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.
As we approach Pessah, all of us are deeply concerned by the Covid 19 pandemic. We worry about health…physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, financial etc. Most of us are sheltering in place; our world is contracting.
A while ago, I received a note from a friend with the following quotation: “Friendship isn’t about whom you have known the longest….It’s about who came and never left your side.”
Among the basic ingredients of true friendship are: loyalty, trust, mutual commitment, shared ideals. Friends are very special to us because we know that they are there for us, just as we are here for them.
When we ponder the continued expressions of racial hatred and anti-Semitism, we ponder the strange predicament of the human race. We witness the viciousness and violence of haters; but we also witness the faith, compassion and sympathy of good people who have demonstrated against the bigots.
The disease of anti-Semitism has persisted through the generations and continues today, with all its false accusations, paranoia and dangerous consequences. How are we to cope with this deep-seated irrationalism? How are we to explain this to our children and grandchildren?
Our grandparents and parents and their generations left us a powerful legacy of memories, values and ideals. As we draw strength and wisdom from their lives, we face the present and the future with increasing confidence. We can’t go home again, but neither can we ever really leave home.
Rabbi Marc D. Angel wrote this short essay many years ago. With the announcement of the new peace plan, the message of this essay becomes ever more relevant. Will the leaders of both sides muster the courage to wage a real peace?
The Jewish Press newspaper has a bi-weekly feature in which a group of rabbis are requested to respond to the editor's questions. One of the respondents is Rabbi Marc D. Angel, and here are his answers to some of the recent questions.