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
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).”
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.
In May 1992, Rabbi Marc Angel was among a group that spent five days in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The visit brought the group together with descendants of the Sioux sage, Black Elk. The culmination of this intensive week was a memorial gathering at the cemetery in Wounded Knee, the resting place of victims of a horrific massacre of Sioux Indians in 1890, when Black Elk was still a child. Rabbi Angel delivered this eulogy at Wounded Knee.
We stand at the mass grave of men, women and children—
Indians who were massacred at Wounded Knee in the
Orthodox Judaism in the ideal is very different from Orthodox Judaism as it is today.
The tired, the poor, the huddled masses, the homeless: they make us uncomfortable.
Compassion demands that we care for them and help relieve their sufferings. But pragmatism pushes us in a different direction. The beggars and the needy are nuisances, impinging on our quality of life. They cost us money, effort and time. And they never seem to go away.
The needy are a weight on our consciences as individuals and as a society.