Rabbi Mintz

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Building Communities: A History of the Eruv in America

Jewish law forbids carrying objects between private or public areas on the Sabbath. However, rabbinic authorities deemed carrying permissible within a physical enclosure called an eruv. This book explores the rabbinic debates surrounding the creation of such enclosures in North American cities and examines the evolution of American Orthodox communities from the late nineteenth century through the 1960s. The earliest debates reflect a community with low religious observance and weak ties to local government that relied on European rabbis for authority. By the mid-twentieth century, these rabbinic disputes reveal an established, religiously observant community forming its own traditions.

Jewish Spirituality and Divine Law

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.

It's a Thin Line: Eruv From Talmudic To Modern Culture

This volume represents the first collection of essays on the subject of eruv that combines the halakhic, historical, sociological and artistic aspects of this age-old rabbinic innovation. In the past several decades, the eruv has caught the attention of scholars and artists, sociologists and politicians.

Rabbi Mintz is the rabbi of Kehilat Rayim Ahuvim, a Modern Orthodox community he founded on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in 2004. In 2022, he co-founded Project Ruth that educates potential conversion candidates and facilitates a thorough yet accessible Orthodox conversion to Judaism. He is also the Director of 929 English, a web-based project that promotes the daily study of a chapter of Tanakh. In addition, Rabbi Mintz is a member of the Talmud faculty at Yeshivat Maharat and has taught as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at City College, New York for six years.

He lives in Manhattan with his wife Sharon and has three children, Noam (and Lily), Ariel (and Ashley) and Shoshana and three grandchildren.

Spotlight Educational Lectures

Delve into a wide array of our engaging lectures. Highlights include:

Words, Meaning And Spirit: The Talmud In Translation​

The Talmud has been the central pillar of Jewish life for the past two thousand years. As Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz wrote:

“In many ways the Talmud is the most important book in Jewish culture, the backbone of creativity and of national life. No other work has had a comparable influence”…

The Eruvin In Brooklyn

The history of the eruv in Brooklyn is fraught with controversy and dispute. Ever since the idea of building an eruv in Brooklyn was first addressed in the early 1950s, rabbis have debated the halakhic acceptability and social appropriateness of these eruvin. This article will explore the history of the eruvin in Brooklyn through an analysis of the rabbinic material and an evaluation of the place of the Brooklyn eruvin in the history of city eruvin in America.

The Talmud In Translation​

Since the early sixteenth century, Jews have studied from a printed Talmud with the text, in the original combination of Hebrew and Aramaic, in the middle of the page and the commentaries of Rashi and Tosafot lining the margins. As is well known, the printed edition does not contain either vocalization or punctuation. Despite the complicated nature of the Talmud and its difficult language, Jews did not compose any translations of the Talmud for centuries. Having frequently begun the study of Talmud in their youth, Jews were generally familiar with the language and therefore did not feel the need for such a study aid. In situations where the language or the contents proved very difficult, students of the text considered the vast literature of commentaries, especially those of Rashi and Tosafot, to be sufficient. Indeed, it was not until the nineteenth century that vernacular translations were composed by Jews. This article will discuss the major Jewish translations of the Talmud, particularly those that elicited controversy, and how these translations and the reactions to them have affected Talmud study to this very day.

I just felt this urgency’: For some, Oct. 7 fueled a renewed dedication to becoming Jewish

Jasamine Hodge started converting to Judaism eight years ago, but it wasn’t until Oct. 7 that she set a date to finish.

As a child and teen, Hodge, 33, who lives in Kansas City, had grown up with families that practiced Christianity and Islam. When a friend introduced her to Judaism when she was 24, she realized she had found her “religious home.”