Tanakh is not a systematic theology, science, or history. We treat nearly all of Tanakh as historical, but God did not reveal prophecies to the prophets in order to teach science or history. God is speaking to us, and it is our religious obligation to hear, understand, and listen to that voice. We take all of the texts seriously, even if some of them may be understood as non-literal.
The laws of the Red Heifer are in the category of "hok," laws which transcend human comprehension. Yet, we can learn a lot from this kind of law.
We are thrilled to present the YouTube video of our fascinating program on Breastfeeding, Halakhah, and Sensitivity. On Sunday, June 6, 2021, Rabbi Hayyim Angel introduced keynote speaker Dr. Deena Zimmerman. Dr. Zimmerman presented up-to-date scientific data on breastfeeding health issues for baby and mother, and then addressed various halakhic issues through an excellent blend of halakhah, science, and human sensitivity. A must see presentation for our entire community, which reflects the core values of our Institute regarding this important topic. Here is the link:
People are greatly in need of a liberating religious message. We yearn for relationship with our fellow human beings; we reach out for a spiritual direction to the Eternal Thou. It is not easy to be a strong, whole and self-confident I; it is not easy to relate to others as genuine Thous; it is a challenge to reach out to the Eternal Thou. Yet, without these proper relationships, neither we nor our society can flourish properly.
We may find it jarring to come into contact with Jews who observe minhagim different from ours. We may think that their practices are quaint, or odd, or plain wrong....The hope is that through greater awareness and empathy, we will function as a stronger, happier, and more diverse Jewish community. We need a genuine recognition that in our various searches for Divinity, different Jewish communities have followed diverse—perfectly halakhic and proper—roads.
What does it mean to say that the State of Israel is the “State of the Jews” or, more accurately, the “Jewish State”?
Holocaust scholarship is finally making up for nearly eight decades of inadequate attention to the impact of the Shoah (1933 - ’45) on approximately 430,000 Sephardi Jews from Europe, Morocco, Algiers, Tunisia, and Libya, etc., over 160,000 of whom perished in the catastrophe.
Judaism includes the basic tenets of belief in one God, divine revelation of the Torah including an Oral Law, divine providence, reward-punishment, and a messianic redemption. The question for believing Jews today is, how should we relate to the overwhelming majority of contemporary Jews, who likely do not fully believe in classical Jewish beliefs? Two medieval models shed light on this question.
For some critics, everyone in the world seems to have rights...except Jews. Every nation in the world has the right to defend its citizens...except Israel. These are positions which must be repudiated by all fair-minded people. These are positions which most surely should be repudiated by the victims of such views...the Jews themselves.
The Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals invites you to a discussion BREASTFEEDING: SCIENCE, SENSITIVITY, AND HALAKHAH on Sunday, June 6, from 10:00-11:30 am