Rabbi Moshe Shamah is founder of the Sephardic Institute in Brooklyn, which he actively heads. Rabbi Shamah published a commentary on the Torah: Recalling the Covenant: A Contemporary Commentary on the Five Books of the Torah (Ktav, 2011). This is a lightly edited and abridged version of Rabbi Shamah’s two-part essay, “On Interpreting Midrash,” in his Commentary, pp. 336–358. It appears in Issue 15 of Conversations, the journal of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals.
Sharing many of our Institute's core values, the Montefiore Endowment in London recently has published a small volume which compiles many teachings of (primarily) Sephardic rabbis which promote a traditional Jewish vision characterized by love and moderation, rather than extremism and exclusivity.
Generations of elementary day schoolers have colloquially called the Asher Yatzar blessing “the bathroom Berakha.” When looking at this Berakha through an understanding of modern science and medicine, its ancient wisdom truly shines.
Shalom, I recently reviewed Professor Yoel Elitzur's enlightening book, Places in the Parasha (Maggid Press, 2020). I also wrote the Foreword in the book.
Tradition Online has posted the review, you may read it here
I highly recommend the book!
Rabbi Hayyim Angel
What we need now is prophetic, New Age halakha, dedicated to the great, authentic, ethical mission of the Jewish people as conveyed by the prophets, and combined with the demands of the Torah. The prophets preached a rare combination of particularism and universalism.
Rabbi Marc Angel presents some thoughts on Rambam's teachings, and on a new book by Menachem Kellner and David Gillis, "Maimonides the Universalist: The Ethical Horizons of the Mishneh Torah."
Rabbi Marc D. Angel is one of the rabbinic respondents to questions posed by the Jewish Press newspaper. Here are some of his recent replies.
Please join us for an exploration of religious/moral themes in literature, that enlarge our understanding of religion in general and Judaism in particular. Initial authors to be studied are Ralph Waldo Emerson, Matthew Arnold, George Eliot and Miguel de Unamuno.
The classes will be held on Wednesday mornings, beginning February 17, from 8:30 to 9:15 am Eastern Standard Time. You may register on this link. A reading list will be provided for those who register.
This new series offers readers what could be called an encyclopedia of abridged interpretations from over 40 sources on a single biblical portion. We are given is an enormous gift that will undoubtedly open our eyes and minds to the many ideas in the Torah and Jewish tradition, and will give us a delightful book to read on Shabbat.
Megillat Esther is among the most difficult biblical books to study anew, precisely because it is so familiar. Many assumptions accompany us through our study of the Megillah, occasionally clouding our perceptions of what is in the text and what is not.