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ANGEL PARA SHABAT ~ Reflexiones Sobre las Porciones Semanales de la Torá

A partir del año 2008, el Instituto de Ideas e Ideales Judíos ha venido publicando una columna semanal “Angel for Shabbat” escrita por el Rabino Marc D. Angel. Muchos miles de lectores han disfrutado de estas columnas en el sitio web del Instituto (jewishideas.org) y a través de su distribución por correo electrónico.
Este volumen recopila en forma impresa una colección de estas reflexiones sobre la porción de la Torá de la semana.


The end of an era for Italy's Jews: Why young Italian rabbis are bowing to Israeli Orthodoxy

(This article, by Anna Momigliano, appeared in the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, April 27, 2015.

When Daniela Dawan’s first nephew was born, in late 2000, the family travelled from Milan to Rome to have Italy’s most prestigious rabbi, Elio Toaff, perform a giyur katan – newborn conversion – on the infant, whose mother wasn’t Jewish.

By the time Dawan's niece was born in early 2002, however, no Orthodox rabbi willing to perform such a conversion on the offspring of a mixed marriage could be found in the whole country. Toaff, the charismatic Tuscan-born rabbi who headed the Jewish community of Rome for half a century (1951-2001), had retired a few months earlier.


With A Little Help From Our Friends

My remarks are dedicated to my paternal cousin, Shlomo Guttman and to my wife’s paternal uncle, David Teitlebaum, who both fell in Milchemet HaShichrur. May their memories be for a blessing.

I would also like to thank Dr Jeffrey Gurock, professor of American-Jewish history at YU for his leads and encouragement in my research.


THE EVER GROWING TORAH MODEL: A portrait of Moses as a young man, national leader, and teaching model

This engaging monograph is a deceptively simple read. Written in a disciplined, clear diction, Rabbi Zvi Grumet writes and teaches like a High School Yeshiva rebbe, unflinchingly focusing on the received Torah’s text and message[s], as lucidly and probingly as he can, so that his student/reader may understand his content and internalize the Torah’s normative message. The superficially scholarly reader will likely be disappointed because Grumet avoids all jargon, esotericisms, and technical terms that might confuse, distract, or otherwise disturb the targeted “non-academic” Orthodox reader. He is not writing to, or for, the secular scholarly community, at least as his first audience.


Thoughts for Yom Ha'Atsma'ut

At around the time that the State of Israel was being recognized by the United Nations, the Chief Rabbis of Israel wrote a letter in Arabic to the Arab world. The Sephardic Chief Rabbi Benzion Uziel, who was fluent in Arabic, likely wrote this letter that was signed by him and the Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi Yitzchak Herzog.

Although so many years have passed since the formal establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, the message of peace conveyed in this letter has largely been eclipsed by the ongoing hostilities and warfare.

Yom Ha'Atsma'ut, Israel Independence day, is observed this year on Wednesday night April 22 and Thursday April 23. It's worthwhile to review the words of Rabbis Uziel and Herzog, and pray that the message of peace will prevail...sooner rather than later.


GETT- The Trial of Viviane Amsalem

Israeli films receive large audiences worldwide. Many of them show the realities of life in the holy land, some with humor and some with sadness. Almost all of them demonstrate that Israel is a democratic country which is not afraid to show even its darkest aspects.

Currently one can watch such a dark story at the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas in Manhattan “Gett- the Trial of Viviane Amsalem”. Gett is Hebrew for divorce. This is a sad story of the difficulties, and one should say, impossibilities for a Jewish woman to obtain a divorce when the husband does not want it. Indeed the husband has to agree to GRANT a divorce. I purposely emphasize the word “GRANT” as the husband is all powerful in that procedure.


George Washington and Religious Liberty

In Washington’s days, religious liberty as we now know it was not a well understood, conventional policy. It was a daring revolutionary departure from the universally accepted order. In all Europe, and throughout the New World also, there were established state churches. In this land, too, notwithstanding the pioneer efforts of Roger Williams, Jefferson, Madison and Washington, many of the clergy belonging to the faith of the majority were zealous in endeavoring to see their Church constitutionally recognized as that of the established official religion of the new United States. To their sincere piety, the state should naturally be, as it was everywhere else, the ally of the universal claims and missionary spirit of the Church.


A Bridge across the Tigris: Chief Rabbi Joseph Herman Hertz

Our Rabbis tell us that on the death of Abaye the bridge across the Tigris collapsed. A bridge serves to unite opposite shores; and so Abaye had united the opposing groups and conflicting parties of his time. Likewise Dr. Hertz’s personality was the bridge which served to unite different communities and bodies in this country and the Dominions into one common Jewish loyalty.
—Dayan Yechezkel Abramsky: Eulogy for Chief Rabbi Hertz.[1]

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