All posts by Rabbi Avraham Yizhak (Arthur)

Community Blog Rabbi Arthur Green

Hebrew College Presidential Installation Address: Rabbi Arthur Green

.בעוד שלוש שנים, תחוג המכללה העברית מאה שנה להיווסדה Three years from now, Hebrew College will celebrate the hundredth anniversary of its founding. Throughout this near-century, this institution and the community of faculty, students, alumni, and supporters who constitute it have been committed to the goal of building and strengthening the Jewish future. We do so through education, teaching the great literary and spiritual treasures of the Jewish tradition, whenever… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Arthur Green

Noah: Words above the Waters

Parashat Noach (Genesis 6:9-11:32) The story of Noah’s flood remains one of the best-known and most powerful tales of our biblical heritage. Even in our secular age, there is hardly a child who has not heard the story told, seen it recreated in animation, or played with toys based on the animals in Noah’s ark. What is it about this story that seems to have such great enduring power? Is… Read Article →

Community Blog Rabbi Arthur Green

Reclaiming the Zohar: In Celebration of the Pritzker Zohar Translation and Commentary

In October 2017, Rabbi Arthur Green participated in events celebrating the completion of the Pritzker translation of the Zohar, a twelve volume and twenty year project published by Stanford University Press.  Green, who served as co-chair of the Academic Committee supporting the project, spoke at events at the University of Chicago, the 92nd Street Y in New York, and Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. About two hundred years ago, a… Read Article →

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Rosh Hashanah Musaf

This reflection is an excerpt from the Hebrew College High Holiday Companion, published in August 2017, for study and reflection during the High Holidays. Learn more and order your copy. I: Malkhuyot (God’s Sovereignty) The line “Adonai melekh, Adonai malakh, Adonai yimlokh l’olam va’ed” (God reigns, God has reigned, and God will reign forever) is found here and several other places in the machzor, but does not appear anywhere in the Bible…. Read Article →

Community Blog Rabbi Arthur Green

My Rabbinate

An abbreviated version of this text was delivered by Rabbi Green at the Rabbinical School semikhah ceremony on Sunday, June 4, 2017. Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of my ordination as a rabbi.  I was ordained on June 4, 1967 – the day before the outbreak of the Six-Day War.  It was a moment of high drama for all involved.  Elie Wiesel was the graduation speaker; the air was thick… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Arthur Green

Liberation: A Sacred Moment

(Passover; Readings for First Days–Exodus 12:21-51 and Leviticus 22:26-23:44) On the second day of Passover, Jews begin a period called sefirat ha-omer, when we publicly count off each day for the next fifty, concluding with the holiday of Shavuot. (Hence the Greek term Pentecost, for the fiftieth day.) While originally a practice used for calculating the agricultural season, the rabbinic tradition used it to establish a deep connection between these… Read Article →

Community Blog Rabbi Arthur Green

Judaism as a Path of Love

An address to Spiritual Directors International on  April 10, 2016 A rabbinic source dating from the early middle ages quotes the famous second-century sage Akiba as saying: “Had the Torah not been given, the world could have been conducted by the Song of Songs alone.” Quite a world!  Instead of the quaking, fiery mountain of Sinai, we would have only “Behold thou art beautiful, my love! My beloved has gone down… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah creation

Back to the Garden, and Forward

The holiday season has come and gone. Moses has ascended Mount Nebo, looked across the Jordan and suddenly the world is created all over again. Here we are, back at Genesis 1:1, “in the beginning.” Our Torah begins with God’s creation of the world. This stands as the basis of our Judaism, as it does of all religion, which emerges out of gratitude for our existence. We acknowledge a God… Read Article →

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A Priesthood of the Imperfect

Parshat Emor begins with a discussion of taboos around priestly purity, forbidding members of the priestly tribe to have contact with the dead or to engage in certain mourning practices. The rabbis read the verses to exclude the situation of a “met mitzvah,” an abandoned corpse, one for whom there is no one else to engage in the rites of burial — in such a case, the priest is permitted… Read Article →

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Envisioning a Jewish Future

This article originally appeared in Looking Forward, the journal of the Aspen Center for Social Values. Let us begin by distinguishing between two questions. The posed, “What will American Jewry look like in 10 years?” includes various elements — deeper assimilation, higher intermarriage rates, increasing disillusionment with Israel, etc. — all of which seem quite inevitable despite our great efforts to prevent them. “What might American Jewry look like in 10 years?” is a… Read Article →