisdom for the economy
Biblical lending provisions are the basis for a balanced economy and a spiritually healthy society
(11:05 ,05/18/09)
Shabbat must belong to all Jews
Israelis and Jews around the world should recognize that Shabbat observance has something to offer everyone
(21:51 ,05/09/09)
A question of morality
US president's decision to bar violent interrogations of terrorists leads one to wonder if Mr. Obama understands what morality really is
(21:02 ,04/25/09)
The ghost in my synagogue
As a believer in the unnatural and in spiritual phenomena, I see it as plausible that the spirit of the founding minister is haunting my old synagogue
(09:13 ,04/05/09)

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