FACULTY

Rainer Rilke, in Letters to a Young Poet, wrote to Franz Kappus: "My dear Mr. Kappus, I have had a letter of yours here for a long time. It is the kind one reads again when when one finds it among the others. Verses that you have composed...I shall always read, re-read, and experience as well and as sincerely as I can."

Below are the teachers I read and re-read, whose thoughts I contemplate most often. While just a few appear in the menu above, I owe my theology to them all.

A "hiddush" (חדושׁ)--a new insight into, or novel interpretation of, the Torah--was critical to Rabbi Dov Ber, the Maggid of Mezritsh, for whom "the deepest power of sacred learning was found not in the memorization or recitation of canonical texts, but in the generation of new ideas...reading the same texts with a fresh sense of vitality and inspiration. One who approaches the Torah with a contemplative mind will continue to hear the voice of God in the present.

"Conceptually, every hiddush becomes a 'makif' (מקיף), an encompassing light that surrounds the person in whom it originated. This radiant aura may even be communicated to others, sparking a chain reaction of joy that begins within the individual human heart and extends forth to other people as the makif is communicated in language." (Ariel Evan Mayse)

From my vantage point, each of the teachers below is surrounded, metaphorically, by a makif. My motivation with this website is to be one link in the chain of joy they spark with their hiddushim.

RABBI BRAD ARTSON

Book recommendation: The Bedside Torah

Videos: many on YouTube and Facebook

RABBI ELIEZER BERKOVITS

Book recommendation: Not in Heaven

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MARTIN BUBER

Book recommendations:

The Martin Buber Reader (edited by Asher Biemann)

Martin Buber (by Paul Mendes-Flohr)

CHOFETZ CHAIM

Book recommendation: Chofetz Chaim - A Lesson a Day (published by Artscroll Series)

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MICHAEL FISHBANE

Book recommendations: Song of Songs, The Exegetical Imagination, Fragile Finitude

Videos: many on YouTube

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PAUL FLEISCHMAN

Book recommendation: Wonder

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VIKTOR FRANKL

Book recommendation: Man's Search for Meaning

RABBI ARTHUR GREEN

Book recommendations: Radical Judaism, Judaism for the World, A New Hasidism, Hasidic Spirituality for a New Era, A Guide to the Zohar, Devotion & Commandment, The Language of Truth, Menahem Nahum of Chernobyl, Tormented Master, Your Word is Fire, These are the Words

Videos: many on YouTube

RABBI DAVID HARTMAN

Book recommendation: A Living Covenant

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RABBI ABRAHAM HESCHEL

Book recommendations: Between God & Man (edited by Fritz Rothschild), The Insecurity of Freedom, The Earth is the Lord's, The Sabbath, A Passion for Truth

Videos: some on YouTube

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS

Videos: many on YouTube

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RABBI HAROLD KUSHNER

Book recommendations: To Life, Nine Essential Things I've Learned About Life

Videos: some on YouTube

DANIEL MATT

Book recommendations: The Zohar, God & The Big Bang

Videos: many on YouTube

RABBI ARIEL EVAN MAYSE

Book recommendations:

 

A New Hasidism;  Speaking Infinities;  Hasidism - Writings on Devotion, Community, and Life in the Modern World

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RABBI JONATHAN SACKS

Book recommendation: The Politics of Hope

Videos: many on YouTube

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CARL SAGAN

Book recommendations: The Varieties of Scientific Experience, Cosmos, Carl Sagan (by Keay Davidson), Cosmic Connection

Videos: many on YouTube

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RABBI KALONYMUS SHAPIRA

Book recommendations: Jewish Spiritual Growth, The Holy Fire (by Nehemia Polen)

MICHAEL SHERMER

Book recommendation: The Moral Arc

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RABBI MENACHEM SCHNEERSON

Book recommendations: The Rebbe (by Joseph Telushkin), Letters from the Rebbe

Videos: many on YouTube

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RABBI HAROLD SCHULWEIS

Book recommendations: For Those Who Can't Believe, In Pursuit of Holiness (by Ed Feinstein)

Videos and Audio: many on HMSI.info

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RABBI ZALMAN SCHACHTER-SHALOMI

Book recommendation: Jewish With Feeling

Videos: many on YouTube

RABBI JOSEPH TELUSHKIN

Book recommendations: A Code of Jewish Ethics (two volumes); Words That Hurt, Words That Heal; Hillel; The Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism

Videos: many on YouTube

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LEO TOLSTOY

Book recommendation: A Confession

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RABBI ABRAHAM TWERSKI

Book recommendations: Twerski on Chumash, Lights Along the Way

Videos: some on YouTube

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ELIE WIESEL

Book recommendations: Memoirs, Gates of the Forest

Videos: many on YouTube

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RABBI DAVID WOLPE

Book recommendations: Why Faith Matters, Healer of Shattered Hearts

Videos: many on YouTube

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HERMAN WOUK

Book recommendations:

 

This is My God, The Language God Talks