Within the Orthodox world, reverence toward heroes and the Sages must be balanced with fidelity to the biblical text, commitment to prophetic integrity, and commitment to truth in scholarship. The Torah teaches both particularistic and universalistic values, and it is critical to adopt both in a faithful religious worldview.
Even before the current pandemic, some had the feeling that "large synagogues" were facing serious problems. Rabbi Haskel Lookstein wrote an important article highlighting the importance of large synagogues. Looking beyond the pandemic era, we need to think carefully about our synagogues...and our community as a whole.
Rabbi Dr. Sabato Morais (April 13, 1823-November 11, 1897) was described by a New York Yiddish newspaper as “without doubt…the greatest of all Orthodox rabbis in the United States.” This encomium was written several years after the death of Morais, when a full picture of his life and accomplishments could be written with historical perspective. Today he is hardly remembered...but he should be!
Increasing lights is an appealing concept, both aesthetically and spiritually. When we cast light on a problem, we clarify the issues. The more light we enjoy, the less we succumb to shadows and illusions.It is all too easy to make mistaken judgments by chasing shadows rather than realities.
Jews need to put aside their frightened mentality and recognize the age in which we live. We have a choice of how to see the world: Is Abraham the start of monotheism, a father of many nations, blessed among people, or is he an “ivri” (literally other bank of the river) someone who dwells alone or in opposition?
Professor Joshua Berman (Bar-Ilan University) recently published a very important book on the interface between critical biblical scholarship and traditional Jewish faith. I reviewed his book in Tradition (Spring 2020), the journal of the Rabbinical Council of America. Enjoy the review, and I recommend the book!
Rabbi Hayyim Angel
The Jewish Press newspaper has a bi-weekly feature in which questions are posed to a group of rabbis. Rabbi Marc Angel is one of the respondents. Here are his answers to several recent questions.
The United Nations passed a "partition plan" on November 29, 1947 to create separate Jewish and Arab states. The Jews accepted the plan, the Arabs rejected it. Following this date, Jews living in Arab countries were subject to persecutions and expropriation of property; over 800,000 Jews in those lands were compelled to leave, many of them settling in the land of Israel. The Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel at that time was Benzion Uziel, who was a voice for peace and mutual understanding.
We record with great sadness the passing of Rabbi Dr. Lord Jonathan Sacks, one of the most articulate Jewish thinkers of our time. We are re-posting this article, reflecting on the teachings of Rabbi Sacks. The memory of this righteous rabbi will be an ongoing blessing to his family, community and society at large.
Sephardic Book Talks with Rabbi Marc Angel
Mondays beginning Oct. 19th
7:30pm ET / 4:30pm PT