Megillat Ruth is characterized by deliberate ambiguity. Not only are multiple readings possible; these ambiguities are precisely the vehicles through which the short narrative captures so many subtleties in so short a space.
Rabbi Yosef Hayyim unequivocally endorses a curriculum for Jewish education in which from the earliest age onward the student devotes hours of study to Torah and to general knowledge in parallel. He rejects the view that the rationale for such study is, to enhance understanding of Torah. Rather, he presents and endorses four valid rationales for study and acquisition of general knowledge:
Moshe Hecht, a member of our Institute's University Network, discusses how his early lessons in Jewish history focused on the persecution of Jews, anti-Semitism, Jews as victims. As his studies advanced, he began to view Jewish history in larger--more accurate and more nuanced--terms.
Rabbi Hayyim Angel reviews a new book on Psalms by Ronald Benun.
Dehumanization is poisonous to proper human interactions and relationships. It is not only destructive to the victim, but equally or even more destructive to the one who does the dehumanizing.
As we rejoice at the many successes of the State of Israel, our joy is dampened by the ongoing terrorism and threats lodged against Israel and the Jewish People. We must stay focused on the remarkable renaissance of the Jews as manifested in the re-establishment of a sovereign Jewish State. We thank the Almighty for having granted us the privilege of living at this special time.
“Rashi’s Judaism” is certainly warm and comforting. But it is also disappointing to people who accept modern science as a route to truth, who reject superstition, who believe that all human beings are actually created in the image of God. “Rashi’s Judaism” is challenging for people who accept the values of liberal democracy.
The Jewish Press has a bi-weekly feature in which questions are asked to a panel of rabbis. One of the respondents is Rabbi Marc D. Angel, and here are his responses to recent questions in this series.
The Covid crisis demonstrated how society rallied massive energy and budget to bolster society’s physical health. Shouldn’t we be able to act with an equal sense of emergency on behalf of society’s moral and psychological health?
The Omer period is an appropriate time to remind ourselves of the importance of each day. We can make each day count by devoting proper time to our loved ones, to our friends and neighbors, to those activities that strengthen ourselves and our society. Don't wait for tomorrow or next week or next year. Life must be lived and renewed each day.