By Rabbi Mark Wildes Now featured on Time of Israel! The Virtue and Crime of Silence Silence can sometimes be a virtue. For example, when the Biblical figure Aaron lost his two sons in a tragic episode, Aaron’s silent acceptance of the Divine decree was seen as meritorious. Silent acceptance of a sad or challenging situation in one’s life, is seen by the Jewish Sages as a courageous act of faith, a virtue. However, silence is not always the appropriate response to tragedy. Pe
By Rabbi Mark Wildes Since Chanukah is such a joyous time I hate to get negative. However, as a student of Jewish history and a rabbi involved in outreach, I feel compelled to respond to some of the disturbing opinions Michael Lukas wrote in his New York Times opinion piece, The Hypocrisy of Hanukkah. The first is the depiction of the Maccabees who fought against the Greeks as “violent fundamentalists” and “religious zealots who lived in the hills of Judea and practiced an an
By Rabbi Mark Wildes NOW PUBLISHED ON TIMES OF ISRAEL On November 9, Twitter user @voidmstr tweeted at Shutterstock, a leading American stock photography company, an image hosted on their site that depicts Jews as money hungry people, an age-old anti-Semitic stereotype. It took five days until the image and the related photo series were taken down. However, with a simple search of keywords “Jewish “ and “money,” the photos can still be viewed on competitor site depositphotos.
By Rabbi Mark Wildes The Jewish Sages teach, based on the life of the matriarch Sarah, that a righteous person never stops growing. A pious person never becomes complacent where they are, no matter what their age. That’s why one of the most striking things about the terrible attack in Pittsburgh was the age of the people killed. Their ages ranged from 55 to 97. But they weren’t just older people – they were older people who came to shul early. Why Come To Shul Early? Our Jewi
By Rabbi Mark Wildes Watching Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford during the confirmation hearings was upsetting, shocking, and anything but bipartisan. However, if we remove all the politics involved, the situation raises two ethical issues: sexual morality and speech. Both are fundamental Jewish principles and go to the very heart of what it means to be a human being. Parshat Bereishit famously tells us: “God created man in His image” (Bereishit 1:27). So what does it