Challenging Assumptions

An exploration of halachic issues pertaining to American Jewry, the synagogue, and beyond

Does Judaism promote patriotism?

Should congregations reduce the length of their prayers?

Does the Torah believe in absolute gender norms?

Based on traditional sources, this book addresses contemporary issues facing Jewish society. Distilling both the halachic and philosophical considerations, the author challenges readers’ assumptions and provides the critical observer with a Torah prism for approaching today’s burning questions.

“Clear, cogent, and compelling …a real contribution to the world of Torah scholarship.”

Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter, Yeshiva University

“A halachic narrative where the reader can see the vast background material that touches on the issues at hand… The learned individual will appreciate the wide range of sources. The novice will develop an appreciation for the halachic process and all the considerations that go into arriving at a final p’sak.”

Rabbi Ezra Schwartz, Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary

“Rav Kurtz presents thoughtful approaches to topics that are in need of addressing. Contemporary Jews…will be enriched by the many important lessons imparted in this first-class sefer.”

Rabbi Chaim Jachter, Congregation Shaarei Orah

Rabbi Moshe Kurtz lectures on a range of contemporary issues, including political correctness, nationalism, and gender identity, through the halachic lens. His writings have appeared in forums such as The Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society (“RJJ Journal”), Panim Journal, Tradition, The Lehrhaus, and Torah Musings. Rabbi Kurtz is also passionate about bringing the beauty of Brisker lamdus to a broad, English-reading audience. He has adapted selections from the monumental work, Sefer Chavatzeles Hasharon, by Rabbi Mordechai Carlebach, into succinct and compelling halachic discourses on the weekly Torah portion. Rabbi Kurtz learned at Yeshiva Darchei Torah in Far Rockaway, NY, and Yeshivat Sha’alvim in Eretz Yisrael. He holds a BA in psychology from Yeshiva College, where he received the Steven Gladstein Memorial Award for Service to the Jewish People, and an MS from the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration. Rabbi Kurtz earned his semichah from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), where he studied under the direct tutelage of one of the preeminent authorities in Jewish medical ethics, Rabbi Dr. Moshe D. Tendler, zt”l.

Rabbi Kurtz previously served at the Young Israel of Plainview (YIP) on Long Island, NY. As of 2020 he began his tenure as the Assistant Rabbi of Congregation Agudath Sholom (CAS) in Stamford, CT, where he lives with his wife, Marisa, and their beloved daughter, Talya.

More Information
AuthorRabbi Moshe Kurtz
PublisherMosaica Press
Number of pages220
Item #8448
Binding typeHard Cover
Weight1.110000 lbs.
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