One of the great writers of the 20th century, himself a Holocaust survivor, was Primo Levi. In his book, Other Peoples’ Trades, he reminisces about his childhood home in Turin, Italy. In his nostalgic description, he remembers how his father would enter the house and put his umbrella or cane in a receptacle near the front door. In providing other details of the entrance way to the house, Primo Levi mentions that for many years “there hung from a nail a large key whose purpose everyone had forgotten but which nobody dared throw away (p. 13).”
In 2006, Oxford University Press published a book by Chris Lowney, “A Vanished World: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Medieval Spain.” The author asked me to write a blurb, and it was included on the back cover of the book. Here is what I wrote:
(On March 4, 2016, a Conference was held at the United Nations: “Religious Pluralism and Tolerance: The Bahrain Model.” It was held under the sponsorship of the Kingdom of Bahrain, which prides itself on tolerance to citizens of its religious minorities. The Conference was opened by H.E. Dr. Shaikh Abdulla bin Ahmed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, the Undersecretary of International Affairs of the Bahrain Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Participants in the Conference included representatives of various religions and countries, as well as members of the American government.
Orthodox Judaism has a powerful, appealing, and sophisticated message for world Jewry—and for humanity at large. Basing ourselves on the divinely revealed Bible, the authoritative halakhic system, and a worldview rooted in compassion and justice, we have succeeded as a world religion for over 3,000 years. We have weathered physical and spiritual attacks from external enemies; and we have been victorious in sectarian battles within Judaism itself.
Rabbi Marc D. Angel is Founder and Director of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals, jewishideas.org This column was originally published on our website in 2012.
Rabbi Marc D. Angel is Founder and Director of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals. Among his books are "Maimonides, Spinoza and Us" and "Maimonides: Essential Teachings in Jewish Faith and Ethics." This article appears in issue 26 of Conversation, the journal of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals.
The Current Chief Rabbinate System Needs an Overhaul. This article by Rabbi Marc D. Angel was originally published in the Jerusalem Post, May 28, 2007. Unfortunately, little has been done to improve the Chief Rabbinate since then; indeed, in many ways, things have actually worsened.
Comments of Rabbi Marc D. Angel
A symposium on contemporary Orthodoxy, Tradition Magazine, vol. 32, no. 4, Summer 1998
The Status of Women in Orthodoxy
Rabbi Marc D. Angel shares some thoughts on the life and spiritual legacy of one of America's foremost rabbinic figures of the 20th century.
Rabbi Dr. David de Sola Pool was the pre-eminent Sephardic rabbi in America during the mid-twentieth century. Born in England in 1885, he died on December 1, 1970, the first week of Kislev 5731, after having served Congregation Shearith Israel in New York for a period spanning 63 years.