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Torah u-Madda Thirty Years Later

How has the relationship between Torah and general knowledge (Madda) changed thirty years after Norman Lamm pioneered why general study alongside Torah can be religiously meaningful?
Dr. Elana Stein Hain is the Rosh Beit Midrash and a senior research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, where she serves as lead faculty and consults on the content of lay and professional programs. A widely well-regarded thinker and teacher, Elana is passionate about bringing rabbinic thought into conversation with contemporary life. To this end, she hosts TEXTing, a bi-weekly podcast that considers issues relevant to Jewish life through the lens

“As a religious person who loves knowledge and is stimulated by study of all kinds, I owe a great debt to Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm z”l. Thirty years ago, he set out to describe why study of general knowledge (Madda) alongside a Torah curriculum is religiously meaningful. As the chancellor of a university that offered such a dual curriculum, his goal was to describe how the individual student might understand and orient the study of secular knowledge as a Jewish pursuit. Dr. Lamm’s own life’s work reflected his belief that the mind is a primary, if not the primary way to inspire a connection to God.”

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