Wednesday, September 21, 2011. 3:15 - 4:30 pm

The Dangers of Moral Certitude and the Challenge to Prayer
by Prof. Rav Roy D. Tanenbaum (The Canadian Yeshiva & Rabbinical School)

"Most of the greatest evil that man has inflicted upon man comes through people feeling quite certain about something which, in fact, was false" (Bertrand Russell, "Ideas that Have Harmed Mankind" in Unpopular Essays [1950], p. 149).

Faith without doubt leads to fanaticism (too often anyway). Yet doubt without faith leads to nihilism. And between these two great poles, where is there room to pray? One can masquerade before others, but not before the Holy One whose seal is truth. Neither can one pray as if. So, here, in a nutshell, is one of the looming liturgical issues of the day, the theo-practical issue of prayer in our houses of worship.

In this session, we will go to some of the traditional Jewish liturgy itself for its own internal response.



Rav Roy D. Tanenbaum, Rosh HaYeshiva (President & Vice-Chancellor) and Bible Faculty, has been the force behind the conceptualization and development of the Canadian Yeshiva. Currently serving the Rabbinical Assembly as Dean of its School for Shamashim, he is also past president of the Rabbinical Assembly, Canadian Region. Rav Tanenbaum maintains a scholarly interest in the structure of the Hebrew Bible and the development of Jewish law. He has served on the faculty of the University of Miami in Ohio and Mount Royal College in Calgary. In 2009, the rav retired from Beth Tzedec Congregation where he served as Rosh Yeshiva of the Life-Long Learning Centre and as responding rav for the "Kosher Korner," completing 40 years in the pulpit. With many articles to his credit, in 1998, the University of Calgary Press published his book, Prisoner 88—The Man in Stripes, and his commentary on the Shabbat Morning Service, Rinat Dodim, A Song of Lovers, graces the pews in many synagogues. The rav studied in Yeshivat ITRI and Yeshivat Etz Chaim in Jerusalem. He has received numerous honours for his work in the community, including two doctorates. AB, Cornell University; MAHL and s'mikha.