Angel for Shabbat

Rabbi Marc D. Angel offers thoughts for discussion at your Shabbat table. Please visit this column each week, and invite your fa

Searching for Ultimate Clarity: Thoughts for the High Holy Day Season

Rabbinic tradition speaks of “teshuvah sheleimah,” a complete repentance. This entails not merely repenting for this sin or that sin, or asking forgiveness for this transgression or that error. It means transforming our personalities, transforming the way we lead our lives, seeing our lives organically, comprehensively, clearly.

The Dangers of "Echo Reasoning": Thoughts for Parashat Pinehas

It is fashionable in some religious circles to idolize cult leaders and to refrain from (and even deeply resent) any criticism aimed at these great ones. It is fashionable in some circles to foster “echo reasoning”, where it is only licit to speak with others who share the same views, where it is forbidden to hear opposing ideas and critiques. Such circles represent a genuine danger to healthy religious life.

Universally Particularistic: Thoughts for Matot-Masei

To focus exclusively on the universal aspects of Judaism, though central to Judaism’s mission, is to do a disservice not only to the Jewish tradition, but all of humanity. Without a real foundation in its particular mission in the world, Judaism will struggle to contribute universally. Similarly, to focus exclusively on the particularistic aspects of Judaism corrupts its very purpose within humanity.