Blogs

The Pittsburgh synagogue shooting was a mass shooting that took place on October 27, 2018, at the Tree of Life – Or L'Simcha Congregation in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The congregation was attacked during Shabbat morning services. The shooter killed eleven people and wounded six. It was the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the United States.[

During the period of Elul and the High Holy Days, it is customary to increase our charitable giving. While many charities are worthy of our support, we ask you please to include the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals high on your list. We need to stand together for an intellectually vibrant, compassionate and inclusive Orthodox Judaism. If we don't do so, who will? And if not now, when?

From time to time, we read about polls taken among Israelis, asking if they are religious or secular. These polls reflect a popular Israeli division of its population into "dati" (religious) or "hiloni" (secular).

Modern technology makes it quite easy for people to post hostile remarks against those with whom they disagree. These ad hominem attacks gain lives of their own, being forwarded to readers who then forward them to others etc.  People feel that it’s fine for them to vent, to call names, to discredit others. In their self-righteousness, they don’t realize the gravity of their transgressions.

The Jewish Press has a bi-weekly feature in which questions are posed to several rabbis. One of the respondents is Rabbi Marc Angel, and here are Rabbi Angel's answers to several of the recent questions.

With all the hundreds of millions of dollars that we have spent and continue to spend on defending ourselves, it seems that it’s never enough. All our defense organizations, museums of tolerance, holocaust memorials—while obviously having a positive influence on many—have not succeeded in eliminating hatred of Jews.

Our financial records are a clearer reflection of our values than anything we say. It is disheartening that leading American politicians—who earn far more than the national average of incomes—share so little of their wealth with charitable causes and humanitarian assistance.

It is a pity that Presidents' Day is simply treated as a day off from school or work; or a day for special sales. Wouldn't it be far more valuable for children to stay in school and learn about Washington and Lincoln? Wouldn't it be more sensible for all Americans to use the day to learn about the Presidents who helped make the United States a bastion of liberty?

I do not believe that Orthodox Jews are more dishonest than other people, and I like to think that Orthodox Jews are more honest. But why are we not surprised when we read or hear about Orthodox Jews accused of cheating or bribing? Why do we laugh at the assumption that Orthodox Jewish sponsorship guarantees the trustworthiness and honesty of a business venture?

The Talmud (Berakhot 31a) provides guidelines for how we are to approach prayer: “Our sages taught: One must not stand in prayer in sadness or in laziness, or in laughter, or in conversation, or in light-headedness, or in idle matters; but [one should pray] in happiness [of a mitzvah].”

The Pittsburgh synagogue shooting was a mass shooting that took place on October 27, 2018, at the Tree of Life – Or L'Simcha Congregation in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The congregation was attacked during Shabbat morning services. The shooter killed eleven people and wounded six. It was the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the United States.[

During the period of Elul and the High Holy Days, it is customary to increase our charitable giving. While many charities are worthy of our support, we ask you please to include the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals high on your list. We need to stand together for an intellectually vibrant, compassionate and inclusive Orthodox Judaism. If we don't do so, who will? And if not now, when?

From time to time, we read about polls taken among Israelis, asking if they are religious or secular. These polls reflect a popular Israeli division of its population into "dati" (religious) or "hiloni" (secular).

Modern technology makes it quite easy for people to post hostile remarks against those with whom they disagree. These ad hominem attacks gain lives of their own, being forwarded to readers who then forward them to others etc.  People feel that it’s fine for them to vent, to call names, to discredit others. In their self-righteousness, they don’t realize the gravity of their transgressions.

The Jewish Press has a bi-weekly feature in which questions are posed to several rabbis. One of the respondents is Rabbi Marc Angel, and here are Rabbi Angel's answers to several of the recent questions.

With all the hundreds of millions of dollars that we have spent and continue to spend on defending ourselves, it seems that it’s never enough. All our defense organizations, museums of tolerance, holocaust memorials—while obviously having a positive influence on many—have not succeeded in eliminating hatred of Jews.

Our financial records are a clearer reflection of our values than anything we say. It is disheartening that leading American politicians—who earn far more than the national average of incomes—share so little of their wealth with charitable causes and humanitarian assistance.

It is a pity that Presidents' Day is simply treated as a day off from school or work; or a day for special sales. Wouldn't it be far more valuable for children to stay in school and learn about Washington and Lincoln? Wouldn't it be more sensible for all Americans to use the day to learn about the Presidents who helped make the United States a bastion of liberty?

I do not believe that Orthodox Jews are more dishonest than other people, and I like to think that Orthodox Jews are more honest. But why are we not surprised when we read or hear about Orthodox Jews accused of cheating or bribing? Why do we laugh at the assumption that Orthodox Jewish sponsorship guarantees the trustworthiness and honesty of a business venture?

The Talmud (Berakhot 31a) provides guidelines for how we are to approach prayer: “Our sages taught: One must not stand in prayer in sadness or in laziness, or in laughter, or in conversation, or in light-headedness, or in idle matters; but [one should pray] in happiness [of a mitzvah].”