This Month's Conversation: Ahava אַהַבָה Download PDFDownload PDF

Welcome to Sh'ma Now

Sh’ma Now is a Journal of Jewish Sensibilities

Sh’ma Now invites a plurality of voices to engage with matters critical to contemporary Judaism. We aim to inspire Jews and fellow travelers to think deeply, act responsibly, and better our communities.

Our Vision

Each month, Sh’ma Now curates a distilled “conversation” in print and online, bringing to­gether several voices around a single theme. These voices cross the spectrum of Judaism — secular and religious, communal and non-partisan, engaged and striving. We seek to expose readers to challenging, sometimes conflicting ideas — always guided by the wisdom of elu v’elu, both these and also these are the words of God. We raise relevant questions thoughtfully and wrestle lovingly with Jewish concerns as we attempt to navigate the intel­lectual and spiritual challenges of contemporary Judaism. Our focus is on ideas — their complexity and range, and how they inform action.


Sh’ma Now will remain an independent publication of the Sh’ma Institute, an independent nonprofit supported by Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah.
Sh’ma and Sh’ma Now are trademarks of the Sh’ma Institute

Sh’ma Now will be published in partnership with the Forward, bringing our unique content to the newspaper’s 30,000-plus readers. Each issue will focus on a “Jewish Sensibility”— approaches to living drawn from Jewish wisdom. This is a rubric, first coined by Vanessa Ochs, a professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia Charlottesville, in a 2003 Sh’ma article:

Jewish sensibilities are particularly Jewish ways of thinking about what it means to be human, ways that guide and orient a person’s actions and choices. Knowing [the sensibilities] can help us anticipate how we’ll lead our lives and make decisions.

We hope that you, our readers, will turn to Sh’ma Now to find what you cannot find elsewhere — con­cise, accessible, informative, and intelligent discussion and argumentation. At the intersec­tion of tradition and change, Sh’ma Now will help readers confront modernity with a deep respect for Jewish values and accumulated wisdom, bring­ing to bear the richness of Jewish sources, texts, philosophy, and experience.


Sh’ma is published by the Sh’ma Institute, an independent nonprofit established by Lippman Kanfer Family Foundation, with the support of FJC: A Foundation of Philanthropic Funds.