Articles

The Tower of Babel: A Case Study in Combining Traditional and Academic Bible Methodologies

This article on the Tower of Babel offers a “textbook lesson” in combining traditional rabbinic commentary with contemporary academic Bible scholarship. These two approaches begin with different sets of assumptions, but each gives us access to greater meaning in the Torah. Taken together, we emerge with a fuller picture than with either one by itself.

A Sephardic Vision for Arab-Israeli Peace

The United Nations passed a "partition plan" on November 29, 1947 to create separate Jewish and Arab states. The Jews accepted the plan, the Arabs rejected it. Following this date, Jews living in Arab countries were subject to persecutions and expropriation of property; over 800,000 Jews in those lands were compelled to leave, many of them settling in the land of Israel. The Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel at that time was Benzion Uziel, who was a voice for peace and mutual understanding.

Brain-Stem Death and Organ Donation

When Rabbi Marc Angel served as President of the Rabbinical Council of America (1990-92), he asked Rabbi Moshe Tendler to develop a health care proxy for the RCA, that would take into consideration issues relating to halakhic organ donation. An internationally renowned authority in halakha and medical ethics, Rabbi Tendler concluded that brain-stem death constitutes halakhic (as well as medical) death; that organ donation is permissible and praiseworthy according to halakha.