For the first time in history, the Torah presented a vision to the masses a vision with a radically different understanding of God and humanity. It introduced new understandings of the law, of political office, of military power, of taxation, of social welfare. What we find in the Torah is a platform for social order marked with the imprint of divinity.
Yemima was not your run-of-the-mill teacher. She viewed herself as a channel for heavenly teachings that descended through her. She taught while covered in white scarves, sitting at first behind a curtain and then actually a full story above her students. This was so that the students’ attention would be focused on her message and not on her.
When we talk about “God,” we intuitively think of a powerful, nonphysical entity that created and runs the universe. Classical theologians have posited the Greatest Possible Being (GPB) thesis as the primary mode of understanding God. This article argues that a GPB identifiable as the God of religious tradition will contain responsiveness as one of its attributes rather than complete immutability as the Greeks and other classical theologians have posited.
The Oral Law teaches that a core Jewish value is to love converts to Judaism. The Written Law teaches that same love and inclusion of the resident alien, complete with rights and responsibilities. The Torah teaches a remarkable love, sensitivity, and fair treatment of all people living in the Land of Israel.
The first section of this Reader includes short divrei Torah by Rabbi Marc D. Angel on Succoth, Shemini Hag Atseret and Simhat Torah. The second section is an article by Rabbi Hayyim Angel discussing Kohelet, the biblical work by King Solomon dealing with the meaning of life.
Rabbi Marc Angel replies to questions from the Jewish Press on various topics: young married couples applying for welfare; proposing marriage; cell phones for children; beards for men; the power of forgiveness.
The New York Daily News published this op ed piece by Rabbi Marc D. Angel on September 18, 2020.
Modern Orthodox Jews do not recognize Da’as Torah outside the bounds of Halakha. They look to specialists for guidance on purely secular issues. Da’as Torah has been on the wrong side of Jewish history in multiple occasions, failing the Jewish people at critical times, including during the covid 19 pandemic.
Rabbi Uziel believed that the purpose of the State of Israel on the world scene is to serve as a model nation, characterized by moral excellence. Just as individuals are religiously required to participate in the life of society, the Jewish people as a nation must participate in the life of the community of nations.
Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks was the Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth.This excerpt is from his book, To Heal the World, and is reprinted by permission of Schocken Books, a division of Random House. This excerpt appeared in issue 2 of Conversations, the journal of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals. We join with the community at large in praying for the good health of Rabbi Sacks and in wishing him a speedy and complete recovery from his illness.