Articles

Upcoming classes with Rabbi Hayyim Angel

To our members and friends,

Here are some upcoming summer classes I will be giving that are open to the public:

On Monday evenings, July 10, 17, 24 7:30-8:30 pm, I will give a three-part series on “Biblical Scandals: Using the Stories of Dinah, David and Bat Sheva, and Achav to Understand Traditional Approaches to Morally Challenging Behavior in Tanach.”

What Can Orthodox Judaism Learn from Islamic Traditions?

There is an acute danger, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch writes, in the Jewish people’s status as a minority community with its own unique foundational texts, traditions, practices, and modes of dress and behavior. The danger is that many minorities—especially minorities that, like the Jews, view themselves as having a special role to play in unfolding historical narrative of human civilization—tend toward insularity, parochialism, and even exclusionary elitism.

A Minority within a Minority: Truth Seeking as a Non-Exclusive Reality

 To know wisdom and discipline, to comprehend words of understanding; To receive the discipline of wisdom, righteousness, justice, and equity; To give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth. Let the wise man hear and increase learning. The understanding man shall acquire wise counsels to understand an allegory and a figure, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of Hashem is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline. —Mishlei 1:2–3

Introduction

 

Annual Report of Rabbi Hayyim Angel, our National Scholar

 

            To our members and friends,

 

            I now have completed my fourth year of working as the National Scholar of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals. It has been an honor and privilege working to promote our vision nationwide primarily through teaching and teacher training, and also through writing and internet classes. This report summarizes my various projects and activities over the past year.

                       

            My major areas of focus have been:

An open letter to Chief Rabbi Mirvis regarding the Dweck Affair: From Dr. Daniel Jackson

It’s not too late to prevent a catastrophe

An open letter to Chief Rabbi Mirvis regarding the Dweck Affair

 

Dear Chief Rabbi Mirvis,

The Jewish community is looking to you for wise guidance regarding the Dweck Affair, and appreciates your desire to respond sensitively and carefully. At the same time, your statements (and your silences) to date have not been reassuring.

History or Heresy

Students of the Talmud may encounter some strange and troubling passages, especially within its aggadic sections.

This is hardly a new phenomenon. Skepticism regarding Talmudic realia — scientific, historical, and other non-legal observations recorded in the Talmud — far predates the modern period. The reliability of Talmudic medicine, for example, was questioned by the Geonim of Babylonia as early as the tenth century.