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–).
Since the scientific revolution, people have expected from religion the kind of truth we have come to know from science. To elevate scientific truth as the only kind of worthwhile truth is a big mistake. In its stead, we must cultivate the awareness that we can benefit greatly from being able to encounter different kinds of truth in our lives, and appreciate each for the unique gifts it bestows.
The Torah is a deep and exciting body of knowledge which embodies everlasting truths. This is not simply a statement of belief but the result of millennia of proof.
Although a revolution in its day when such things as human sacrifice were common, today the tenet of the ten commandments: “Thou shalt not kill.” is a “creed” (a synonym for Tenet) for nearly the whole world. And that is just the tip of the iceberg of truths found in knowledge gleaned from the Torah which today is part of common belief for the society that humanity has evolved.
The first and the twentieth centuries have probably been the two most tumultuous in Jewish history: the destruction of the Temple and the beginnings of exile and Diaspora on the one hand; the Holocaust and the foundation of the State of Israel on the other.
When one is interested in ascertaining exact historical data based on the accounts in Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles, one first must reconcile the accounts and then combine the material into a composite picture. Far more important than attaining a historical portrait of the period, though, is addressing the question of how each biblical book uses history to teach its prophetic messages as an exhortation to its readers.
Rav Shagar’s complex writings show that the path between relativism and fundamentalism is not an easy one. It requires a passionate religious faith that is not afraid of the real and profound differences that exist in this world. It may live on a razor’s edge, but it is the only place where true tolerance is possible.
Rabbi Hayyim Angel has made a significant contribution to Jewish thought in this volume and has done it interestingly and well.
Within the boundaries of normative Judaism, dissent is respected and even encouraged. But beyond those boundaries, dissent is not tolerated. Intellectual freedom gives way to the authority of tradition. A problem arises: What exactly are the boundaries established by tradition?
If our synagogues reflect genuine holiness, we are uplifted by them; our prayers can ascend. But if our synagogues lack holiness, the absence of the Divine Presence is palpable.
Misha Edel concentrated his gaze one last time on the black ,contorted mask that had made him famous. The snout, or some would say the curved trunk ,would have to be shortened, he decided, the jaw cover tightened to produce the sound he wanted.