Articles

Controversies over the Historicity of Biblical Passages in Traditional Commentary

Tanakh is not a systematic theology, science, or history. We treat nearly all of Tanakh as historical, but God did not reveal prophecies to the prophets in order to teach science or history. God is speaking to us, and it is our religious obligation to hear, understand, and listen to that voice. We take all of the texts seriously, even if some of them may be understood as non-literal.

Watch our YouTube video on Breastfeeding and Halakhah!

We are thrilled to present the YouTube video of our fascinating program on Breastfeeding, Halakhah, and Sensitivity. On Sunday, June 6, 2021, Rabbi Hayyim Angel introduced keynote speaker Dr. Deena Zimmerman. Dr. Zimmerman presented up-to-date scientific data on breastfeeding health issues for baby and mother, and then addressed various halakhic issues through an excellent blend of halakhah, science, and human sensitivity. A must see presentation for our entire community, which reflects the core values of our Institute regarding this important topic. Here is the link:

Minhagim: Divinity and Diversity

We may find it jarring to come into contact with Jews who observe minhagim different from ours. We may think that their practices are quaint, or odd, or plain wrong....The hope is that through greater awareness and empathy, we will function as a stronger, happier, and more diverse Jewish community. We need a genuine recognition that in our various searches for Divinity, different Jewish communities have followed diverse—perfectly halakhic and proper—roads.

Sephardim and the Holocaust

Holocaust scholarship is finally making up for nearly eight decades of inadequate attention to the impact of the Shoah (1933 - ’45) on approximately 430,000 Sephardi Jews from Europe, Morocco, Algiers, Tunisia, and Libya, etc., over 160,000 of whom perished in the catastrophe.

Dogma, Heresy, and Classical Debates: Creating Jewish Unity in an Age of Confusion

Judaism includes the basic tenets of belief in one God, divine revelation of the Torah including an Oral Law, divine providence, reward-punishment, and a messianic redemption. The question for believing Jews today is, how should we relate to the overwhelming majority of contemporary Jews, who likely do not fully believe in classical Jewish beliefs? Two medieval models shed light on this question.

The Yeshiva and the Academy

This article by Rabbi Hayyim Angel explores the approaches of the yeshiva and the academy to Tanakh study. We will define the yeshiva broadly to include any traditional religious Jewish setting, be it the synagogue, study hall, adult education class, seminary, or personal study. In contrast, the academy is any ostensibly neutral scholarly setting, primarily universities and colleges, which officially is not committed to a particular set of religious beliefs.