1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to secondary-content



Meet Our 2013-14 University Fellows


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.

Defensive in the Center

In 1998, I wrote a paper in which I presented a number of sociological factors that inevitably lead Orthodoxy in modern society to greater ritualistic stringency. I then referred to the process as “hareidization,” but because some of the patterns are very different from what is typically associated with Hareidim in Israel, I subsequently suggested labeling the process as “humrazation.” Recent developments in American “Centrist Orthodoxy” seem to validate both my original thesis and my relabeling the process as “humrazation.” What I am referring to is not hareidization because American Centrist Orthodox Jews, by and large, do not deprecate general education. Most value higher education, even if largely for its utilitarian value.

Bridges Across the Divide

As a child, in my formative years, I grew up on New York’s Lower East Side. I attended Mesivta Tifereth Jerusalem and was privileged to know Rav Moshe Feinstein. My grandfather was the b’al koreh at the Yeshiva and a close friend of Rav Moshe, so I was blessed to have visited the Feinstein home on numerous occasions. Rav Moshe had a great influence on me. It was he who taught me how to interact with Jews of a wide range of observance, especially in the way he modeled Torah as an expression of love, patience, tolerance, and universal respect (b’sever panim yafot).

Diversity and the Jews

Can We Build Bridges Both to the Left and to the Right—Simultaneously?

“Excuse me for a moment; I need to take this call,” I said to the rabbis I was meeting with at an important convention for Hareidi professionals dealing with practical halakhic issues and public policy. I had just stopped by the convention to meet some of the rabbis who had taught me and mentored me over the years. I was sitting with my main mentor—a Yeshivishe, Litvishe Rav—and his friend, a close associate of some of the Hareidi rabbinic authorities.

John Galt Meets the Master of Prayer: Conflicting Visions of Utopia

On this coming Rosh HaShana the Shmita (Sabbatical) year (5775 – 2014-15) will begin. According to its laws, routine agricultural activities are prohibited and its produce is ownerless, free to be taken by all. At the end of the year, Shmitat Kesafim (the remission of debts) also takes effect. If we look at this also in the context of the (currently inapplicable) Yovel (Jubilee) year, which in addition to the Shmita laws also frees the slaves and includes massive agrarian reform as all land that had been bought and sold in the previous fifty years reverts to its original owners, we witness a massive societal change with utopian overtones.

AIDS and Circumcision


Rabbi J. Simcha Cohen (z’l)

Question: Does the current widespread occurrence of AIDS in any way affect the performance of circumcision?

Identification and Dislocation: the Breakdown of Worshipful Expression

Identification and Dislocation:
the Breakdown of Worshipful Expression

by Michael Haruni

One of the dilemmas we faced during the preparation of the Nehalel siddur was over the instructions, or “rubric”. For on the one hand there is, undoubtably, tremendous value in the detailed instructions appearing in the major contemporary English-language siddurim on how and where to bow in Amidah, where to kiss tzitziyot during and after Keriyat Shema, how to wave the lulav, and so forth. Baaley teshuvah especially have, since the advent of the ArtScroll siddur, found themselves able as never before to participate competently and confidently in shul procedures. The frum-from-birth users have benefited too, it must be said, filling in finer details previously eluding them.

Some of My Best Friends: a Book Review

Some of My Best Friends
A Journey through Twenty-First Century Anti-Semitism
By Ben Cohen
Edition Critic, 2014, 215 pages

Syndicate content