This article on the Tower of Babel offers a “textbook lesson” in combining traditional rabbinic commentary with contemporary academic Bible scholarship. These two approaches begin with different sets of assumptions, but each gives us access to greater meaning in the Torah. Taken together, we emerge with a fuller picture than with either one by itself.
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?
How did I get here? It’s a question that crosses my mind every day. How did a feminist, culturally affiliated Ashkenazic Jew from small-town Connecticut —by way of Northeastern University, Harvard Divinity School, Hebrew University, a backpacking jaunt through Europe, and a new-age kibbutz—end up meticulously checking chard in a Sephardic Modern Orthodox home?
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.
The disease of anti-Semitism has persisted through the generations and continues today, with all its false accusations, paranoia and dangerous consequences. How are we to cope with this deep-seated irrationalism? How are we to explain this to our children and grandchildren?
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.
Don't miss it! Sunday, September 15, from 10:00 am-12:00 pm. At Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, 125 East 85th Street (between Park and Lexington Avenues) in Manhattan. Free and open to the public.
We must face this problem squarely and candidly: The narrowing of horizons is a reality within contemporary Orthodoxy. The fear to dissent from the "acceptable" positions is palpable. But if individuals are not allowed to think independently, if they may not ask questions and raise alternatives, then we as a community suffer a loss of vitality and dynamism.