Angel for Shabbat

Faith with Reason, not Blind Faith

Faith with Reason, not Blind Faith

(Thoughts on Parashat Metsora, for Shabbat April 12, 2008)

by Rabbi Marc D. Angel

This week's Torah portion, Metsora, begins with a verse that is repeated many times in the Torah: "And God spoke to Moses, saying." The verse simply could have said: And God spoke to Moses. Why does it add the word "saying" (leimor)?

Rivets, Kashruth, and the Jewish Future

 

Rivets, Kashruth, and the Jewish Future

By Rabbi Marc D. Angel

The New York Times recently ran a story about a significant theory why the Titanic sunk. That great luxury ship struck an iceberg, letting ocean water plunge in. The tragedy resulted in the loss of about 1500 lives. The prevailing theory had been that the hull of the ship had been gashed open by the iceberg. The new theory offers a different explanation.

Thoughts for Shavuoth 5768

Thoughts for Shavuoth 5768

By Rabbi Marc D. Angel

On Shavuoth, we commemorate the awesome Revelation at Mount Sinai, when the Almighty presented the Ten Commandments to the people of Israel. All of the Israelite men, women and children experienced that solemn moment, marking an everlasting covenant between God and the Israelite nation.

Let us imagine that God would invite us to a second Revelation at Sinai, asking all the Jews of the world to attend.

Israel: Dreaming the Great Dreams

Israel: Dreaming the Great Dreams

by Rabbi Marc D. Angel

As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of Israel's independence, we take pride in her incredible achievements; we worry about her many problems; we commit ourselves to her unfolding future. No country on earth has done so much for so many in so short a time--all in the face of implacable enemies who stop at nothing in their efforts to thwart her. We salute the people of Israel. We thank the Almighty for having given us the privilege of living at this special time.

The Kashruth Controversies

The Kashruth Controversies: Thoughts on Parshat Re'eh, August 30, 2008

by Rabbi Marc D. Angel

A story is told of a shohet (ritual slaughterer) who had come to a new town to assume his duties. As was customary, he first went to the home of the town's Rabbi to be tested on the laws and customs of ritual slaughter. The Rabbi asked the shohet to show him how he examined the knife, to be sure that it was perfectly smooth and sharp, without any blemishes. The shohet carefully moved his thumb up and down the blade of the knife.

Thoughts on Parashat Haazinu

Angel for Shabbat

Thoughts on Parashat Haazinu

by Rabbi Marc D. Angel

The Haazinu poem is Moses' admonition to the people of Israel, recited to them shortly before his death. In the second verse, he uses the imagery of rain to symbolize his hope that his teachings will sink into the people and be beneficial to them.

Market Volatility, Spiritual Tranqulity

Market Volatility, Spiritual Tranquility

Thoughts on Parashat Ki Tavo, Shabbat September 20, 2008

by Rabbi Marc D. Angel

The stock market is volatile. The real estate market is in trouble. The world economy is nervous. Huge companies have gone bankrupt. Other companies have been bailed out by the US government. Thousands of people have lost their jobs, their homes, their savings, their pension funds.