Angel for Shabbat

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?

Righteousness, not Self-Righteousness:Thoughts for Shabbat Hazon, July 25, 2009

"Wash you, make you clean, put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil; learn to do well; seek justice, relieve the oppressed, judge the orphan, plead for the widow. Come let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah, chapter 1, verses 16-18)

Desecration of God's Name: Sanctification of God's Name--Thoughts on Parashat Va-et-hanan, August 1, 2009

And you shall keep and fulfill [the laws of the Torah]; for that is your wisdom and your understanding before the eyes of the nations that will hear all these statutes and will say: 'what a wise and understanding nation is this people.' (Devarim 4:6)

Anti-Semitism, Here? Now? Thoughts for Shabbat Re'eh, August 15, 2009

"Any weapon whetted against you shall not succeed, and any tongue that contends with you in judgment, you shall condemn; this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their due reward from Me, says the Lord." Isaiah 54:17

When I came to synagogue on Tuesday morning August 11, I was told at the door by our superintendant that there was going to be an anti-Jewish rally right across the street. I had not been notified about this in advance, and was puzzled why a "rally" was being staged against us.