Spir­i­tu­al Activism: A Jew­ish Guide to Lead­er­ship and Repair­ing the World

Rab­bi Avra­ham Weiss
  • Review
By – January 27, 2012
Rab­bi Avi Weiss is one of this generation’s remark­able rab­bini­cal lead­ers. An Ortho­dox rab­bi, his career has been quite unlike that of the main­stream con­gre­ga­tion­al rab­bi. His actions and beliefs have pit­ted him against (among oth­ers) a num­ber of for­eign gov­ern­ments, the Catholic Church, as well as numer­ous main­stream Jew­ish orga­ni­za­tions. In recent years, his lead­er­ship has brought into being a new yeshi­va for the ordi­na­tion of mod­ern Ortho­dox rab­bis as well as a new rab­bini­cal orga­ni­za­tion. In his lat­est book, Rab­bi Weiss artic­u­lates the prin­ci­ples that have guid­ed all his work. In his pas­sion about activism as a tool of liv­ing Torah prin­ci­ples, he acknowl­edges a debt of grat­i­tude to Abra­ham Joshua Hes­chel and Mar­tin Luther King, as well as to gen­er­a­tions of grass­roots com­mu­ni­ty orga­niz­ers. His prin­ci­ples of spir­i­tu­al activism — and his supreme moti­va­tion of love for the Jew­ish peo­ple and their mis­sion — are wor­thy of study and con­sid­er­a­tion by rab­bis, Jew­ish edu­ca­tors, Jew­ish com­mu­nal work­ers, Jew­ish lead­ers, and any­one who is on the path to lead­er­ship roles. A final chap­ter, The Spir­i­tu­al Activist’s Action Plan,” sum­ma­rizes his prin­ci­ples and includes ques­tions to stim­u­late dis­cus­sion relat­ing to these lead­er­ship principles.
Rab­bi Arnold D. Sam­lan is a Jew­ish edu­ca­tor and rab­bi liv­ing in Mia­mi, Flori­da. He serves as exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Orloff Cen­tral Agency for Jew­ish Edu­ca­tion of Broward County.

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