It is with great sadness that we've learned of the passing of Rabbi Dr. Abraham Levy, for many years rabbi of the Spanish and Portuguese congregation in London. A distinguished rabbi, he was a longtime friend and colleague of Rabbi Marc Angel, of New York's Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue. Rabbi Angel reviewed a book by Rabbi Levy several years ago, and we re-post it in memory of Rabbi Abraham Levy.
For the first time in history, the Torah presented a vision to the masses a vision with a radically different understanding of God and humanity. It introduced new understandings of the law, of political office, of military power, of taxation, of social welfare. What we find in the Torah is a platform for social order marked with the imprint of divinity.
Rabbi Hayyim Angel reviews Rabbi Marc Angel's new volume, a collection of articles, "Sephardim, Sephardism and Jewish Peoplehood." For information about ordering the book, please email [email protected]
In a traditional religious setting, there need not be a generation gap where alienation sets in between the generations. In some unique, mysterious way, the different generations see themselves as contemporaries. We share a spiritual outlook, a set of ideals, a style of living according to the mitzvoth.
We Jews, including Orthodox Jews, do not much use the word mission, having largely ceded the term to adherents of other religions. Yet a sense of mission is critical to giving our lives shape and meaning, and perhaps we ought to use the term more frequently and consider more thoughtfully the mission of our existence.
When we speak of imbuing children with good midot and derekh erets, we are speaking of the creation of the total mentch that he or she can become. This quest cannot be accomplished by measures that address only a part of that whole. We must address the whole person.
The Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals began as an idea, as a framework for reshaping the thinking within the Orthodox Jewish community and beyond. It has been a strong, steady voice for diversity, creativity, dynamism. It has been a strong, steady voice against authoritarianism, obscurantism, extremism and sectarianism. We thank our friends and supporters as we celebrate our 15th anniversary.
As Jewish days schools and Torah institutions, it is within the core of our ethos to make the character development of our children a fundamental aspect of their Jewish educational experience. This article by Rabbi David Teller continues this conversation with some suggested first steps.
Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks was the Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth.This excerpt is from his book, To Heal the World, and is reprinted by permission of Schocken Books, a division of Random House. This excerpt appeared in issue 2 of Conversations, the journal of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals. Rabbi Sacks passed away in November 2020.
The power of Jewish wisdom during the era of racial upheaval was perhaps most evident when Rabbi Joachim Prinz spoke right before King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the Washington Mall in 1963. In front of one of the largest civil rights marches in our country’s history, Prinz started by saying, “I speak to you as an American Jew.”