I live in Austin, a happily married man with three adult children and five grandchildren. My educational background is in philosophy (Queens College), Jewish Studies (Spertus College), and Early Rabbinic Judaism (University of South Africa).
I received rabbinic ordination from the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations and a member of the Messianic Jewish Rabbinical Council, serving on committees in both. I have presented papers at several Hashivenu Forums and have published book reviews in my field. I also blog occasionally at midrash, etc.
After decades of involvement in congregational leadership and teaching in various settings, I am now privileged to devote myself almost entirely to teaching the writings of our Sages and their relationship to the Tanakh and Brit Hadashah. As Director of the New School of Jewish Studies, I lead a team of teachers who focus on Hebrew text study.
G-d, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference. (The Serenity Prayer, Kosher Version).
The middah of adaptability is fundamental to existence; it is characteristic of God Himself.
For centuries, the Sages puzzled over the question of how anything besides God can exist. Is God not present everywhere in all His power? Where is the “space” for a material creation in such a universe? Also, how can human beings have their own thoughts when God is everywhere and pervasively present even within His mind?
"Whatever sacrifice is offered more regularly than its fellow takes precedence over its fellow, and whatever sacrifice is more holy than its fellow takes precedence over its fellow" -- Mishnah Horayot 3:6.
Judaism's emphasis on order has its roots in the Torah and become a pervasive principle after the Hurban, the destruction of the Second Temple. For several centuries after the Hurban, the sages of early Judaism sought to establish a foundation for all of Jewish life. Unlike pre-Destruction Pharisees, who were tied to fixed traditions, this mixture of Pharisees, priests, and scribes knew that existing traditions were not enough to bring order to a society that had lost its central earthly point of orientation, the Temple, and was now under crushing foreign domination.