All posts by Rabbi Daniel Lehmann

Pope Francis

Jethro and Pope Francis: Models of Interreligious Engagement

Along with many others from across the diverse religious world, Pope Francis has captivated me. In a very short period of time, he has become a transformational figure among global religious leaders. Through his choice of the name Francis, his eschewing the trappings of Vatican wealth and his focus on serving the poor and marginalized, the new pope has begun to redirect the enormous spiritual energies and resources of the… Read Article →

Community Blog Hanukkah and Thanksgiving An opportunity for Hybridity

Hanukkah and Thanksgiving: An Opportunity for Hybridity

Everyone is talking and writing about the rare overlap between Hanukkah and Thanksgiving this year. Thanksgivukkah has become a virtual industry with bloggers, websites and commercial products focusing attention on this unusual calendric phenomenon. Beyond all the hype, is there something of substance that can be derived from the intersection of these two different holidays? I would like to suggest that we are in a moment of American Jewish history… Read Article →

Community Blog Weaving Together of Two Worlds

A Weaving Together of Two Worlds

Rarely are the lost worlds of 19th century German Orthodoxy and Polish Hasidism brought together in one moment and in one space. This past Sunday, that rare event took place. I had the privilege of attending the installation of the new president of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, the rabbinical school founded by Rabbi Avi Weiss that espouses Open Orthodoxy. Rabbi Asher Lopatin, the new president of YCT, a Rhodes Scholar and… Read Article →


Partnering on the Pulpit

For me, it was a first. Never before did I have the opportunity, as president of Hebrew College, to partner with an alumnus on a synagogue pulpit. On Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, I served as a Ba’al Tefila, a leader of synagogue prayers, at Temple Reyim in Newton. Rabbi Daniel Berman, a 2010 graduate of the Hebrew College Rabbinical School, was appointed the new rabbi at Temple Reyim just… Read Article →

Community Blog Lessons Learned From Rabbi Lamm’s Last Letter

Lesson’s Learned From Rabbi Lamm’s Last Letter

I was an undergraduate and rabbinical student at Yeshiva University in the early to mid-1980s. Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm was the university’s president. YU was beginning to emerge from a crippling financial crisis, and Rabbi Lamm was leading the revitalization of modern Orthodoxy’s flagship institution. As a student, I did not always agree with his policies or positions on a variety of issues, but his dignified demeanor, his embodiment of… Read Article →

Community Blog Is Hatred of Evil a Jewish Value

Is Hatred of Evil a Jewish Value?

Last week I was in Cleveland when the news broke about the young women who were rescued from captivity. The city of Cleveland was in shock as the details emerged that these innocent victims were held against their will for 10 years and suffered horrible abuse at the hands of their captor. The more we discovered about the cruel violence perpetrated against the three women, the more disgusted the nation… Read Article →

Community Blog Purim A Holiday of Friendship

My Shortest Trip to Israel

I was on the ground in the Holy Land for just 26 hours. I came to attend the last service during the shiva period of mourning for Rabbi David Hartman, who passed away last month at the age of  81. Rabbi Hartman had been an important figure in my life, so, although I had to stop over in Munich for Shabbat to get to the morning service on time and… Read Article →


An Interfaith Vision for America

The remarkable confluence of President Obama’s second inaugural celebration and the national holiday marking Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday led me to think about the place of religious pluralism in America. I listened to President Obama’s inaugural address at noon, and as I was driving back to Boston from New York City, I listened again to MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech that was broadcast on the local radio. I… Read Article →


Toward Creativity: A Theological Goal for Jewish Education

I have been contemplating the need for a theology of Jewish education which would ground the goals of Jewish education in an understanding of Judaism’s religious telos. It seems to me that Jewish education should inspire and equip us to achieve the deepest aspirations of Judaism. At the recent 10th anniversary celebration of the Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education at Brandeis University, I had an opportunity to propose… Read Article →