The New York Daily News published this op ed piece by Rabbi Marc D. Angel on September 18, 2020.
Modern Orthodox Jews do not recognize Da’as Torah outside the bounds of Halakha. They look to specialists for guidance on purely secular issues. Da’as Torah has been on the wrong side of Jewish history in multiple occasions, failing the Jewish people at critical times, including during the covid 19 pandemic.
The Akedah, or binding of Isaac (Genesis 22:1–19),  is a formative passage in Jewish tradition. It plays a central role on Rosh haShanah, and many communities include this passage in their early morning daily liturgy. What should we learn from this jarring narrative with regard to faith and religious life?
Please join us for a zoom class with Rabbi Marc D. Angel. We'll be studying Rambam's Laws of Repentance. Classes will be on Friday mornings, 10:30 am Eastern Daylight Time, beginning on August 7. Please register here: https://www.jewishideas.org/zoom-class-rambams-laws-repentance
In the story “Tehilla,” Agnon’s narrator is standing at the Kotel, contemplating prayer: “I stood at times among the worshipers, and at times among those who wonder.” That’s life for S.Y. Agnon, and that’s life in an Agnon story. Indeed, for people of faith who understand that faith is complex – that’s life.
This essay by Rabbi Benzion Uziel, and translated by Rabbi Daniel Bouskila, is entitled “You Shall Love Truth and Peace.” It originally appeared in Rabbi Uziel's classic work of Jewish thought Hegyonei Uziel (volume 2, pages 33–34). It is one of his most eloquent statements on unity, and beautifully encapsulates his creative blend of classic rabbinic scholarship with responsible leadership.
It is important for men and women together to seek halakhic solutions and build halakhically committed communities with an emphasis on seeking greater partnership between the sexes. This will perpetuate the integrity of a living Torah that continues to infuse and inspire our lives with the sense of the divine.
In 1966, the Nobel Prize for literature was awarded to S. Y. Agnon. This was a major event for the Jewish world at large and for Israel in particular. Agnon was the first Israeli to win a Nobel in any field, and he remains the only Hebrew-language author ever to have received the Nobel Prize in literature.
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo writes of his spiritual journey. A child of a mixed marriage, raised with a fine general education, he found himself in a spiritual quest to connect with Judaism and its teachings. In the process, he became one of the most articulate voices in our community...a scholar, author, teacher and friend.
These are excerpts about Rabbi Yaacov Huli (1689-1732) drawn from Rabbi Marc D. Angel's book, Voices in Exile. Rabbi Huli originated the Me'am Lo'ez, a Ladino biblical encyclopedia that reached many thousands of readers throughout the Sephardic world. In recent years, the Me'am Lo'ez had been published in Hebrew translation. Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, of blessed memory, translated the Me'am Lo'ez into English.