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?
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 14th anniversary.
Rabbi Daniel Bouskila describes customs of Moroccan Jews relating to Succoth. This article originally appeared in the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles.
The "Holiday Reader" of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals was prepared by Rabbis Marc and Hayyim Angel. Part One includes a collection of short essays by Rabbi Marc Angel relating to Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Succoth. Part Two includes articles by Rabbi Hayyim Angel on the Akeidah, the book of Jonah, and the book of Kohelet. We invite you to print the "Holiday Reader" and enjoy it during the course of the holidays.
A Special Memorial Tribute to Rabbi ben Zion Meir Hai Uziel z"l (teacher and Rabbi Abraham Shalem z"l (student)
(in observance of their anios/memorials)
Here are two divrei Torah on Parashat Haazinu, one by Rabbi Marc D. Angel and one by his grandson Max Nussbaum.
The centerpiece of Yom Kippur is the Avodah, a poetic review and, on some level, reenactment of the High Priest’s service in the Beit Hamikdash on that holiest of days. Our focus will be on searching for some of the Avodah’s spiritual messages often lost in its complexities. While some argue that spirituality and halakha are antithetical, I believe the reverse is true – spirituality gives halakha wings.
LeSHA: Lemida Sh’Goreret Ahava
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) was one of humanity’s greatest geniuses, a man whose mind plumbed the depths of universe. But his greatness transcended his being gifted with an extraordinary IQ: he had imagination; he wondered about things; he let his mind drift in new and unexpected pathways.
The Mitzvah of Hakhel--gathering of all Israelites every seven years--is a powerful re-enactment of the Revelation at Mt. Sinai when all the Israelites gathered to receive the Torah.