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.
Rabbi Hayyim Hirschensohn (1856-1935), who lived and worked in Jerusalem and in the United States at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, was born in Tzfat. His thought has intrigued many Jews who strive to combine Judaism and modernity, religion and life, thereby seeking to resolve the conflict between their firm commitment to Halakha and their growing openness to the modern world.
People are greatly in need of a liberating religious message. We yearn for relationship with our fellow human beings; we reach out for a spiritual direction to the Eternal Thou. It is not easy to be a strong, whole and self-confident I; it is not easy to relate to others as genuine Thous; it is a challenge to reach out to the Eternal Thou. Yet, without these proper relationships, neither we nor our society can flourish properly.
How ought religion, including Modern Jewish Orthodoxy, interact with America’s political democracy? And can it survive our current culture? Not surprisingly, these simple questions simultaneously point in many directions. Although answers are complex, I do think that a few meaningful generalizations are possible.
The Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals opened in the autumn of 2007. As we approach our 14th anniversary, we thank you for your continued loyalty and support. To mark this anniversary, we plan to include a Scroll of Honor in the autumn issue of our journal, Conversations.
1. Women: Tradition, and Thoughts for the Future
2. Intermarriage and Conversion
3. Universalism vs. Particularism: Sephardism and/or Sephardic Ethnicity
The laws of the Red Heifer are in the category of "hok," laws which transcend human comprehension. Yet, we can learn a lot from this kind of law.
Rabbi Alan Yuter describes the halakhic approach of his late teacher, Hakham Yosef Faur. Hakham Faur was a controversial figure who was both highly traditional and highly independent as a religious thinker.
The religious establishment is obligated to address cases of intermarriage, children of intermarriages, and people of Jewish ancestry. The key to Jewish unity is for Batei Din to recognize the rulings of others who follow different halakhic opinions, even when they vigorously disagree with their positions.
The Jewish Press Newspaper has a feature in which several rabbis are asked to respond to relevant questions. Rabbi Marc D. Angel is one of the respondents, and here are his answers to some of the recent questions,