Social justice lies at the very heart of the Torah. God holds all nations accountable for morality, including Israel. Israel’s being God’s Chosen People places additional responsibility onto Israel to serve as the model moral nation for the world. God rejects religious rituals when they are unaccompanied by a righteous, moral lifestyle.
Jews have been the world’s scapegoats for many centuries. We want to notify the world: We resign, we no longer will serve as your scapegoat. From now on, please take your fears and feelings of inferiority to your mirror. Instead of projecting evil on Jews — or any other group — heal yourself.
Dr. Henry Pereira Mendes taught that the ethical component is integral to the commandments. Judaism is not only blessed with a code of laws, but is inspirited with a code of ethics.
Once Nachshon took the lead, the Israelites themselves realized that it was time for them to move forward. Moses and the people learned that at a time of national crisis, courageous action is required. The price of freedom is: increased responsibility.
Attending Synagogue When Sick; Dealing with Recalcitrants; Synagogue Kiddush--Rabbi Marc Angel Replies to Questions from the Jewish Press
The Jewish Press newspaper has a bi-weekly feature in which several rabbis are asked to respond to questions. Rabbi Marc D. Angel is one of the respondents and here are his replies to recent questions.
Can we learn from the story of religious persecution and humiliation that characterized Islamic Spain? Can we learn to shape a better, more harmonious world by insisting on genuine respect, equality, decency, and theological humility among all religions? Can we afford not to learn these lessons?
All of us who care deeply for the State of Israel must do our best to support the embattled Jewish State. Regardless of our personal political views, we must not stand aside silently while Israel and its citizens are under attack.
My father’s voice was one of “moral grandeur and spiritual audacity.” He spoke out in the prophetic tradition, and we are proud that he represented the Jewish people to the world. After the devastation of Europe, he gave us back our souls, reminding us of the greatness of Judaism and urging us to study more deeply, pray with greater intensity, and always remember what we stand for.
Kotser ruach in our times may be referring to a diminished spiritual sense. Vibrant religious life needs a vibrant religious spirit. It needs us to be open to the challenges of religion at its best. It needs us to hear the message, to overcome obstacles, and to have leaders who can articulate a sophisticated spiritual framework for our lives.
There is a feeling among many Jews, including many Orthodox Jews, that worship in the synagogue lacks adequate inspiration and spirituality. Among the complaints: the synagogue ritual is chanted by rote; the prayers are recited too quickly; the prayers are recited too slowly; the service is not understood by congregants; people talk too much in synagogue; the services do not involve everyone in a meaningful way.