Tanakh needed prophecy so that we could transcend ourselves and our limited perspectives to aspire to a more perfected self and world, and to reach out across the infinite gulf to God. Ultimately, however, it also needed Ecclesiastes to teach how to have faith from the human perspective, so that we may grow in our fear of Heaven and observe God’s commandments in truth.
Many Jews in our day, like many of our brethren of other tribes, are seeking to mend the fractures that divide us from ourselves and from others, and to find ways to heal the wounds that afflict us only seven decades after the Holocaust and the rebirth of Israel. Amid these efforts, an idealistic, scholarly nineteenth-century rabbi from Livorno seems, to some, to provide a beacon of hope and humanity.
Rabbi Marc Angel's Tuesday morning class will resume on October 29. We'll be discussing Talmudic texts that relate seemingly simple stories/lessons...but which, upon reflection, set our minds to thinking about larger issues...faith, redemption, suffering, hope, interpersonal relationships...and more.
The class meets at the Apple Bank building, 2100 Broadway, NYC, in the Institute's office in the mezzanine. The bank doors open at 8:30 am; class begins at 8:40 am and concludes at 9:30 am. Coffee/tea and danish are available.
The Jew is a citizen of the world and is part of it, and in this respect functions in the framework of all humanity. However, the Jew also is unique, separate and alone. The Jew is sustained not merely from the natural ways of the world, but also from the higher level of humanity—the level that includes the acceptance of the yoke of Heaven, mitzvoth, and holiness.
It is with great hesitation and trepidation that I write this essay. I do not want to be misunderstood. I am in love with Judaism, rabbinic tradition, and halakha. I regard them as holy, and they are at the very core of my existence. Nonetheless, I am concerned about the future of Judaism and its impact on our young people.
The Akedah, or binding of Isaac (Genesis 22:1–19),  is a formative passage in Jewish tradition. It plays a central role on Rosh haShanah, and many communities include this passage in their early morning daily liturgy. What should we learn from this jarring narrative with regard to faith and religious life?
The Book of Jonah is a larger-than-life story of every individual who seeks closeness with God. There is a paradoxical recognition that the closer one comes to God, the more one becomes conscious of the chasm separating God’s wisdom from our own.
We have many exciting educational offerings in September!
Sunday, September 15: Special Symposium on Rabbi Marc Angel’s Thought
Celebrating Rabbi Marc D. Angel's 50 Years in the Rabbinate
Rabbi Solomon Maimon, long time leader of the Sephardic community in Seattle, has passed away at the age of 100. The community had celebrated Rabbi Maimon's 100th birthday a few months ago. For that occasion his nephew, Rabbi Marc Angel, wrote words of tribute...and we reprint those words in Rabbi Maimon's memory.