When one is interested in ascertaining exact historical data based on the accounts in Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles, one first must reconcile the accounts and then combine the material into a composite picture. Far more important than attaining a historical portrait of the period, though, is addressing the question of how each biblical book uses history to teach its prophetic messages as an exhortation to its readers.
Rav Shagar’s complex writings show that the path between relativism and fundamentalism is not an easy one. It requires a passionate religious faith that is not afraid of the real and profound differences that exist in this world. It may live on a razor’s edge, but it is the only place where true tolerance is possible.
Rabbi Hayyim Angel has made a significant contribution to Jewish thought in this volume and has done it interestingly and well.
Within the boundaries of normative Judaism, dissent is respected and even encouraged. But beyond those boundaries, dissent is not tolerated. Intellectual freedom gives way to the authority of tradition. A problem arises: What exactly are the boundaries established by tradition?
Misha Edel concentrated his gaze one last time on the black ,contorted mask that had made him famous. The snout, or some would say the curved trunk ,would have to be shortened, he decided, the jaw cover tightened to produce the sound he wanted.
So if life is ever changing, and we are always changing, what can we rely upon? Can we accept that the nature of life is change, and discover God within that change?
Da’at Torah, the notion that leading decisors can issue binding opinions on matters outside the scope of halakha, or Jewish law, is a central concept that distinguishes Hareidim from the Modern Orthodox. The former accept da’at Torah as a given; the latter do not.
Modern/Open Orthodoxy has emerged as the new, bold, and dynamic trend in the United States and Israel. It synthesizes Orthodoxy’s commitment to Jewish law, memory, and tradition with the social reality it happens to inhabit.
Rabbi Dr. Nathan Lopes Cardozo is the Founder and Dean of the David Cardozo Academy and the Bet Midrash of Avraham Avinu in Jerusalem. Author of 14 books and numerous articles in both English and Hebrew, his latest book is Jewish Law as Rebellion: A Plea for Religious Authenticity and Halakhic Courage (Urim Publications), Jerusalem/New York, 2017. This article is an excerpt from this book.
To our members and friends,
Our Campus Fellows throughout North America and Canada continue to develop meaningful programming that brings together a wide variety of Jewish students to discuss issues of relevance under the banner of our Institute. Please read about the many and diverse programs they are running and leading!
Rabbi Hayyim Angel
National Scholar, Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals