Mesora was created as a free resource for Jewish learning, including free articles, publications, live classes and discussions, and interactive programs and activism for world Jewry. Over these years, Mesora has posted thousands of articles and lectures, generating a tremendous, sustained yearly response. Below are stats for 19972015:
- 5,500,000 visits
- 200,000+ audio classes listened to
- 4,000,000+ JewishTimes issues downloaded
- 980,000+ unique visitors
- 30,000 monthly visits
- 200,000 signatures to date for world Jewry
- $65,000 raised for those in need
Mesora invites anyone wishing to explore and find understanding behind Jewish life, to search article databses, JewishTimes archives, audio classes, and submit questions and/or comments. We are non-denominational: we do not favor an idea based on the supporting group, but on the reason and truth contained, and its compliance with the Jewish fundamentals transmitted by our leaders, such as Abraham, Moses, Kings David and Solomon, the Prophets, Maimonides, Nachmanides, Ibn Ezra, Rashi, Tosafos, Sforno and Saadia Saon. We aim to make the universally accepted fundamentals clear to all, and invite your feedback or corrections.
We reference the Talmud, Bible, Prophets, Writings and Rishonim, those universaly accepted sources. We will strive to gain insight into their intent until it is clear to us, as they are the accepted transmitters of our Mesora the Oral Law/Tradition originating with Moses. A view should be recognized as true when it is reasonable, we experience its truth, or our Sages and Rabbis have transmitted it to us. (Maimonides)
Our acceptance of an idea or law as authentically "Jewish" is not based on popularity among the masses. It must be popular among the transmitters of the Mesora, such as Rashi, Rambam, Ramban and the like. In the event that we do not find satisfactory explanations for specific topics, we will research ourselves, and use our intellect to determine the truth, as this is what the Creator demands of each of us by granting each of us an intellect. The Sages teach that accepting what the Rabbis say without striving to understand with our minds is not the correct path. Judaism is based on knowledge. An honest approach which demands conviction an attitude which can only be reached by clear, rational arguments as exemplified by the doctors of the Talmud.
Unfortunately, over the years, many of our beliefs and practices have become diluted by misunderstandings, personal preference and a lack of study. Patient committment to study, nowadays, is replaced by secular pursuits. The realization that God's wisdom is at the core of Judaism is not considered and valued. King Solomon stated, "If you dig for it like silver, and search it out like a buried treasure, then you will understand the fear of G-d, and the knowledge of G-d will you find" (Proverbs, 2:4-5).Wisdom is available to all, but earnest analysis is essential in obtaining it.
Deuteronomy 17:11, "According to the Torah which they teach you, and in accordance with the judgements which they tell you, you should perform. Do not veer from the matter which they tell you to the right or the left." But today's communities do not seek the wisdom our Rabbis. Many Jews turn from Jewish life
Our Sages stressed the importance of each and every person using their minds to understand our distinct heritage. Judaism has clear parameters that define "Judaism". This is our focus, to present our defining fundamentals so all Jews might agree on a core set of values, starting with the Ten Commandments and Maimonides' 13 Principles, the Jewish Holidays, and the major events and statutes that shaped our proud nation.
The Torah states (Deut. 4:6): "[The other nations] which shall hear all those statutes and say, "surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people." The nations of the world will see that we are an understanding people. If the nations can see wisdom in our laws, aren't we obligated to understand them as well?
To correct the trend we must prioritize Jewish learning; create new methods to attract our youth and unveil the beauty and fulfillment available to all when we engage and support our precious culture.
We hope our sincere intent to uncover and teach truth will be appreciated by the community.
Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim