Amos’ great innovation on the biblical landscape is that Israel’s moral state directly affects its national destiny. Arguably, the Book of Amos is exclusively about morality and social justice.
I would challenge us to ask ourselves: Is a synagogue a social club or a spiritual home? Is Jewish education for teaching content and behavior—now bend here, now say this—or for imbuing children with the sense that we go in the presence of the Almighty, that He has gifted us the rule book to best play this game of life and tasked us with a life's mission?
To our members and friends,
We continue to reach thousands of people annually through our National Scholar program, combining classes, teacher trainings, conferences, and publications to promote the core values of our Institute.
There are several upcoming classes and programs:
It has been a sensational year for our Campus Fellows, who have been leading and developing programming for our Institute at universities across the United States and Canada. We thank all of our fellows who have worked so hard to promote our vision on their campuses.
One of the leading scholars in North America in the vanguard of religious Tanakh scholarship is Rabbi Hayyim Angel, the National Scholar of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals. Angel has written or edited over 130 scholarly articles and books (mostly in Tanakh), of which Keys to the Palace is the latest publication.
This is the story of one Jewish family's confrontation with the Holocaust--a Sephardic family from the Island of Rhodes.
From the second half of the nineteenth century, Haskalah ideas filtered into the Sephardic communities in Muslim lands, especially through the efforts of the schools of the Alliance Israelite Universelle—bastions of French culture. The influence of European colonial powers in North Africa and the Middle East was also an important factor in Sephardic intellectual life. The impact of the Haskalah could not be altogether ignored.
On Shavuoth, as we celebrate the anniversary of the Revelation at Mount Sinai, we should direct our thoughts to that special moment in the history of Israel and to the ongoing lessons it provides to us in our own lives.
We may explore the Haver Ha-Ir model by considering the teachings of four rabbinic figures of the modern period: Rabbi Benzion Uziel (1880–1953); Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (1903–1993); Rabbi Haim David Halevy (1924–1998); and Rabbi Nahum Rabinovitch (1928–).
Rabbi Uziel offers a Halakhic perspective which reflects a profoundly sympathetic and understanding spirit. Recognizing the practical realities of our world, it is essential that Halakhic authorities courageously respond to the needs. We have a moral obligation to convert those who seek conversion, not only for their sakes but for the sakes of their children.