Maimonides’ extensive writings are both important and relevant for the rapidly growing field of knowledge: namely, positive psychology. Why? Many people are seeking to gain a greater sense of spirituality in their lives. This article highlights Maimonides’ teachings related to this important new specialty, what its originators have called “the study of character strengths and virtues.”
Rabbis Hayyim and Marc Angel recently gave Zoom classes, and each class has been posted on our Institute's website: youtube.com/jewishideasorg Here are brief descriptions of the classes. This enables you to learn from the classes at your own convenience. Enjoy...and Learn!
Rabbi Chaim Amsalem, author of important halakhic volumes on the topic of conversion to Judaism, is a strong proponent of an inclusive approach to accepting converts. He offers a strong case for this approach and a strong critique of those who insist on extreme and stringent views.
Is riding a bike on Shabbat halakhically permitted/appropriate? While a general consensus opposes bike riding on Shabbat, this article offers a more lenient view. This article is not a "pesak" but a discussion of the topic. For specific halakhic guidance, please consult your own Orthodox rabbi.
Rabbi Moshe Shamah is founder of the Sephardic Institute in Brooklyn, which he actively heads. Rabbi Shamah published a commentary on the Torah: Recalling the Covenant: A Contemporary Commentary on the Five Books of the Torah (Ktav, 2011). This is a lightly edited and abridged version of Rabbi Shamah’s two-part essay, “On Interpreting Midrash,” in his Commentary, pp. 336–358. It appears in Issue 15 of Conversations, the journal of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals.
Sharing many of our Institute's core values, the Montefiore Endowment in London recently has published a small volume which compiles many teachings of (primarily) Sephardic rabbis which promote a traditional Jewish vision characterized by love and moderation, rather than extremism and exclusivity.
Generations of elementary day schoolers have colloquially called the Asher Yatzar blessing “the bathroom Berakha.” When looking at this Berakha through an understanding of modern science and medicine, its ancient wisdom truly shines.
Shalom, I recently reviewed Professor Yoel Elitzur's enlightening book, Places in the Parasha (Maggid Press, 2020). I also wrote the Foreword in the book.
Tradition Online has posted the review, you may read it here
I highly recommend the book!
Rabbi Hayyim Angel
What we need now is prophetic, New Age halakha, dedicated to the great, authentic, ethical mission of the Jewish people as conveyed by the prophets, and combined with the demands of the Torah. The prophets preached a rare combination of particularism and universalism.