Adam Mintz and Lawrence Schiffman | 05/25/2005
In 1989, the Orthodox Forum was established by Dr. Norman Lamm, Chancellor of Yeshiva University, to consider major issues of concern to the Jewish community. Academicians, rabbis, roshei yeshiva, Jewish educators and communal professionals have been invited each year to come together for an in depth analysis of one such topic. This group has constituted an Orthodox think tank and has produced a serious and extensive body of literature.
In the spirit of its initial mandate, the Forum has chosen topics that have challenged Jews and Judaism throughout history. Spirituality, the topic of the conference held in the year 2000, presents, on first consideration, an apparent clash between spirituality and law and breaches the divide between the subjectivity inherent in the one and the objective requirements of practice and belief essential to halakhah. The primary purpose of the conference and this resulting volume has been to demonstrate through a spectrum of diverse views, that spirituality and Orthodox Judaism are actually not hostile to one another, but, to the contrary, complement and enrich one another.
Contemporary Jewish society has much to gain from an appreciation of this subject as seen through the variety of vantage points presented in this volume. Yet, at the same time, modern culture introduces its own challenges and unique personality that must be addressed by the committed Jew.