America is not just a powerful and vast country. It is also an idea, a compelling idea that has a message for all people in all lands. As American Jews, we are committed to the ideals of freedom and equality, human dignity and security, to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We have come far as a nation, but very much remains to be done.
The current policies of the Orthodox rabbinic/beth din establishment are causing anguish to thousands of would-be converts and their families; are turning would-be converts away from Orthodoxy; are de-legitimizing Orthodox rabbis and converts who do not subscribe to the "establishment" positions; are causing thousands of halakhic converts to fear that their and their children's halakhic status will be undermined.
We post this article in memory of Rabbi Nachum Rabinovich, who passed away on Tuesday night May 5, 2020. Rabbi Rabinovich, who served for many years as Rosh Yeshiva in Maale Adumim, was an outstanding rabbinic scholar who combined vast Torah erudition with general knowledge. His PhD was in Philosophy of Science. His views on the role of religion in society are discussed in this article.
Moses Maimonides died in early December 1204. He was a unique figure in Jewish history and has had an enormous impact on halakha and philosophy. He fostered a religious worldview marked by reason and clear thinking.
This essay focuses on the articles by Menachem Kellner on Rabbi Elhanan Wasserman and Rabbi Aharon Kotler. These two 20th century luminaries cast Rambam into the mold of a Hareidi sage. When they read Rambam, they understood him in a way that Rambam himself would have found problematic.
Was my mother a success? Was she happy? Did she fulfill her mission in life? The answer to these questions depends on how we evaluate success, happiness and fulfillment in life.
The Jewish Press newspaper has a bi-weekly feature in which several rabbis are asked to respond to the editor's questions. Rabbi Marc Angel is one of the respondents, and here are several of his responses to recent questions.
To ascribe quasi-prophetic powers to a small clique of Talmudic scholars is intellectually unsound. It undermines a thinking faith and condemns the public to sheepishly follow the opinions of an unelected group of “gedolim.”
The Jewish Press newspaper has a bi-weekly feature in which questions are asked to a group of rabbis. One of the respondents is Rabbi Marc Angel, and here are his replies to several of the recent questions.
Thinking Jews should be standing up for a genuine modern Orthodoxy that insists on functioning in contemporary world-time. While facing modernity has its real challenges, not facing modernity will lead Orthodoxy into a cult-like existence-- out of touch with reality, out of touch with the needs of thinking and feeling human beings…out of touch with Torah itself.