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Rabbi Eliyahu Fink

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Rabbi Eliyahu Fink comes from a long line of Rabbis and Jewish Community activists. He attended the Mechina High School of the Ner Israel Rabbinical College and developed a love for learning Torah, questioning Jewish ideas and trying to understand the structure of the Torah lifestyle. Later, as a fellow in Kollel Avodas Levi in Ner Israel, Rabbi Fink studied for Rabbinic Ordination and was ordained in 2005. He was recruited to work as a Rabbi for the Jewish Awareness Movement on the University of Southern California campus. It was there that he worked especially hard to understand how the Torah system works and began teaching these ideas to whomever was interested. He took about 200 college students on inspiring trips to Israel and New York. He maintains many of those relationships to this very day. When an opportunity arose in Venice for a part-time rabbi, he took his first pulpit position. In addition to his work / religious interests, he is a big sports fan, loves technology and social commentary.

Why Can’t We Argue Civilly?

September 8, 2015, by

Orthodox Judaism emphasizes Talmud study. Some people love the analysis and debate format of the Talmud but other people prefer studying the final decisions of the Talmud. They don’t enjoy the argument and discussion in the Talmud, and they most certainly do not love the layer upon layer of subsequent debate about the arguments in

Why Rabbi Kelemen is Mistaken About Kids Leaving Religion

August 31, 2015, by

Last summer, The Jewish Action featured a panel of experts answering the “tough questions.” One of the panelists was the great Rabbi Lawrence (Leib) Kelemen of Neve and Mussar Vaad fame. The question he was asked was: “Why are so many kids off the Derech?” (That’s their term. I don’t use it.) Rabbi Kelemen starts

Are You a Destinationist or a Traveler?

December 31, 2014, by

This article originally appeared on finkorswim.com Writing on Hevria, Elad Nehoral discusses evolving as a person and as an Orthodox Jew. I suggest reading the description of his process in his own words. To me, it sounds like Elad was uncomfortable confining his religious experience to the Chabad worldview, and has started the process of

Why Do People Leave Orthodox Judaism? Why Do People Stay?

September 4, 2014, by

This article originally appeared on finkorswim.com. The most common question I was asked after The Summit last spring was if I learned anything particularly insightful into the Orthodox Jewish experience to explain why some people stay in Orthodox Judaism and why others leave. People really want to know the answer to this question. I think

The Lesson We Can Learn From Dave Gordon Of Blessed Memory

August 21, 2014, by

This article originally appeared on Finkorswim.com. For a few hours on Tuesday, the Jewish world’s attention was focused on a missing IDF soldier. David Menachem Gordon was reported as missing and Jews around the world were fearful that he had been abducted by terrorists. David’s body was found. David was dead. He was not abducted

Let’s Talk About Depression and Mental Health

August 12, 2014, by

This article originally appeared on finkorswim.com. It’s time we had a conversation about mental health. Two weeks ago, I lost a dear friend to a toxic combination of severe mental illness and crushing addiction, two very dangerous conditions that compound their severity exponentially. Yesterday the world lost a genius who battled severe depression and addiction

The Human Tragedy of Tisha B’av

August 5, 2014, by

One of the biggest challenges of Tisha b’Av is finding the strength to feel pain that has had thousands of years to heal. For many people, the day ruefully memorializes our fallen temples, but unfortunately, the loss of our temple is no reason to be sad for many of our brethren. Perhaps this explains the

It’s Over: Now What?

July 7, 2014, by

I don’t think there’s been a similar experience to the one we just endured as a people. In recent memory, we’ve been through bombings, shootings, rocket fire, wars, and a kidnapping of a soldier. Other than Gilad Shalit, we’ve been shocked by the death and destruction imposed on our brothers and sisters, but those moments

What Do I Tell My Children?

June 30, 2014, by

This post originally appeared on finkorswim.com. The devastating news reverberates throughout the Jewish world. Our worst fears have been confirmed. We won’t be able to #bringbackourboys. It’s over. And for now, we mourn. But many of us are struggling to unravel the Gordian Knot of emotions, religious meaning, spiritual devotion, time, effort, energy we’ve put

Photos: Jewish Unity in Living Color

June 19, 2014, by

Jewish people all over the world are uniting in prayer. At shuls, community centers, holy sites, schools, and parks, our brothers and sisters raise their unified voice in prayer. It’s no small thing to take time from one’s day and engage in a meaningful spiritual encounter on behalf of our dear brothers. Their predicament breaks