Angel for Shabbat

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.

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.

The Judges of Your Generation

The Judges of Your Generation: Thoughts on Parashat Shofetim, September 6, 2008

by Rabbi Marc D. Angel

When the Talmud cannot answer a question definitively, it sometimes uses the word "Teiku". This is understood to be an acronym for the words; Tishbi yetaretz kushyot ubaayot i.e. Elijah the prophet (when the Messiah comes) will resolve these difficult questions and problems.

Raising Children and Students

Thoughts on Parashat Beha-aloteha, Shabbat June 14, 2008

By Rabbi Marc D. Angel

In describing Aaron's obligation to light the Menorah, the Torah uses the word "beha-aloteha", meaning "when your raise the lights". Rashi comments that this word suggests that Aaron was to kindle the lights until they were able to rise on their own.

Gossips and Slanderers: How to Stop Them: Thoughts on Parashat Ki Tetsei, September 13, 2008

Gossips and Slanderers: How to Stop Them

by Rabbi Marc D. Angel

This week's Torah reading commands us to remember what God did to Miriam while the Israelites were in the wilderness. This refers to Miriam's (and Aaron's) sin of speaking against their brother Moses. As punishment for their evil talk, Miriam (who apparently bore most of the guilt) was stricken temporarily with leprosy. Rabbi Abraham Ibn Ezra notes the correctness of the rabbinic interpretation linking the word metsora (leprosy) with the phrase motsi shem ra (slandering the reputation of another person).