Now that Natan Sharansky is going public with his proposal to resolve the Kotel conflict, it is time for the leadership of Modern Orthodoxy to speak out. The message should not be only support for Sharansky’s Solomonic proposal but to dissociate from the policies and tactics practiced by the haredi Western Wall Heritage Foundation.
The tired, the poor, the huddled masses, the homeless: they make us uncomfortable.
Compassion demands that we care for them and help relieve their sufferings. But pragmatism pushes us in a different direction. The beggars and the needy are nuisances, impinging on our quality of life. They cost us money, effort and time. And they never seem to go away.
The needy are a weight on our consciences as individuals and as a society.
“There is a tear in my eye; don’t wipe it away. It’s my gift to you.” —Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach
I must say at the outset that although my wife, Chaya, and I had some different motivations and experiences in our aliya process, we are both happy with our aliya. For me—and I am speaking about my own personal reflections and feelings—our aliya is the fulfillment of a dream I had since learning in Yeshivat Kerem beYavne in 1958–1959. It took more than 40 years—but it also took Bnei Yisrael 40 years to make it through the wilderness to the land of Israel. Personally, I am very happy with my aliya.
A year ago, the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals launched a campaign to raise $650,000. The goal was to raise funds to support the ongoing work of the Institute, and to begin an endowment fund to maintain the Institute in the future. This was a huge goal but vital to the work of the Institute.
We thank the 508 donors to this campaign, all of whom are listed in our Scroll of Honor. The Scroll can be accessed on our website. The campaign raised well over $500,000 in donations, and $161,000 in pledges. So we actually exceeded our goal!
On Friday, September 27, 1935, the Boston Jewish Advocate published an extensive interview with Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, who had recently returned to Boston following a four-month stay in Palestine. In what is arguably the most comprehensive articulation of his early Zionism—if one takes seriously the citations of the interviewer, Carl Alpert—Rabbi Soloveitchik set forth in this interview his perspective on the role of Orthodoxy in Erets Yisrael.
Creating Space between Peshat and Derash
A Collection of Studies on Tanakh
By Hayyim J. Angel
(Ktav Publishing House and Sephardic Publication Foundation, 2011, 229 pages)
The very term “Spirituality” has in recent years acquired negative connotations. In Judaism, it is often associated with an expression of religious fervor devoid of halakhic content or commitment. It conjures up New Age pseudo-religion, unreliable, inconsistent, flaky sentimentality. To borrow a Christian bon mot, “Mysticism,” it is often asserted, “starts in a mist and ends in a schism.” Nevertheless both rationalism and mysticism are equally integral elements in Jewish, indeed all, religious life. It is the relationship between them that I want to explore in this essay.
I can still hear the voices of my grandparents, parents and elder relatives speaking and singing in Judeo-Spanish. Although they have passed away years ago, I still feel their presence especially on Shabbat and holidays and at family celebrations.
Rabbinic bureaucracy is the problem, not the solution. Rabbi Marc D. Angel, Founder and Director of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals, wrote this article which was published in the Forward newspaper, January 8, 2010.