Articles

A nice review by "The Kosher Bookworm"

The Kosher Bookworm
The Study of Bible Commentary--Fascinating
by Alan Jay Gerber

This past week the Young Israel of Lawrence Cedarhurst hosted one of America's
leading interpreters of the Bible text and commentaries, Rabbi Hayyim Angel.
Rabbi Angel's presentments that Shabbat to a total of over 700 attendees was
both impressive as to their attentiveness of the listeners as well as to the
comprehensiveness of the content of his message. As reflected in his literary
output over the past decade Rabbi Angel's message is to parse the inner workings
of the text of the holy writ, to define to "amcha" the methodology of peshat and
derash, so as to enable the average layperson to better understand the basic

January Update from Rabbi Hayyim Angel, National Scholar of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals

January, 2015

To our members and friends, I hope you are enjoying your winter.

We have completed the year’s first semester with a host of programs and classes, and eagerly anticipate our upcoming offerings.

Here are some of the major highlights coming up in January and February:

Sunday, February 22, 10:00am-1:00pm: I am organizing a symposium to be held at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun in Manhattan on the topic of “From the Academy to the Religious Community: How we can gain religious insight from academic Jewish Studies.”

Update from Rabbi Hayyim Angel, National Scholar of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals

October, 2013

To our members and friends: Thanks again for your enthusiastic support and encouragement. Here are a number of updates on my work as National Scholar of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals. ·

We have created a new area on our website, jewishideas.org, Online Learning. On this page you can find a list of links to online classes I have given. We expect this area to grow rapidly as we offer new classes through the Institute. Please join in the online learning at jewishideas.org. ·

Upgrading the Hareidi Education System with General Subjects

Israel’s new political reality—with the two main Ultra-Orthodox or Haredi political parties, the Sephardic-based Shas party and the Ashkenazi-based United Torah Judaism, inside the government won’t help the next generation of Haredi young people—in fact, on the contrary, it will perpetuate a broken system. While Shas and United Torah Judaism have negotiated financial windfalls for their constituencies, as well as a pull-back on the demand that Ultra-Orthodox young men serve in the Israeli Defense Force, this old style of conducting business could be harmful to our community’s young people.

The Lion and the Compass

Maimonides (d. 1204) tolerated no idea that failed the test of reason. An ancient and robust tradition of superstition among the Jews did not deter him. Maimonides either ignored or rationalized scores of Talmudic halachot based on astrology, demonology, and magic.

Maimonides denounced astrology passionately, despite its popularity, calling the belief “stupidity” and its practitioners “fools.” His argument bears emphasis: Maimonides opposed astrology primarily on scientific rather than religious grounds. The Torah prohibits divination from the sky, he ruled, not because it displays a lack of faith in God, but simply because it is false.

Report from Rabbi Hayyim Angel, National Scholar of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals, September 2014

September, 2014

To our members and friends, As we approach the New Year, we look forward to another robust season of educational programming. Here are some of the major highlights thus far in place, and more will continue to develop throughout the year. I will be the Rabbinic Scholar at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun in New York City (85th Street between Park and Lexington Avenue) for the coming year. This will involve eight Shabbatot in the KJ community, as well as High Holy Day sermons to their Sephardic minyan on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur.

November Update from Rabbi Hayyim Angel, National Scholar of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals

November, 2013

To our members and friends: It is so inspiring to feel the excitement for learning I have encountered wherever I have been teaching. There is a palpable thirst in our community for Torah that combines tradition and contemporary scholarship; an open intellectual-textual approach that simultaneously inspires and elevates. These classes lie at the heart of our goals of the Institute, and we are grateful for the widespread positive response and support we have been receiving. Thank you for being part of our vision, and making this possible.