Am Shalem: The Entire Jewish People

  • I've joined up with R. Amsalem's "Am Shalem" movement as a grassroots organizer, working primarily with the movement's English-speaking division. I have some ideas of where to go with this, and I'll update this blog with relevant news. For some background, here's a feature that Aryeh Tepper did on R. Amsalem w/ JID, and here's a brand new article about Anglo activism in the movement. 
  • Email me (adderabbi at gmail) if you're interested in getting on the movement's mailing list, making a donation, or otherwise getting involved.
  • [UPDATE: tHE SHIUR HAS BEEN POSTPONED. i WILL RE-POST ONCE IT'S BEEN RESCHEDULED] R. Amsalem will be speaking at Kehillat Shaarei Yonah Menachem in Modiin on Saturday Night, May 28. Details to follow, but it has been confirmed.
  • From an article that speaks to these issues and certain key fault lines, there is an emerging dispute about whether Lag B'Omer should be celebrated this year on the 33rd or 34th day of the Omer. The reason to postpone is to prevent Shabbat desecration during preparations. The Ashkenazic Haredi authorities are not in favor of postponing, but the Sephardic rabbis generally are. In my opinion, this dispute falls along a fault line of "secessionist Orthodoxy" that goes back to the austritt days of R. Hirsch. Basically, does the halakha address the community of the self-defined faithful, or does it speak to the entire Jewish people (the Am Shalem, if you will). My grandfathers both ministered to the non-observant, and one grandfather studied in the Wurzburg Seminary founded by R. Seligmann Baer Bamberger, the disputant of R. Hirsch on the austritt issue. It is clear where my sympathies lie.
  • And finally, speaking of my grandparents, I will be giving my annual yahrzeit shiur in memory of my three grandparents who passed away during Sefirat Ha-Omer. The shiur will take place on Tuesday night at 8:30pm at the Glenwood Synagogue in Ramat Modiin (Hashmonaim). The topic is: "A Path through the Graveyard: R. Shimon b. Yochai's Return to Society" - and yes, the topic will very much have to do with the themes discussed earlier in the email.
Two other short notes:
  • According to Blogger, this is my 1000th post.
  • I think I'd really enjoy this album

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