Although she was fully and personally aware of human viciousness and cruelty, Simone Veil wanted very much to believe in the ultimate victory of a righteous, compassionate and humane society. She stressed the role of righteous French non-Jews who acted nobly during the war years. “I am convinced that there will always be men and women, of all origins and in all countries, capable of doing what is right and just."
Rabbi Marc D. Angel shares some thoughts on the life and spiritual legacy of one of America's foremost rabbinic figures of the 20th century.
As Americans mark Thanksgiving Day this week, we pay respect to those who fought and died to gain and maintain the freedoms which we enjoy today. We reprint an essay by the late Rabbi David de Sola Pool on George Washington's role in fostering religious freedom in the United States.
Thank you for your support of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals. As we celebrate our 14th anniversary, we appreciate your partnership in our work to foster an intellectually vibrant, compassionate and inclusive Orthodox Judaism. If you have not yet participated in our End of Year campaign, please do so soon. Each contribution, large or small, is a vote for the Institute's continued service to the community.
Shiphrah-Puah, Yocheved-Moses’ sister, and Pharaoh’s daughter form the background of how Moses emerged as a paragon of morality. Moses came from them. People often quietly impact on others. The Torah’s emphasis on these brave individuals teaches that this sort of quiet impact can transform individuals and change the world.
The Akedah, or binding of Isaac (Genesis 22:1–19),  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?
The opening of Lekh Lekha raises numerous questions. Why did God choose Avraham? Why was it necessary to choose anyone? Why does the focus of Sefer Bereshit suddenly shift from a broad universal focus to a narrow, particularistic one?
Anyone who is even partially involved in the life of a traditional synagogue becomes aware, sooner or later, that there is diversity within halakha. It would be rare to find two congregations that follow identical praxis. Yet most people I know seem to live comfortably with such diversity. Isn’t this strange? After all, if there is one God who gave us one Torah, shouldn’t there be one norm for all observant Jews?
Prof. Elitzur has given us the opportunity to upgrade our understanding of many elements in Tanakh, rabbinic teachings, and even folk traditions. This volume enlightens our learning, and will foster a more profound love of the Land of Israel through intimate knowledge of the settings for the eternal prophetic narratives in Tanakh.
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.