Welcome to the Nishma Commentary Discussion Forum blog.

Commentary with Rabbi Benjamin Hecht is a regular column on the Nishma website in which Nishma's Founding Director analyzes contemporary issues, in the general as well as the Jewish world, from a Torah perspective.

If you have a comment on an article within this column, we invite you to place your comments here; then we invite everyone to join the discussion.

Monday, November 15, 2010

YATED AND YCT: Substance and Methodology

Available on the Nishma web site

CHANUKAH: A Battle for Freedom of Religion?

Available on the Nishma web site

Special Discussion Forum: Credo 13

Credo 13 was a 13 episode tv program about Maimonides Principles of Faith. These episodes can now be seen on Koshertube at

As Nishma was involved in the production of this program, we initiated a discussion forum for it. This discussion forum can now be viewed at http://specialnishmaforumoncredo13.blogspot.com/. You are invited to participate.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Special Discussion Forum: Is Judaism Homophobic?

While there is no Commentary article on this subject, per se, Nishma has tackled this issue in a variety of other articles which can be accessed in our website's Hot Topics list under the topic "Is Judaism Homophobic?" Included in that list was a pamphlet, available as a pdf, of the same title sent to many Jewish campus organizations. A further Nishma article on homosexuality and Judaism is "Essential Conflict Essential Study" from Introspection 5761-1 (which unfortunately is not yet available on the website).

Nishma is presently in the process of assisting in the distribution of the pamphlet "Is Judaism Homophobic?" -- written by David Benkof, a former gay activist who has become Torah observant -- in regard to Orthodox Judaism's attitude to homosexuality.

Nishma's purpose in assisting in the distribution of this pamphlet is to promote discussion and debate on this most important topic. In keeping with Nishma's recognition of the halachic spectrum, it should be stated that the views expressed within this pamphlet are those of Mr. Benkof and do not necessarily reflect the only possible opinion within Torah. Yet, Mr. Benkof sensitively raises significant issues that demand our attention, including the very nature of love, sex and marriage. It is within this spirit that we invite you to join this discussion.

In addition to viewing this brochure, while visiting our website, we invite you to look at the various articles in Nishma's Online Library in the Subject Matter Index under the heading "Sexuality and Homosexuality." We also invite you to look at the extensive series on the movie "Trembling Before G-d" available in our Commentaries section (accessible through the link to other Commentaries on our home page).

The Gestalt

Available on the Nishma website

Freedom of Religion (with Comments on Halachic Tolerance)

Available on the Nishma web site

The Middle East: The Perplexity of Din and Rachamim

Available on the Nishma website

Evaluation and Definition: Comments on Wafa Sultan

Available on the Nishma website

Cartoons, Amalek and Values

Available on the Nishma website

Authority and Wisdom: The Slifkin Affair

Available on the Nishma website

Trembling Before G-d

The Commentary to the movie "Trembling Before G-d" was divided into 8 parts, each one dealing with a different aspect of the movie. All 8 parts are accessible through the Nishma website Commentary Index in the Arayot category.