Author Archives: Elli Fischer

Russian Priests: “Open” Ukrainian Orthodoxy is Neo-Catholic, not Orthodox

by Elli Fischer1 In the spirit of Purim… The Russian takeover of Ukraine has extended into the realm of religion. High-ranking clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church have begun using the art of persuasion, as well as truncheons, to assert their hegemony over the ritual lives of their ethnic cousins. The mainstream Ukrainian Orthodox Church is a vassal of the ...

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Celebrate With Gilad Like There’s No Tomorrow

R Elli Fischer / Human beings have an amazing capacity to block out life’s travails during the course of a celebration. Couples get married and nations declare independence in the midst of wars. We celebrate a year’s harvest not knowing whether next year’s crop will be thin or blighted. We enjoy life, despite the inevitability of death. Jewish celebrations are no exception. We celebrate Purim even though we remained Persian subjects in the aftermath of its miraculous salvation. The miracle of Chanukah is celebrated even though it took place during a lull in the middle of a war, and even though the independence wrought was short-lived. On Yom Ha-Atzma’ut, we celebrate Israel’s independence even though it transformed a local conflict into a multinational one.

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Tikvah Fundamentalism?

R Elli Fischer / As I write this, I remain of two minds regarding the need to respond to Zachary Braiterman’s recent article, “Conservative Money and Jewish Studies: Investigating the Tikvah Fund,” which appeared in ZEEK and eJewish Philanthropy. On one hand, he levels a variety of accusations against an entity that I believe is doing a lot of good and important work. On the other hand, I wonder whether there is even a need to respond because even if he is correct he may still be wrong. One man’s reductio ad absurdum is the next man’s in hakhi nami (what one person deems outrageous the next deems perfectly reasonable).

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Of Revolutionary Women and Straw Men

Guest post by R. Elli Fischer Rabbi Elli Fischer is a writer and translator from Modiin. He blogs at adderabbi.blogspot.com I do not envy the task that Michal Tukochinsky set for herself in writing “How Women’s Talmud Study is Unique” (New York Jewish Week, April 12, 2011). She wishes to describe how the new (second) generation of women’s Talmud study ...

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