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(Statement of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals, prepared by Rabbi Hayyim and Maxine Angel)

A Memorial Tribute to Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm
from Rabbi Marc D. Angel

We join the Lamm family in mourning the passing of Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm, one of the great American rabbis of our generation. His leadership to Yeshiva University and the wider community was marked by wisdom, eloquence, and courage.

In our time, like throughout history, there are those who seek to manipulate crowds in dangerous, murderous and hateful ways. There are those who play on the fears and gullibility of the masses. But there are also those who resist the crowd instinct and maintain the personality instinct. These are the stars who will form a new kind of crowd, a crowd that will bring human beings together in harmony and mutual respect.

During the Six Day War in 1967, Israel regained control of East Jerusalem. This was a historic event that returned the ancient holy sites of the Old City to Israeli sovereignty. Yom Yerushalayim has become a day of religious and national commemoration. 

Here are some thoughts about what we might institute as a way of saying that women are very much counted in the community; that their scholarship is admired; that their presence is critical. 

Some words get overused, misused and abused. The words become degraded so that they no longer can be taken at face value.

A charity affiliated with a prominent Hareidi rabbi has been promising donors who pay 3000 shekels ($836) that they will thereby gain immunity from the coronavirus for themselves and their families. It is time for thinking Orthodox Jews to stand up forcefully against the corruption and denigration of our religion. 

The question about saying Hallel with a blessing on Yom haAtsmaut has much broader implications. Is halakha a closed system that operates solely within its four cubits? Or is halakha a system of life that responds in a living way to the realities of our lives?

At this historic moment when a visionary religious leadership is so urgently needed…we get, instead, divisive and extreme statements from Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef; divisive and extreme policies vis a vis halakhic conversion; divisive and extreme attitudes that serve to drive people away from Torah and mitzvoth.

I believe that elected officials are a reflection of the values of the electorate. If the electorate votes for people who are not viewed as being trustworthy, then this is apparently what the public wants...and deserves.