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.
As we rejoice at the many successes of the State of Israel, our joy is dampened by the ongoing terrorism and threats lodged against Israel and the Jewish People. We must stay focused on the remarkable renaissance of the Jews as manifested in the re-establishment of a sovereign Jewish State. We thank the Almighty for having granted us the privilege of living at this special time.
Rabbi Marc D. Angel delivered this sermon on July 26, 2014 at Congregation Ezra Bessaroth in Seattle, Washington. On that Shabbat, the community marked the 70th anniversary of the deportation of Jews from the islands of Rhodes and Cos in July 1944, nearly all of whom were murdered in Auschwitz. We post this article in observance of Holocaust Memorial Day, April 8, 2021.
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.
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.
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.”
Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik is Orthodoxy's most eloquent response to the challenges of modernity and to the critics of Modern Orthodoxy. A Torah giant of the highest caliber, the Rav was also a world-class philosopher. In his studies in Lithuania, he attained the stature of a rabbinic luminary. At the University of Berlin, he achieved the erudition of a philosophical prodigy.
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.
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?