Orthodox Bible Study

Rabbi Gil Student writes: Rabbi Hayyim Angel, an extremely popular Bible professor and the rabbi of a large and storied synagogue in Manhattan. He recently published his second book — Revealed Texts, Hidden Meanings: Finding the Religious Significance in Tanakh — and I would like to take this opportunity to offer some general thoughts on his approach and challenge a reader to compose a more detailed analysis, which is beyond my abilities.

Rabbi Angel’s first book was Through an Opaque Lens.

ANON COMMENTS: Contrary to how you began, no Orthodox Jew is unaware that other orthodox Jews, in fact the overwhelming majority of orthodox Jews, do not teach Talmud to girls. If one doesnt know even that, he can hardly be called an orthodox Jew. And please dont bring up everyone’s favorite blog charachter, the "True Scotchman". Orthodox Jews, by their very definition, are aware of traditional attitudes and teachings, whether they abide by them or not. If someone is simply unaware that the vast bulk of orthodox Jews all around him do not teach talmud to girls, he is either 1) completely clueless and thus not worthy of note; 2) an anomaly so rare as to be considered non-existent; or 3) not an orthodox Jew at all.

In a perhaps related note, I’ve read one article by Rabbi Angel, on the so-called New Schhol of Bible study. It was an interesting article, but one thing’s for sure: Nechama Leibowitz was only included because she’s a woman, and Rabbi Angel seems to have this obsession with women’s learning. The other commentators featured in his review are all creative thinkers; NL – and this is not to take anything away from that great woman – was not an original thinker with respect to parshanus, and she would say that herself.

ABE POSTS: Rabbi Angel’s passion for truth and his awesome respect for chazal and classical mefarshim are among the traits that make him one of the most popular professors at YU. He often teaches a medrash or a peirush that, at face value, doesn’t seem that impressive. He then teaches it in a light that reveals how profound it really is.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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