What makes one "a good Jew?" Faith, ritual, behavior, conversion, divorce, & marriage- addressed by Rabbi Joel Tessler (of the I.R.F.) and Rabbi Shmuel Goldin (of the R.J.C.)

How to live as a good Jew? Some leading orthodox rabbis affiliated with the Orthodox Union convened in Los Angeles to participate in the annual, Orthodox Union's West Coast Torah Convention in the final days of 2012. Following their public lessons, Rabbi Joel Tessler of Beth Shalom Cong and Talmud Torah in Potomac, Maryland, and Rabbi Shmuel Goldin, of Cong Ahavas Torah in Englewood, New Jersey kindly shared their perspectives on some of the persistent questions that the Jewish community wrestle with. (Five video segments - advance through the center-right button).

1) Secular humanism alone does not make one a "good Jew"- Rabbis Joel Tessler and Shmuel Goldin Is living as a "good, ethical person" enough to qualify a Jew's obligation to be "a good Jew?" 

Rabbi Joel Tessler, senior Rabbi of Beth Shalom Congregation in Potomac, MD presenting at the Orthodox Union's annual West Coast Annual Torah Convention in Los Angeles provides an Orthodox perspective. 

2) Faith without deeds- can you be "a good Jew"? Orthodox Rabbi Shmuel Goldin of N.J. 

Is living as a "good, ethical person" enough to fulfill the obligation to be "a good Jew?" Rabbi Shmuel Goldin of Congregation Ahavas Torah in Englewood, NJ provides an Orthodox interpretation. 

3) Observant or secular: "Conduct unbecoming" a Jewish person? 
Rabbis on Jews' behavioral obligations Orthodox Union Convention Rabbis Shmuel Goldin and Joel Tessler comment on Jewish conduct vs. keeping of ritual observances. Also, obligations to emulate G-d in thought and behavior. 

4) Rabbi Joel Tessler: on conversion, marriage, and divorce, and how the the International Rabbinical Council (I.R.F.) differs from Rabbinical Council of America. 

The International Rabbinic Fellowship ("I.R.F"). offers an alternative, modern orthodox approach to that of the Rabbinical Council of America regarding conversions to Judaism, and marriage and divorce. Rabbi Joel Tessler, I.R.F.'s president is also an executive board member of the Rabbinical Council of America (R.C.A.). 

5) Controversy on conversion to Judaism- Modern orthodox Rabbi Joel Tessler of D.C.-area shul and Talmud Torah


The who, why, and how of conversions (from the perspective of both the convert and the Jewish community) according to the D.C.-area rabbi who has overseen over 400 conversions and works to get Israel to recognize conversions the modern orthodox conversions under the auspices of the International Rabbinical Council (I.R.F.).

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