Articles

The Idealist and the Pragmatist: Rav Benzion Uziel and Rav Ovadia Yosef

Rav Benzion Meir Hai Uziel and Rav Ovadia Yosef were two towering figures of the twentieth-century Sephardic rabbinical world. They seem to share much in common. Yet a closer look at their worldviews marks a sharp distinction in two important areas: 1) the definition of a posek (rabbinic decisor of Jewish law), and 2) the Sephardi-Ashkenazi divide.

Rabbi Eliyahu Benamozegh: Israel and Humanity

Many Jews in our day, like many of our brethren of other tribes, are seeking to mend the fractures that divide us from ourselves and from others, and to find ways to heal the wounds that afflict us only seven decades after the Holocaust and the rebirth of Israel. Amid these efforts, an idealistic, scholarly nineteenth-century rabbi from Livorno seems, to some, to provide a beacon of hope and humanity.

Toward a Halakhic-Humanist Worldview: Recovering a Lost Vision

Despite our strong numbers and increasingly professionalized infrastructure, ask a Modern Orthodox educator how our community is doing, and you’ll likely hear ambivalence or frustration at best, apocalyptic predictions of the imminent demise of our movement at worst—certainly not the triumphalism or chest-thumping that our ostensible institutional success would seem to warrant.

Talmudic Tales--Intellectual Sails: New Class by Rabbi Marc D. Angel

Rabbi Marc Angel's Tuesday morning class will resume on October 29. We'll be discussing Talmudic texts that relate seemingly simple stories/lessons...but which, upon reflection, set our minds to thinking about larger issues...faith, redemption, suffering, hope, interpersonal relationships...and more.

The class meets at the Apple Bank building, 2100 Broadway, NYC, in the Institute's office in the mezzanine. The bank doors open at 8:30 am; class begins at 8:40 am and concludes at 9:30 am. Coffee/tea and danish are available.

The Tower of Babel: A Case Study in Combining Traditional and Academic Bible Methodologies

This article on the Tower of Babel offers a “textbook lesson” in combining traditional rabbinic commentary with contemporary academic Bible scholarship. These two approaches begin with different sets of assumptions, but each gives us access to greater meaning in the Torah. Taken together, we emerge with a fuller picture than with either one by itself.

The Binding of Isaac: Extremely Religious without Religious Extremism, by Rabbi Hayyim Angel

The Akedah, or binding of Isaac (Genesis 22:1–19), [1] 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?