Articles

Dogma, Heresy, and Classical Debates: Creating Jewish Unity in an Age of Confusion

Judaism includes the basic tenets of belief in one God, divine revelation of the Torah including an Oral Law, divine providence, reward-punishment, and a messianic redemption. The question for believing Jews today is, how should we relate to the overwhelming majority of contemporary Jews, who likely do not fully believe in classical Jewish beliefs? Two medieval models shed light on this question.

Religion and Superstition: A Maimonidean Approach

Judaism seeks to bring us closer to God through proper thought and deed. Superstition seeks to circumvent God's power through the use of magical formulae or rituals. While Judaism demands intellectual and moral excellence and a direct relationship with God, superstition provides purported means of bypassing or manipulating God in order to ward off evil or to achieve some other desired goal.

Rabbi M. Angel Replies to Questions from the Jewish Press

The Jewish Press Newspaper has a regular feature in which questions are posed to a group of rabbis. One of the respondents is Rabbi Marc D. Angel. Here are his replies to questions relating to Aliyah against the wishes of parents; dealing with the non-Jewish spouse of an intermarried friend; public fundraising appeals in synagogues; dealing with families of "get" refusers.

View our recent program on Breastfeeding in Halakhah on YouTube!

As of this writing, over 300 people have viewed our recent program on Breastfeeding in Halakhah. We are thrilled to reach people on such an important topic, and are grateful to the Institute for making such vital programming an essential aspect of what we do to promote our vision to the broader community.

View the program on Breastfeeding at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sWQJWg2hxo

 

Please also view other recent symposia we have run, and of course please share the links with your friends:

Pinchas's Peace Prize: Thoughts for Parashat Pinchas

Pinchas's Peace Prize

Devar Torah by Max Nussbaum

In the 3rd verse of this week's Parasha, Parashat Pinchas, Hashem grants Pinchas with the peace prize. We know from the end of Parashat Balak that Pinchas killed Zimri and Kozbi thus ending the plague on the Israelite People. The result of Pinchas’s action is great; but why should he deserve a peace prize for killing two people? Furthermore, why did this end the plague?

Surprised by Anti-Semitism? Yes and No.

Although current manifestations of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are ugly and painful, we must take the long view of things. This isn’t the first period of Jewish history where Jews faced viciousness and violence. But long experience has taught us to stay strong, stay confident, stay positive. The challenge to our generation is to stand tall as Jews, to stand strong on behalf of Israel.