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

The "Bystander Problem"--Thoughts for Parashat Yitro

A Talmudic passage (Sotah 11a) offers an imaginary scenario relating to Pharaoh's decision to enslave the Israelites and murder their male babies. Bilam advised in favor of these evil decrees and ultimately died a violent death. Job remained neutral, and was later punished with horrible sufferings. Yitro opposed Pharaoh’s decrees, had to flee, and was ultimately rewarded.

Standing Tall and Strong for Israel and the Jewish People: Thoughts on Parashat Ki Tissa

Each of us is an ambassador of our people; each of us represents the history, culture and traditions of the millennial Jewish experience; each of us is part of the Jewish destiny. To play our roles as proud and courageous Jews, we need to overcome inferiority complexes and reject “politically correct” pressures; we need to stand tall and strong on behalf of the God of Israel, the Torah of Israel and the People of Israel.

In Search of a Real Tzaddik/Tzaddeket:Thoughts for Parashat Tetsaveh

I fully believe there are Tzaddikim and Tzaddikot in our world; but I also believe that these very righteous and pious people are humble and private. They don’t pose as saints, and they don’t let others market them as holy people with great spiritual powers. They don’t seek to make money by commercializing their righteousness.

The Ongoing Revelation

The Revelation at Mount Sinai was a national experience for all the people of Israel—but it also was very personal. Each Israelite heard the same words—but in different ways!

The Midrash teaches (Shemot Rabba 29:1) that God spoke “bekoho shel kol ehad ve-ehad,” according to the individual abilities of each listener. The universal message of Torah was made direct and personal. The miracle at Mount Sinai was not only the Revelation of God to the nation of Israel, but the individualized Revelation to each and every Israelite man, woman and child.