Angel for Shabbat

Important Reminder

Our last University Network Newsletter offered you a free copy of Rabbi Marc Angel's new book, "Maimonides, Spinoza and Us: Toward an Intellectually Vibrant Judaism." The book is due out early in November. In order to receive your copy, you need to send an email to, and give your current mailing address with your request for a copy of the book. Many of you have already done this, so you need not do so again. However, if you haven't yet requested your copy, please do so asap. THIS OFFER IS GOOD ONLY UNTIL NOVEMBER 1.

Hearing and Listening: Thoughts for Rosh Hashanah 5770

Suppose that two people were walking by a synagogue on Rosh Hashana just at the time when the shofar was being sounded. The synagogue windows were open, so that both people outside heard the shofar. The first one thought: I wish to be included among those who are fulfilling the mitzvah of hearing the shofar. The second one simply kept walking, having heard the shofar but without paying any particular attention to the sounds. Did either, or both, or neither of them fulfill the mitzvah of shofar?

Lose the Rat Race: Thoughts for Shabbat Teshuva and Yom Kippur

Thoughts for Shabbat Teshuva and Yom Kippur

by Rabbi Marc D. Angel


Dr. Bruno Bettelheim wrote that "today's popular conviction is that life is a rat race." People have become so engrossed in the battles to get ahead materially in this world, that they tend to put aside the claims of the soul.

As we compete in the rat race, we may not even realize how thoroughly we have abandoned our inner freedom, our quest for ultimate meaning. We want to win the rat race even if it means compromising or abandoning the values that imbue life with genuine meaning.

University Network--Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals

Best wishes to you as the academic year is getting underway. The Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals is here to be of service to you; it fosters an intellectually vibrant, compassionate and inclusive Orthodox Judaism. If you have questions or issues you'd like to discuss one-to-one, please feel free to contact me:

Dissent, yes; Rebellion, no: Thoughts on Parashat Korah, June 27, 2009

Korah foments a rebellion against Moses and Aaron, and is depicted in Jewish history as an arch-villain and trouble-maker. The Pirkei Avot describes Korah's rebellion as having been conducted "shelo leshem shamayim", not for the sake of Heaven. Like many demagogues, Korah appeals to the masses and tries to turn them against the existing leadership. Korah argues: all the congregation is holy--why should power reside only in Moses and Aaron?